Bordallo speaks at first HASC hearing - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Bordallo speaks at first HASC hearing

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - "Making our military capabilities on Guam robust allows us to defend against North Korea aggression as well as counter the secretive buildup of Chinese forces," said Guam Congressional Delegate Madeleine Bordallo. With the Department of Defense forced to do more with less, today in the nation's capitol the first hearing of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness was held.

An independent look at the required readiness posture of U.S. forces was presented to members. The individuals who appeared before the subcommittee shared one common theme through their testimonies: the importance of the Asia Pacific Region and the threat from areas like North Korea and china and its Peoples Liberation Army. 

Naval War College professor Thomas Mahnken testified that China is for the first time close to achieving military capability to deny U.S. and Allied Forces access to much of the Western Pacific Rim, adding that the growth of China's anti-access capability, in turn calls into question many of the fundamental assumptions upon which the U.S. has based its defense planning since World War II.

"The assumption that US bases in Guam, Japan and elsewhere will be secure from attacks is in question, the PLA is fielding ballistic and cruise missile systems and a number of other capabilities designed to destroy most key facilities," he said.

Bordallo is the subcommittee's ranking Democrat, during today's hearing she underscored the importance of troop realignments, such as the Guam military buildup, which she says will enhance the United States' global strategic posture. "The strategic location of forces on Guam sends a very clear signal to our allies in the Asia Pacific Region that we remain their partner and a power in the Asia Pacific Region," she said. "Similarly, a buildup of forces on Guam also allow us to address threats that may arise in Indonesia or the Southern Philippines, not to mention humanitarian assistance missions to our pacific island partners and other hotspots in the region."

These are partners and Strategic Alliances Center for American Progress senior vice president Rudy Deleon believes should be fostered, and like those who testified before him emphasized the need for readiness to focus in our neck of the woods. "Asia Pacific is at the top of our list in terms of needing to focus strategically on that region," he said.

With budget constraints Congresswoman Bordallo emphasized the need to find a proper balance to provide the nation's armed forces with the necessary resources to respond to threats against the nation and in our case the region. "The military buildup on Guam is not without its challenges. But it is the right thing for our nation, and the right thing for Guam. We just need to get it done right," she said.

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