In the Pentagon’s planning for great-power conflict, Europe is generally considered an Army-Air Force arena, while East Asia is considered a Navy-Marine Corps arena. But the U.S. Army may have a bigger role to play in deterring Chinese aggression than most observers realize, because of its ability to deploy long range fires and defensive systems in the so-called “first island chain” near China. The Army has recently been stressing the importance of forward deployment and joint cooperation while developing a new generation of extended-range precision munitions. It could easily augment the theater capabilities of the sea services by setting up in places like the Philippines, Malaysia or even Vietnam, in the process holding key Chinese military assets at risk. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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