‘Blinking Red’: US Is Scrambling To Prep For A China Invasion Of Taiwan, Defense Officials Say

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  • The U.S. is far behind where it needs to be in its preparations for a China-Taiwan war scenario, dozens of defense officials told Reuters.
  • The U.S. is trying to improve its Taiwan defense capabilities by creating stockpiles of military equipment throughout the Asia-Pacific region, the outlet reported.
  • “Our ability to deter conflict in the Western Pacific over the next five years is not close to where it needs to be,” Republican Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, a leading member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Reuters. 

The United States is rushing to improve its military capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region in preparation for a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The U.S. is concerned that China is prepping to invade and reunify with Taiwan in the coming years amid heightened aggression and hostilities in the Asia-Pacific. Part of U.S. preparations for a China invasion of Taiwan includes improving logistics hubs and creating a stockpile of readily available military equipment throughout the region, according to Reuters. (RELATED: US Moved To Revive Major WWII-Era Military Bases In 2023 Preparing For Face Off With China)

“Our ability to deter conflict in the Western Pacific over the next five years is not close to where it needs to be,” Republican Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, a leading member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Reuters.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered the country’s military to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027. The U.S. holds a position of “strategic ambiguity” when it comes to defending Taiwan, but President Joe Biden has warned on multiple occasions that the U.S. will have direct military involvement if China invades the island, which the White House has had to continually walk back.

The U.S. implemented part of its plan to bolster military stockpiles in the region during the “Talisman Sabre” joint military exercises with Australia in July of 2023, according to Reuters. While the exercise was meant to showcase joint military capabilities, it also allowed the U.S. to leave behind massive amounts of equipment, including hundreds of vehicles and weapons containers, in Australia in the event of a future drill or war in the region.

“We’re looking to do this more and more,” Army Gen. Charles Flynn told Reuters. “There’s a number of other countries in the region where we already have agreements to do that.”

The stockpile in Australia is part of the U.S. effort to improve its military logistics capabilities in the region, which is currently far behind where it needs to be, over two dozen defense officials told Reuters. War game scenarios have demonstrated that China would try to cripple U.S. operational capabilities by going after military logistics hubs in the Asia-Pacific region.

“China is going to purposely go after some of the logistics nodes to make it difficult for the United States to sustain operations in the Indo-Pacific,” Becca Wasser, senior defense fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), told Reuters. CNAS ran the referenced war game scenario for congressional members in April of 2023.

Among other problems for the U.S. in a China-Taiwan war scenario are deficient transport capabilities; U.S. vessels that transport military equipment such as tanks are decades old, according to Reuters. The U.S. currently only has $2.5 billion out of its $843 billion defense budget earmarked for logistics improvement in the Asia-Pacific region over the next five years.

“The Department of Defense has systematically underinvested in logistics in terms of money, mental energy, physical assets, and personnel,” CNAS said in an analysis, according to Reuters. Some lawmakers have expressed concern that not enough is being done to properly bolster U.S. military international logistics capabilities.

“When you really dig down a couple of layers, the intel community is blinking red as far as for the next five years. And yet some of these timelines (to address the risks) are 10, 15, 20 years long,” Republican Florida Rep. Mike Waltz told Reuters. “There’s a mismatch there.”

The White House and DOD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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