In his final appearance before the congressional armed services committees, the outgoing top American commander in the Pacific warned this month that a failure to devote additional military resources to the region risks inviting aggression from the People’s Republic of China. In a comment that should make Americans sit up and pay attention, Adm. Phil Davidson, the commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, suggested that Beijing could attempt to attack Taiwan “in the next six years.”
To deter such aggression, Washington should fully support the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, a congressionally driven effort to ensure that Indo-Pacific Command has the capabilities it needs. More specifically, the Joe Biden administration should request, and Congress should provide, the authorizations and funding necessary to provide the additional region-specific resources detailed in Indo-Pacific Command’s annual Section 1251 Assessment. This assessment provides Congress an unfiltered picture of what the command closest to the threat from China needs.