Two very interesting articles on the upcoming military importance of Guam appeared almost back to back in The Epoch Times and Zerohedge recently.
“China’s army is undergoing the largest buildup in the Chinese regime’s history since World War II, according to Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the U.S. Indo–Pacific Command…. The buildup encompasses all army domains and capabilities, such as naval ships, fifth-generation aircraft, missile forces, cyber capability, capability in space, and strategic nuclear capability…. In the conversation, Aquilino discussed the importance of Guam to American military posture and deterrence in the region. He said that Guam has a 360-degree threat from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Forces. It is absolutely critical “with a sense of urgency in order to provide the capabilities that both defend and we can project power from Guam,” Aquilino said…. He emphasized that Guam is extremely important.” (from The Epoch Times via Zerohedge)
In another article: “Satellite imagery revealed that the United States is constructing a new military facility in the Pacific, possibly preparing an alternative landing site for its airforce should the military bases on Guam become inoperable. Land-clearing activity has been spotted at Tinian International Airport in the Northern Mariana Islands, based on satellite images obtained by The War Zone on June 15.”
In May 2019, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands government signed a 40-year lease agreement with the U.S. Defense Department, which was worth $21.9 million for the U.S. Air Force’s divert airfield on Tinian.
This was consistent with the U.S. Air Force’s decision in 2016 to designate Tinian International Airport as a backup site if the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam becomes unavailable due to a natural disaster or enemy attack.
The divert airfield project would also include the construction of fuel storage, maintenance facility, and other infrastructure on Tinian to support cargo and tanker aircraft, and training exercises.
US Upgrading Military Bases in Guam to Counter China
The Pentagon said in its global defense review last year that Washington will be focusing on the upgrade and expansion of military bases in Guam and Australia “to deter potential Chinese military aggression.”
“In Australia, you’ll see new rotational fighter and bomber aircraft deployments, you’ll see ground forces training and increased logistics cooperation…. More broadly across the Indo–Pacific, you’ll see a range of infrastructure improvements in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Australia.”
The review was commissioned by the Biden administration in February 2021, and while it provided some details of the future of the military’s global posture, the review was largely classified.”
Guam, with its excellent naval harbor and airfield capabilities, serves as the lynchpin of U.S. defense of the western Pacific and is likely to get nuked on day one of such a war. The Marianas do not make a good American fallback position.
If bases in Guam were destroyed, it is quite possible the new American center of operations in the Pacific would be Hawaii.