The United States has strategically positioned hundreds of vehicles in Australia to enhance logistical support in southeast Asia, as reported by Reuters.
During last year’s largest-ever joint military exercises with Australia, the United States noted utilized the opportunity to establish new reserves of equipment in the country in anticipation of a possible conflict with China over Taiwan, as per sources cited by Reuters.
US officials, as per Reuters, disclosed that the war equipment was stored during the Talisman Saber exercises conducted in July and August last year. These drills, encompassing more than 34,000 troops from 13 nations in and around Australia, were aimed at enhancing combat readiness and logistical capabilities.
The equipment utilized in the exercises consisted of 330 vehicles and trailers, along with 130 containers stored in the southeastern region of Australia, as per Reuters. In case of a conflict, this stockpile would be adequate to support approximately three logistics companies, totaling 500 or more soldiers. Alternatively, the equipment could be utilized in future drills or to respond to potential natural disasters.
Several officials interviewed by the news agency highlighted logistics as a vulnerability in the US military that China might exploit in a conflict. They cautioned that tactics such as bombing refueling ships and jet fuel depots could enable Beijing to incapacitate Washington without directly confronting the majority of US forces.
US urged to halt military engagement with Taiwan
The Chinese Embassy in the US refrained from directly addressing the report. However, it conveyed Reuters that Washington should “cease boosting military interactions with the Taiwan region” and “refrain from creating conditions that could escalate tensions in the Taiwan Strait.”
It is worth noting that China considers Taiwan an integral part of its territory and has long condemned any US engagement with Taipei as interference in its internal affairs. President Xi Jinping has expressed China’s aim for peaceful reunification with Taiwan, but the possibility of using force remains. In 2022, US President Joe Biden committed to defending Taiwan in the event of an unprecedented attack while emphasizing that the US does not advocate for the island’s independence.
Read more: AIT: US remains committed to improving Taiwan’s military abilities