A $1.6 billion defensive ring around Guam. Millions in new military funding for partner nations. A billion dollars for increased stockpiles of long-range weapons.
These are just some of the investments on a $20 billion wish list quietly submitted to Congress in recent weeks by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command head Adm. Phil Davidson and obtained by Defense News. The wish list was specifically requested by members of Congress who are eyeing it as the basis for a new Pacific-focused pot of money to deter Chinese military action in the region.
In the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress inserted language in Section 1253 requiring INDOPACOM to deliver by mid-March of this year a report detailing what the combatant command needs to fulfill the National Defense Strategy and maintain an edge over China.
The report included questions of force structure, security cooperation in the region and required infrastructure investments. Notably, that report was to come directly from Davidson and not through the Department of Defense — specifically to get a more unvarnished view of what the commander would like to have.
The report serves as the rollout of a new strategy, which Davidson appears to have branded as “Regain the Advantage.”
“Regain the Advantage is designed to persuade potential adversaries that any preemptive military action will be extremely costly and likely fail by projecting credible combat power at the time of crisis, and provides the President and Secretary of Defense with several flexible deterrent options to include full OPLAN [operation plan] execution, if it becomes necessary,” Davidson wrote.
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