U.S. Army Spc. Logan Mattix looks out over the Philippines aboard a CH-47 Chinook helicopter heading to Calayan Island, May 6, 2017 during Balikatan 2017. Balikatan is an annual U.S.-Philippine bilateral military exercise focused on a variety of missions including humanitarian and disaster relief, counterterrorism, and other combined military operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Casbarro)
The U.S. Army discovers a new mission: China

The United States Army is moving on.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. troops fought long and hard and bravely. Alas, their sacrifices did not result in anything like the decisive victories that were promised when those wars began years ago. But rather than getting all hung up on what went amiss, Army leaders have identified a new arena of ground combat: the Indo-Pacific, with China openly identified as Enemy No. 1.

In Washington, the possibility, even the probability of a new Cold War, pitting the United States against the PRC, is a topic of considerable conversation. As far as the Army’s leadership is concerned, the time for talk has passed. That new Cold War is already underway and the Army eagerly embraces the challenges that lie ahead, and with confidence. 

A document called U.S. Army Transformation of Land Power in the Indo-Pacific, issued in May 2020 by Lieutenant General Charles A. Flynn in his capacity as the Army’s G-3/5/7, provides “the grand strategic roadmap” that will enable the Army to meet those challenges.

Indeed, allotting the Army a major presence in the Indo-Pacific holds the key to addressing the nation’s “twenty-first century security challenges.” General Flynn states the matter straightforwardly. “The key idea that underlies the Army’s vision for transformed land power in the Indo-Pacific—and the strategic lever to regain a competitive stance against China—is increased presence of forces.” Positioning U.S. ground forces throughout the region—the document mentions Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, India, and Indonesia as prospective locations, but also hints at Malaysia and Vietnam—will persuade China to behave.

Read the full article in The American Conservative.

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