The US created a new stockpile of military equipment during drills in Australia last summer to prepare for a future war with China over Taiwan, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The stockpile was left behind after the Talisman Sabre exercises, which ran from July 22 to August 4 and were billed as the largest-ever iteration of the drill, demonstrating US focus on preparing for a future conflict in the Asia Pacific.
The Reuters report said the equipment left behind includes 330 vehicles and trailers and 130 containers in a warehouse in Bandiana, a suburb of Wodonga, a city in southeastern Australia.
The supplies are enough to supply three logistics companies that would focus on getting equipment to US troops who are fighting a war elsewhere in the region. “We’re looking to do this more and more,” said Gen. Charles Flynn, the top Army commander in the Pacific. “There’s a number of other countries in the region where we already have agreements to do that.”
The US is working to establish stockpiles in the Philippines, Japan, and other countries in the region. Congress is also looking to establish a weapons stockpile in Taiwan itself, something that might not be publicized due to the risk of provoking China.
US Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said last year that the Army’s role in a future war with China 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.
Wormuth said the Army would also have a role to play in the homeland since a full-blown US-China war would likely spread around the globe. “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,” she said.
US military officials are preparing for a direct war with China despite the obvious risk of it quickly turning nuclear. They say they’re trying to “deter” a war, but the military buildup in the Asia Pacific and the new levels of US support for Taiwan make a conflict more likely.