US military no longer dominates the Pacific?

Grind for August 26th
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Bad News

The Headline

Report warns: US military no longer dominates the Pacific

The Grind

Analysts and allies are growing concerned about America’s military capabilities in the Pacific.

In a report released Friday, researchers at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Center claim Chinese forces could wipe out US forces in a matter of hours.

The shocking report is in line with findings by the National Defense Strategy Commission, which in 2018 warned lawmakers that the US military “might struggle to win or perhaps lose a war against China or Russia.”

Despite a massive increase in defense spending, Chinese officials say they are following a “path of peaceful development” in the Pacific.

The Details

In recent years, the Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific strategy has focused on limiting Chinese expansion and strengthening partnerships with allies – but it has not prepared us for a full-scale military attack.

Other factors contributing to our weakened position in the Pacific:

— Continued military focus in Middle East

— Budget cuts

— Underinvestment in advanced military technology

— China’s counter-intervention systems and investments in military tech

Making matters worse is the “outdated superpower mindset” in Washington as well as the “growing partisanship and ideological polarization” in Congress, explains the report.

Nearly all US military facilities in the Indo-Pacific region “could be rendered useless by precision strikes in the opening hours of a conflict.”

The Chinese military has upwards of 2,000 missiles and has built roughly 470 missile launchers since 2014.

“Asymmetries in power, time, distance, and interest would all work against an effective American response…Under present-day US posture in the region, most American and allied bases and forward-deployed ships, troops, and aircraft would struggle to survive a PLA salvo attack, and would be initially forced to focus on damage limitation rather than blunting the thrust of a Chinese offensive.”

The report comes amid increasing tension with China in relation to trade, Hong Kong, and the South China Sea.

Last week, Beijing condemned the Trump Administration’s $8 billion sale of fighter jets to Taiwan and accused members of Congress of exacerbating the protests in Hong Kong.

White House News

The Headline

Trump Administration overturns “catch and release” rule for migrant children

The Grind

In its latest attempt to curb illegal immigration, the Trump Administration has decided to overturn a 2015 policy that blocks the government from holding migrant children in custody for more than 20 days.

Without the limit, families could be held in custody for the entire duration of their immigration cases.

“Today, the government has issued a critical rule that will permit the Department of Homeland Security to appropriately hold families together and improve the integrity of the immigration system,” said DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

The Details

Administration officials hope the new policy will reduce illegal immigration by extinguishing the belief that bringing kids into the country will ensure a family’s release from detention after a short period of time.

“This rule allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress and ensures that all children in US government custody are treated with dignity, respect, and special concern for their particular vulnerability,” added McAleenan.

The new rule will go into effect in 60 days unless it is blocked by the courts.

Did you know… Boxing Day is named so because it was the day that “Christmas boxes” were given to the needy.