The Senate Armed Services Committee recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which included a bipartisan project to build a Pacific Defense Initiative (PDI), spearheaded by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) the committee’s chairman, and the ranking Democrat, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.). This initiative would seek to establish a framework for prioritizing and funding to do the necessary shift to the Info-Pacific Theater and is modeled after the European Deterrence Initiative, meant to bolster offense and defense, and U.S. and ally cooperation, in order to deter Russia’s revanchist aspirations.
We have yet to see what the Appropriators will include for the PDI, but the Senate’s recent action is an encouraging development.
The sooner the United States can establish more robust, better defenses of our critical bases and assets—none more than the U.S. island of Guam—while demonstrating through testing our ability to strike Chinese valuable targets, the better and more effective the U.S. deterrent. And that means protecting Americans and providing a bulwark against the CCP’s threats to a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and therefore, the American way of life.
Rebeccah L. Heinrichs is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute where she specializes in nuclear deterrence and missile defense.