BANGKOK – Ukraine’s tough resistance to Russian aggression, which has turned Moscow’s progress into a war of attrition, underscores the importance of American allies in the need to be prepared for any situation, the top U.S. military commander in the Pacific said Friday.
General Charles Flynn told The Associated Press that events in Europe highlight the need for regular training exercises with partners, such as the one between the Royal Thai Army and the US Army.
“The contributions of the Ukrainian military, the will of their government, the will to resist are all contributing factors,” said Flynn, who was in Thailand for talks with military commanders to end the exercise and be part of it. Opponents of a trip meeting across the region.
China has stepped up its military harassment of Taiwan in recent years and has not ruled out using force against it, although Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed that “peaceful reconciliation” is in the best interests of both sides.
Analysts say the situation between Taiwan and China does not fit a general description and that the possibility of impending military action from China is low. But Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said this week that he was considering extending the current four-month compulsory military service amid growing concerns over tensions with China, which have been underscored by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Last week, U.S. Secretary of the Army Christine Warmuth suggested what lessons could be applied to their own plans to see if Indo-Pacific American allies would closely follow events in Ukraine.
“If you are from Japan or Taiwan or South Korea, the important thing that is happening now is the difference in the will to fight and the Ukrainians are fighting,” said the Hudson Institute think tank.
“And to be honest, Ukrainians have done a lot since 2014, in particular, to improve their skills. And I think, you know, this is something that I would imagine Taiwanese are watching carefully, “he added.
In recent years, the United States and NATO allies have been preoccupied with modern and well-maintained equipment in Eastern European member states to reassure those concerned about Russia’s aggression. The strategy makes it easier to quickly deploy troops to the region rather than transfer tanks, artillery and other heavy equipment to the theater – and Ukraine has already paid dividends in the event of an invasion, Vermuth said.
He said planners are now looking at how to extend that vision to Indo-Pacific as well.
“We need to let diplomacy, defense diplomacy go ahead, but I think we would be very interested in finding more opportunities to have larger (pre-positioned equipment) in the theater,” he said.
Similar to this month’s exercise in the Philippines, the United States is already conducting exercises using pre-positioned equipment in warehouses and ships in the Indo-Pacific region, Flynn said.
Its active use in training helps to facilitate the acquisition of equipment by the soldiers and ensures that the equipment is fully operational if required quickly.
“The more we practice, the better we will be able to do it in speed and volume so that if a crisis arises, we will be able to access that element, move it quickly, get it. The hands and formation of the soldiers so that they can solve the problem for which they are issued, ”he said.
In its long-awaited Indo-Pacific strategy released last month, the White House stressed that it sees the region as “vital to our security and prosperity” and identifies China’s growing challenges, saying “its economic, diplomatic, military and technological strength” efforts. And to extend its influence.
“Our goal is not to change the PRC (People’s Republic of China) but to build the strategic environment in which it operates,” the paper said, adding that the United States was “committed to strengthening our long-term position in the region.”
Flynn said the increase in US commitment to Europe in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine so far does not mean that resources have been diverted from the Indo-Pacific.
“No one in the Pacific has asked the U.S. military anything significant for Europe,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do here and … we are able to do it.