Partners matter

Where the lands that the US is deploying a specialized task force east of Taiwan and the Philippines?  The Batanesislands (20°35′N 121°54′E)?  
This is a place that Taiwan might claim the territorial sovereignty unsettled.

Will the definition of the first island-chain be revised?

Army Plans to Expand Asian Cyber Efforts to Counter China    Bloomberg 20200111
The U.S. Army will expand efforts to counter China by deploying a specialized task force to the Pacific capable of conducting information, electronic, cyber and missile operations against Beijing.

The unit, which Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy detailed at an event in Washington on Friday, would also be equipped to hit land- and sea-based targets with long-range precision weapons such as hypersonic missiles, possibly clearing the way for Navy vessels in the event of conflict.

The Army task force would help neutralize some capabilities China and Russia already possess and are intended to keep U.S. carrier groups away from the Asian mainland, McCarthy said in an interview.  It’s not clear how quickly the unit, which would likely be based on islands east of Taiwan and the Philippines, can be deployed.

The move is designed to “neutralize all the investments China and Russia have made,” McCarthy said.  It would be bolstered by a new agreement with the National Reconnaissance Office that develops and manages U.S. spy satellites, he said.  Under that accord, Army tactical units will be better able to tap information gleaned from existing and future low Earth orbit satellites, he said.

“There is an ongoing fight for influence in the region, for which access and presence are critical,” McCarthy said at the Brookings Institution event.  Partners matter.”

Pivot to Asia
The pivot would help Defense Secretary Mark Esper achieve a long-sought American goal of shifting more forces from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to the Pacific, better positioning the U.S. to take on “peer competitor” China and historic rival Russia.  The extent to which the current tensions with Iran upset that plan remains to determined but the Army is pressing ahead.

Under McCarthy’s vision, the move would allow the Army to create a new paradigm in the Pacific where ground forces would “punch a hole” in enemy defenses for air and naval forces.

Now, the ground-based unit in those island chains can create the support “for air and sea,” McCarthy said.

Island Chains
China’s military doctrine calls for a so-called “anti-access” strategy, backed by long-range anti-ship missiles and space-based surveillance capabilities, intended to keep U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups well beyond the so-called first and second island chains.  The first island chain extends from the Kuril islands down to Borneo, while the second island chain generally extends from just east of Japan to Guam and down toward New Guinea.

The pivot includes greater Army participation in regional war games like the “Defender Pacific” series and deploying a “Security Force Assistance Brigade” next year for the Indo-Pacific theater similar to ones set up and deployed to Afghanistan, he said.

The Army started experimenting with the task force in 2018. The 17th Field Artillery Brigade from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State conducted nine major training exercises, plus simulations and war games to evaluate concepts.
— With assistance by Glen Carey

美特殊部隊選定台菲東方島嶼 壓制中俄    自由20200111
彭博十日報導,美國陸軍部長麥卡錫(Ryan McCarthy)透露,美軍預計在菲律賓和台灣東方的島嶼部署一支旨在「壓制中國和俄羅斯軍事能力特殊任務部隊;這支部隊將能針對北京執行情報、電子、網路任務,並將配備能擊中陸地和海上目標的長程精確導引武器,例如極音速(高超音速)飛彈,以便在發生衝突時,能先行替美國海軍掃除障礙



報導並未精確描述預計部署這支特殊部隊的台菲東方島嶼位置;麥卡錫預定十日在華府具體說明美國陸軍在印太地區部署的計畫細節。據報導,新的部署計畫將能幫助美國更好地對抗來自中國、俄羅斯的競爭,也有助於美國國防部長艾斯培(Mark Esper)達成美方長期努力尋求的目標,即從歐洲、中東和非洲地區轉移更多武力到太平洋地區。

美部署特殊部隊抗中 擬設在台菲東方島嶼    蘋果20200111