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From the Marianas Variety
April 27, 2006
STUDY: CHINA TARGETING GUAM BASES
By Gerardo R. Partido
Variety News Staff
Guam is now in the crosshairs of the Chinese military because of the buildup of U.S. military forces in the island, a new study says.
U.S.-based think tank Rand Corp., in a study called “Chinese Responses to U.S. Military Transformation and Implications for the Department of Defense,” indicated that China will launch a first-strike missile attack on U.S. installations on Guam in case war breaks out over Taiwan.
Written by seven Rand China researchers who studied dozens of Chinese military publications, international documents and open-source material, the study said China is stockpiling conventional ballistic and cruise missiles to overwhelm Taiwan while at the same time hitting Guam bases to delay U.S. intervention.
“This approach attacks weak points in the enemy rear, denies the U.S. military the ability to use regional bases, Guam for example, as sanctuaries, changes the dynamics in the early stages of a conflict and provides an effective response to strategic attacks by American conventional forces,” the study said.
Guam is currently being built up by the military precisely to counterbalance China’s growing military presence in the region.
With the recent agreement with Japan, the U.S. will be able to base 8,000 Marines, including possible Marine special forces on Guam, for a quick response in case of a conflict over Taiwan.
The Navy is also beefing up its presence on Guam, planning to deploy cruise missile submarines in addition to its attack submarines already homeported on island, which can be quickly deployed in case of a war with China.
At present, no decision has yet been reached on a proposal to homeport an aircraft carrier group on Guam but the short distance between the island and the Taiwan Straits still makes Guam a strong candidate for homeporting.