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China’s Military Aggression Prompts Missile Defense Increase on Guam

The Pentagon is ramping up its missile defense capabilities on Guam in response to growing concerns of potential missile attacks from China. Major General Brian Gibson, the Army general in charge of missile defense for the Indo-Pacific command, stated that Guam is considered part of the US homeland and must be protected from China’s military buildup.

China has been engaged in a significant military buildup, surpassing even the US Navy in size. Pentagon officials have expressed concerns that China is preparing for war, based on the deployment of advanced weapons systems. Of particular worry are China’s offensive missiles, such as the DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile, which has been dubbed the “Guam killer” by Chinese military officials.

To address these concerns, the Pentagon has launched an enhanced integrated air and missile defense system on Guam. The system will include a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery (THAAD), along with Patriot anti-missile systems. Additionally, the Aegis Ashore system, adapted from the Navy’s sea-based missile defense system, will be deployed on the island. The system will provide 360-degree defense capabilities against air and missile attacks.

The deployment of the enhanced missile defense system is expected to start in 2027. The budget requests for the system total around $1.5 billion for the upcoming fiscal year.

Former Pentagon policymaker John Rood emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that the current pace of defense preparations is not sufficient given the evolving threat from China. He stressed the need for a full spectrum of defenses to protect Guam, including anti-hypersonic and anti-ballistic missile systems, as well as cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Unique perspective: As tensions between China and the US continue to escalate, it is crucial for the US to prioritize the defense of strategic locations like Guam. The missile defense increase is a necessary step to ensure the protection of the US homeland and its interests in the Pacific region. However, it is also important for both countries to engage in diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions and prevent any potential conflicts from arising. Finding common ground and fostering open communication channels should be a priority for both sides.

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