General Touts Role of U.S. Army Against China
Feb. 28, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, the commander of U.S. Army Pacific, told the American Enterprise Institute, that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is not ready to attack Taiwan, but the “historical trajectory” of their recent military modernization campaign requires U.S. forces to speed up their preparations to deter such an attack. “The payload of exercises in pathways is really at its zenith here in ‘23,” Flynn said, referring to an array of U.S. military exercises in the Indo-Pacific. “This is an important year to get in position [and] create enduring advantage ... so we’re ready to do that, and our forces are ready today to be able to respond if need be in the event that something goes in the direction we don’t want it to go.” Flynn and Army Secretary Christine Wormuth touted the importance of the U.S. Army in the competition with China, an obvious pitch to Congress to pump more money into the Army budget.
China’s military is improving at an alarming rate, in large part due to its land-based missile force, Flynn went on. “I can’t go into great detail in here on what’s happening on the ground, but I can tell you that the PLA army and the PLA Rocket Force and the strategic support forces are in dangerous positions,” he claimed.
Flynn also argued that the PLA’s “anti-access/area denial” (A2/AD) plan to eject U.S. forces from the region has a major hole, and that is, he claimed, that it can’t counter Army forces. “The A2/AD arsenal that the Chinese have designed is primarily designed to defeat air and maritime capabilities, and secondarily, it’s designed to degrade, disrupt, and deny space and cyber,” he said. “It is not, however, designed to find, fix, and finish mobile, networked, dispersed, reloadable ground forces that are lethal and non-lethal that are operating amongst their allies and partners in the region.” Still, he said, China’s expected ability to target incoming ships and major bases puts pressure on U.S. forces to stash weapons and supplies in friendly states throughout the region.