On Monday, the Pentagon released a summary of its Global Posture Review (GPR), which calls for improvements at bases in Guam and Australia so the US can better confront China in the region.
Countering China is the Pentagon’s top priority, but the GPR does not call for a major reshuffling of forces since the US is still fighting wars in the Middle East and Africa and is working with NATO to further militarize areas near Russia.
A Pentagon official told reporters that the region it calls the Indo-Pacific, which stretches from India to the eastern Pacific, is the “priority theater” and that China is the “pacing challenge” facing the US military. Besides improving bases in Guam and Australia, the GPR also called for more cooperation with allies in the region against Beijing.
The improvements in Guam and Australia will begin next year and are expected to focus on airfields so the US can better transport troops in and out of the bases for regular deployments or in a potential conflict. The improvements will also expand storage for weapons and ammunition.
Additional troops are expected to be deployed to the bases, but Pentagon officials wouldn’t specify how many. Under the new AUKUS military pact between the US, Australia, and Britain, Washington will be deploying more troops, planes, and potentially medium-range missiles to its bases in Australia.