(MENAFN- Asia Times) The US is closer to deploying long-range land-based missiles to deter a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan, a provocative move that could spark a destabilizing conventional missile arms race in the Pacific.
General Charles Flynn, Commander of US Army Forces Pacific, stated at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, that the US will deploy new intermediate-range missiles including Tomahawks and SM-6s to the Pacific region in 2024, Defense One reported .
The deployment was made possible by the US's withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 2019 due to Russia's alleged non-compliance. The Defense One report says the US Army's Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), which can hit targets over 500 kilometers away, may also be deployed to the region.
In his address, Flynn emphasized the rapid advancement of China's military capabilities, which he said was endangering regional and global stability. While the general avoided speculation about a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, he outlined several factors believed to be influencing Chinese leader Xi Jinping's strategic decisions.
Those include the impact of economic sanctions, efforts to weaken US alliances in the region, assessing the readiness of China's military for a potential invasion and the effectiveness of China's information and influence operations.
Defense One notes that the US Army's deployment of new missiles signifies a strategic shift in the Pacific, reflecting growing concerns over China's military expansion and assertive behavior in the region. It also indicates a broader geopolitical strategy to maintain stability and deter potential conflicts in the Indo-Pacific region.
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