A few weeks ago, Admiral Phil Davidson, commander of US forces deployed in the Pacific, publicly believed that from now on, Beijing was to be expected to begin military action to take Taiwan by force by 2027. According to the American general officer, the People's Liberation Army will indeed have in the next few years the military means necessary to accomplish this mission, thanks to a specific global effort by the Chinese authorities to achieve it. Obviously, Australian armies share the same concerns, and have started a strategic reflection, as well as exercises, to face it.
Thus, the exercises in which the Australian Armed Forces participate have changed significantly in nature in recent months, in order to explicitly prepare for high-intensity engagement scenarios with China, in support of American or allied forces. This was the case with Exercise Cope North 2021, which was held around the American base of Guam in February of this year, and which relied on precisely this type of assumption, with in particular the risk of Chinese preemptive strikes using ballistic and cruise missiles to neutralize the Allied air and naval capabilities in the region. To respond to this increasingly significant threat, the Royal Australian Air Force, like the US Air Force, the US Navy and the Marines, trained for nearly a week to implement their planes from off-land, knowing full well that Anderson Field air base in Guam like that of Tindal in the Northern Territories of Australia, will be among the first heavily-struck targets in the event of a conflict with Beijing.
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