Sense of crisis, persecution complex shown in INDOPACOM Commander’s worries about Guam
Published: Jun 26, 2022 07:38 PM
John Aquilino Photo: AFP

John Aquilino Photo: AFP

Commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) John Aquilino claimed that China now has "the largest military buildup in history since World War II" during a Friday conversation with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He then said the development of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) had raised the "sense of urgency" to protect Guam from a potential missile threat from China.

This is not the first time in recent months Aquilino has played up the "threat" of China's increased military buildup to regional security and world order. In May, the INDOPACOM commander testified to the US House Appropriations Committee that China seeks to "become a global military power and acquire the ability to seize Taiwan, while developing conventional weapons that can reach the US Homeland."

Against the backdrop of China's growing military capabilities, some US military officers are hyping the "China threat." They hope this will emphasize the need for further construction of key bases such as Guam, so they can be provided with more funding to improve the bases' capabilities to contain China.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times that the Guam holds an important position in China's defense strategy because it plays a major role in the US' containment of the PLA - The Pacific island is a vital outpost and staging post base in Washington's second island chain.

"In the event of a military conflict between the US and China, Guam may even be turned into a forward operating base, posing a great threat to the PLA," Song noted.

As Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe highlighted at this year's Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore from June 10 to 12, China has always pursued a defensive defense policy. Therefore, the PLA will increase its vigilance against Washington's construction and deployment in Guam, but it will never take the initiative to attack the Pacific island.

And the US is fully aware of this. Yet, Aquilino still mentioned in his remarks the so-called increased sense of urgency due to China's military buildup. Perhaps what Aquilino said implies that the US military is stepping up its preparations for a military struggle with China, which is why Washington is worried Beijing might attack Guam as a counterattack.

Despite Guam's role in the US' planned provocations against China, Washington knows it cannot put all its eggs in one basket. It needs to continue the building of military bases on not only Guam, but also other nearby Pacific islands. A vivid example would be the recent expansion of the construction of an airbase on Tinian Island, 160 kilometers north of Guam, as a backup plan if Guam gets attacked.

At Friday's event, Aquilino also warned that if Beijing and Moscow were to truly demonstrate and deliver a no-limit strategic coordination, it means that "we're currently in an extremely dangerous time and place in the history of humanity."

Such a statement has obviously distorted the partnership between China and Russia, the development of which is not to form a military alliance in any way. Hyping the so-called threat of these two countries to the world is actually to find an excuse to justify the constant buildup of the US military to intimidate China and Russia.

As Washington's hegemony continues to crumble around the globe, the US military has developed a deep sense of crisis. Meanwhile, it has also gradually developed a persecution complex. Being panic-stricken about every military move of its imaginary enemies, Washington feels like it is being threatened or even possibly attacked by the rivals.

According to Song, the US military's sense of crisis is mainly caused by Washington's desire to maintain global hegemony. "The US won't feel so worried if it would give up its attempts to continue to dominate the world," he explained. "In other words, Washington is just making troubles for itself."