A Rising China Is Driving the U.S. Army’s New Game Plan in the Pacific

New missiles and large-scale exercises part of long-term strategy to deter Beijing.

Idaho Army National Guard and Montana Army National Guard Soldiers from the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team conduct a live-fire exercise with Royal Thai Army Soldiers at the Cavalry Center in Thailand’s Saraburi province on Aug. 28, 2018. (Department of Defense Photo)

Idaho Army National Guard and Montana Army National Guard Soldiers from the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team conduct a live-fire exercise with Royal Thai Army Soldiers at the Cavalry Center in Thailand’s Saraburi province on Aug. 28, 2018. (Department of Defense Photo)

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii—As an organization based solidly on dry land, the U.S. Army’s increasing focus on the Pacific might seem puzzling to some.

But with China continuing to expand its military, building islands in the South China Sea, and spreading fear among neighbors, the Army wants to up its game in the region with more firepower and additional rotations of U.S. troops—not only to reassure key U.S. allies such as Japan, South Korea, and Thailand that the United States has their back, but also to prevent a potential war.

“China is the priority,” said Gen. Robert Brown, U.S. Army Pacific commander, during a March 19 roundtable with a handful of reporters at Fort Shafter in Hawaii. Continue reading “A Rising China Is Driving the U.S. Army’s New Game Plan in the Pacific”

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Reading Between the Lines: The Next Spratly Legal Dispute

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March 21, 2019  |  AMTI BRIEF

Reading Between the Lines: The Next Spratly Legal Dispute

In August 2018, the HMS Albion sailed through the Paracel Islands to assert freedom of navigation and challenge China’s claim to straight baselines around the island group. The United Kingdom’s challenge was the first operation by a non-U.S. vessel in the South China Sea that was analogous to the United States’ now well-publicized freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs). Three months later, the USS Chancellorsville undertook an identical challenge to Beijing’s baselines around the Paracels. Similar operations had been undertaken by the USS Decatur in October 2016 and the USS Chafee in October 2017. Continue reading “Reading Between the Lines: The Next Spratly Legal Dispute”