Prepare Now for War in the Pacific

The Chinese Navy Type 071 amphibious transport dock Changbai Shan conducts an amphibious assault exercise. SPUTNIK

Prepare Now for War in the Pacific | Proceedings – July 2021 Vol. 147/7/1,421 (

By Congressman Michael Gallagher (R-Wisconsin)July 2021 Proceedings Vol. 147/7/1,421

The window to prepare for war in the western Pacific is closing quickly. The United States must build and prepare naval forces that can deter China, or defeat it if necessary.

When I served in the Marine Corps, I spent most of my time as far away from ships as possible in the middle of the Iraqi desert and as a Middle East expert. In what might have been the only successful pivot in recent U.S. foreign policy, since entering Congress, I have dedicated much of my focus to maritime security in the Indo-Pacific.

Since coming to Congress, I have spent a good deal of time speaking and writing on naval topics. I’ve had the privilege of speaking to the Surface Navy Association, CSIS, and the Naval Institute, and writing for War On the Rocks, for example. In these conversations, I have come to realize that we can no longer afford just to preach to the sea power “choir.” As Admiral Phil Davidson, the former Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, recently warned, we may have six years or less before the People’s Republic of China (PRC) takes action against Taiwan. Some have taken to calling this the “Davidson window.” Other senior leaders, including Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday and Commandant of the Marine Corps General David Berger, agree with his assessment. Think about that for a minute. The United States may only have a few years to prepare for a war that could decide the course of the remainder of this century.

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