US to build anti-China missile network along first island chain…

Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords launches a naval strike missile during exercise Pacific Griffin in the Philippine Sea. The NSM is a long-range, precision strike weapon that is designed to find and destroy enemy ships. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. will bolster its conventional deterrence against China, establishing a network of precision-strike missiles along the so-called first island chain as part of $27.4 billion in spending to be considered for the Indo-Pacific theater over the next six years, Nikkei has learned.

They form the core proposals of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative that the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has submitted to Congress and Nikkei has reviewed.

“The greatest danger to the future of the United States continues to be an erosion of conventional deterrence,” the document said. “Without a valid and convincing conventional deterrent, China is emboldened to take action in the region and globally to supplant U.S. interests. As the Indo-Pacific’s military balance becomes more unfavorable, the U.S. accumulates additional risk that may embolden adversaries to unilaterally attempt to change the status quo.”

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