Sunday, December 01, 2013

Adding Baskets

When China had difficulty even knowing what we were doing over the horizon, it didn't matter that we had concentrated assets near China. Now that China can strike throughout the western Pacific, that matters a lot.

To reduce the impact of being hit by a theater-wide Pearl Harbor (and to reduce the temptations for China to try that) we are dispersing our assets (especially away from Okinawa) in the western Pacific, from Japan to Australia, with the Philippines, and Singapore in between.

Guam is a major base being built up, but we worry about that island being a target, too. In addition to seeking money to harden our facilities to withstand ballistic missile barrages, we want alternate landing strips at Tinian and Saipan:

Two islands in the North Pacific, U.S. territory not far from Guam, could be candidates for dispersing aircraft among a number of bases, according to the Pentagon. The Air Force seeks more than $115 million to build infrastructure on Saipan. The intent, according to budget documents, is to use the island for exercises and as emergency landing strips in case of bad weather.

That's good. I'd like to look further back, too--like Wake Island.

And hey, what's the airstrip on Iwo Jima looking like, these days?