U.S. Allies Prepare For War

A war between the United States and China over Taiwan is a nightmare scenario for America's Pacific allies, leading them to consider their roles and responses should such a conflict arise. As tensions escalate, U.S. allies in the region are taking steps to strengthen their security and cooperation with the United States in anticipation of potential hostilities.

The Philippines, a U.S. treaty ally, finds itself in a particularly strategic position. The recent visit of the Philippines to the White House, along with the focus on securing the channel between the Philippines' northern islands and Taiwan during joint military drills, signals increased efforts to prepare for a potential Taiwan crisis. China's Foreign Minister cautionedagainst the Philippines "picking sides.”

Japan and South Korea are actively preparing for the scenario. South Korea, primarily focused on North Korea, has increased military spending and cooperation with the U.S. Discussions on Taiwan-related contingencies have occurred — including a recent nuclear deal between the U.S. and South Korea — but sending troops into the Taiwan Strait is unlikely. With advanced military capabilities, Japan is significantly boosting defense spending and deepening ties with the U.S.

In recent years, Australia has made an effort to loosen its relationship with China, which became particularly cozy in the last decade. This is good news for the U.S., as Australia's geographic location makes it a vital hub for the resupply of U.S. forces and potential operational launch points. In a Taiwan crisis, Australia would likely be responsible for securing sea lanes and tracking Chinese vessels over a wide area, according to Axios. Canberra's military ties with Washington, including recent investments in upgrading its northern military bases and procuring nuclear submarines.

European allies, such as the U.K. and France, currently maintain a naval presence in the Pacific but have not committed to aiding the U.S. in defense of Taiwan. French President Emmanuel Macron argues that the U.S. risks exacerbating regional tensions and worries French involvement would not be in its national interest.

Amidst the intersection of U.S. politics and the escalating situation in Taiwan, anxiety is pervasive among U.S. allies in the Pacific. As tensions rise, these countries are trying to bolster their defenses, strengthen regional alliances, and establish cooperative frameworks to navigate the uncertain future in the Asia-Pacific region.


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