US Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said this week that the US must prepare to win a future war with China over Taiwan by beefing up its military deployments in the region.
“I personally am not of the view that an amphibious invasion of Taiwan is imminent,” Wormuth said at an American Enterprise Institute event, according to Voice of America. “But we obviously have to prepare, to be prepared to fight and win that war.”
Wormuth’s plan would involve sending more troops and advanced weapons into the region, including hypersonic missiles. She said the buildup would be an effort to deter war with China, although Beijing has been increasing its military activity in the region in response to US actions.
Wormuth laid out three ways the US Army would work to build up forces in the region. First, by increasing cooperation with allies, which she said would “complicate” Beijing’s decision-making. Second, the Army will establish “theater distribution centers” to pre-position weapons and other supplies in the region.
She listed Australia and Japan as two places where weapons could be staged and said non-lethal equipment might be stored in the Philippines and Singapore. The third aspect of the plan would be to place more visible combat forces in the region. “Our goal is to have Army forces in the Indo-Pacific seven to eight months out of the year,” Wormuth said.
When war breaks out in the region, Wormuth said the Army’s role would be to establish “staging bases for the Navy, for the Marines, for the Air Force” and to “provide intra-theater sustainment” using the weapons stockpiles and watercraft. She said the US Army would also have a role to play in the American homeland.
“If we got into a major war with China, the United States homeland would be at risk as well, with both kinetic attacks and non-kinetic attacks. Whether it’s cyberattacks on the power grids, or on pipelines, the United States Army, I have no doubt, will be called to provide defense support to civil authorities,” she said.
When asked if the American public could sustain the level of casualties that would come with a war with China, she said they could, just “like we did in World War II.” But both the US and China possess nuclear weapons, meaning a potential war could be catastrophic for the entire world.
Wormuth is the latest US official to openly discuss the fact that the US is preparing for war with China. Earlier this year, a four-star Air Force general predicted the US will be at war with China within two years and ordered his forces to be prepared. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me will fight in 2025,” Gen. Mike Minihan, the head of Air Mobility Command, said of war with China in a leaked memo.