Fueled by the rapid military rise of China, the US Army is anxious to have the Pentagon approve a request for US$364 million to conduct a division-sized exercise in the Indo-Pacific (Defender Pacific) in fiscal 2021.
China is characterized in the US National Defense Strategy as a long-term, strategic competitor of the United States.
While the US Army has 85,000 permanently stationed troops in the Indo-Pacific region and is already conducting exercises such as Pacific Pathways with allies and partners, the service is aiming to practice rapid deployment from the continental USA to the Pacific.
The US Army will conduct a smaller version of Defender Pacific while Defender Europe will get more investment and focus. But then attention and dollars will swing over to the Pacific in FY21.
Defender Europe will be scaled back in FY21. The Army is requesting just US$150 million to conduct the exercise in Europe, according to the Army.
Asia Times / ABC Flash Point News 2020.