The saying often goes, “war is how Americans learn geography.” In the case of Guam—this might be true. The United States territory with over 168,000 American Citizens has long been the proverbial tip of the spear for Washington’s war machine. From World War II to Vietnam, Guam has played an invaluable role in defending our nation. Now is the time to reciprocate this historical commitment by defending the island, and, in turn, the United States, from Chinese aggression.
Brushing aside for a second the strategic benefits of deterring Chinese aggression, let us focus on why Guam matters. For starters, this US territory is home to US citizens who consequently are entitled to defense from the US government. American territorial claims should not be subjugated to second-class status in national defense priorities. The notion Guam is expendable because it is not on the US mainland is both immoral and, to be perfectly candid, idiotic. If the Chinese or any other aggressors were to invade or otherwise incapacitate Guam, it would represent a monumental shift in America’s national security landscape. Not since Pearl Harbor has a foreign nation invaded US territory, and the fact this is even a possibility warrants a serious upscale in our defense capabilities.
Turning the page back into history, we can begin to appreciate Guam in a new light. During World War II, Japanese forces invaded Guam, setting the stage for a brutal 31-month occupation of the island. Thankfully, Washington saw the immense strategic value of Guam to the US war effort and tasked Admiral Chester Nimitz with liberating the island. Following its liberation, Guam served as a staging ground for numerous bombing campaigns over Japan. Fast forward to the Korean War, and a similar dynamic returns. In an effort to deter North Korean aggression, the United States deployed strategic bombers to Anderson Air Force Base located in the northeastern part of Guam. This move helped turn the tides of the war, and protect South Korea from Communist rule.
Throughout this article, Guam’s importance has been repeatedly asserted. The fact is, that intelligence indicates China is developing military capabilities to invade the island. As Admiral Philip Davidson stated in a 2021 congressional hearing, “China is making preparations for a military confrontation [in Guam] by 2027.” In the midst of all the strategic implications involving a potential invasion, remember Guam matters. We must implore our leaders to preemptively defend this critical US territory before it is too late. Guam has always defended our national interests, now it is our national interest to defend Guam.