Why the U.S. isn’t ready for a fight in the Indo-Pacific – POLITICO
Pentagon’s promise to shore up its forces in the Pacific in 2023 is meeting skepticism.
By PHELIM KINE and LARA SELIGMAN 12/27/2022 04:30 AM EST
The U.S. has pledged to deploy so much firepower to the Indo-Pacific in 2023 that China won’t even consider invading Taiwan. Lawmakers and allies say it’s already too late.
The promise is a big one: “2023 is likely to stand as the most transformative year in U.S. force posture in the region in a generation,” Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, said in early December.
But GOP lawmakers say the Pentagon faces a stiff challenge in delivering on that pledge. That’s because Beijing now wields a navy large enough — backed by air power and “carrier killer” ballistic missiles — to challenge longtime U.S. naval dominance in the Indo-Pacific. And deliveries to Taiwan of billions of dollars in U.S. arms are backlogged, due to supply chain issues related to the pandemic and exacerbated by the Ukraine conflict.
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