Guam, an often forgotten island, which is a U.S. territory, could be a major player in the fight against China. It is home to many Air Force and Navy bases, and it will be a major platform for bombers, submarines and troops in any conflict involving the US in the Pacific, including any attacks on Taiwan.
What’s Happening: As China expands its military capabilities, the U.S. has become increasingly vulnerable to Chinese attacks.
Around six years ago, China unearthed a “Guam killer,” missile that could reach the Chicago-sized island about 1,500 miles east of the Philippines. Since then, China’s military reserves have grown from a few dozen to nearly 300, according to a recent Pentagon estimate.
Why it Matters: Increased Chinese aggression, especially as the world remains in the heat of the pandemic that started in China, could be a greater threat now, as Taiwan — a strong U.S. ally — remains in the crosshairs and as a shipping crisis looms over the country.
“Guam, in contrast, has been controlled by the US since the late 19th century, except for a few years when Japan occupied the island after its attack on Pearl Harbor. US Marines recaptured the island and used it as a major military center and supply center in the final stages of the war,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
What People Are Saying: “It will cost money, granted, but the people here are citizens of the United States. This is sovereign United States territory, and we want to make sure the people here and in the region are safe,” Rear Admiral Ben Nicholson, Guam And said the commander of US forces on the surrounding islands.
“Guam plays a role regardless of where the operation may take place or who the adversaries are,” Rear Admiral Nicholson said.
“Guam is very well protected,” General John Hyten said in 2017 as head of US Strategic Command.