House China Select Committee Chairman Expresses Concerns over Vulnerability of US Territory
House China Select Committee Chairman, Mike Gallagher, has expressed concerns about the vulnerability of Guam, a crucial US territory, to potential Chinese military aggression. In a letter addressed to Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, Gallagher has requested information on the measures being taken by the US Army to protect Guam.
The island hosts significant military bases that play a vital role in defending American allies in the region. Given the increased sophistication of Chinese missile systems, the vulnerability of Guam poses a significant risk to US operations and interests in the area.
Guam’s Strategic Importance: A Vital Hub for US Defense Operations
With over 20,000 US troops stationed on the island, Guam holds tremendous strategic importance in safeguarding American allies and interests in the western Pacific. Hosting Naval Base Guam and Anderson Air Force Base, which accommodate US strategic bombers and fighters, Guam serves as a crucial hub for military operations in the region.
China’s Missile Threat: Raising Concerns over Guam’s Vulnerability
House China Select Committee Chairman, Mike Gallagher, has highlighted the fact that Guam is situated much closer to China than Hawaii, making it an attractive target for Chinese missiles.
China has invested significant resources over the years to develop short and intermediate-range ballistic missiles capable of targeting Guam, US airfields in Japan, and US naval assets in the western Pacific. Additionally, China possesses a formidable arsenal of highly capable cruise missiles that can be launched from different platforms, including ships, submarines, and bombers.
Gaps in Defense Capabilities: Exposing Guam’s Vulnerability to Chinese Cruise Missiles
While the US has developed effective sea and land-based ballistic missile defense capabilities, significant gaps remain in terms of defending against Chinese cruise missiles targeting land-based targets like Guam. Gallagher has warned that these deficiencies pose a threat to the effective use of Guam as a submarine port and base, which is critical for US operations in any contingency involving China.
Delays in Missile Defense System: Heightening Concerns over Guam’s Vulnerability
The US Army’s ground-based missile defense system, designed to protect against cruise missiles, has encountered substantial delays. Issues in the supply chain have caused delays in delivering the selected launcher prototype, pushing back the operational assessment to late 2024. Gallagher has requested information regarding alternative options to bridge the defense gap resulting from these delays.
Strengthening Defense Capabilities: Ensuring Guam’s Security
Gallagher has urged the Army to provide details on the delays faced and its plans to enhance land-based cruise missile defense capabilities in Guam. Additionally, he has inquired about the potential integration of capabilities with allied nations like Japan and Australia to bolster defense cooperation in the region.
Addressing Concerns: The Vulnerability of Guam to Chinese Missile Threats
The concerns raised by House China Select Committee Chairman, Mike Gallagher, shed light on the vulnerability of Guam, a crucial US territory, to Chinese missile threats. Given the strategic importance of Guam and its hosting of critical military bases, it becomes a target for Chinese aggression.
The delays in deploying a much-needed missile defense system increase the risks to US operations in the region. Strengthening the defense capabilities of Guam and enhancing coordination with regional allies will be pivotal in addressing these challenges.