No Rest in the Pacific

Gen. Gary North, Pacific Air Forces boss, observed Nov. 20 at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in California that the Pacific region includes five of the world’s largest militaries—China, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, and India. He said, one (not named, but clearly China) is investing heavily in advanced fighters and missiles. Another (Russia) has recently doubled military spending, exports weaponry around the world, and has resumed Cold War-style bomber flights over the Pacific. A third nation (North Korea) has developed nuclear weapons and long-range missiles “while its population starves.” He asserted, “The Pacific is not a theater that is at war, but it’s not a theater that is completely at peace either.” And, he added, “Our high-end competition is good and getting better,” which means PACAF cannot let its capabilities or partnership effort slip. (China is closer to fifth-generation fighters than thought.)