In response to the threat from China and Russia, the U.S. military will scale back its deployment in the Middle East, deploy old A-10 attack aircraft for defense, and move more advanced fighter jets to the Pacific and Europe to counter the challenges from China and Russia.
[International News Center/Comprehensive Report] In response to the threats from China and Russia, U.S. officials said that the U.S. military will scale back its deployment in the Middle East, deploying old A-10 attack aircraft for defense, and moving more advanced fighter jets to the Pacific and Europe , as part of the Pentagon's overall deterrence against China and Russia's challenges.
The Wall Street Journal exclusively disclosed on the 23rd that the U.S. military is transitioning into a new era of "great power competition" and has reduced its deployment of troops in the Middle East, including naval and ground forces, to cope with a series of challenges.
The A-10 attack aircraft is scheduled to deploy to the Middle East in April.
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Although the U.S. military has withdrawn from Afghanistan, it is reported that it is still assisting Iraq and Syria in fighting "Islamic State" militants and curbing attacks by Iran-backed militias.
Senior defense officials revealed that the US Central Command (Central Command), which is responsible for coordinating operations in the Middle East, has decided to keep two and a half squadrons of fighter jets in the region. Not having enough fighters to accomplish this goal, the USAF proposed bringing in tank-killer A-10 attack aircraft.
Under the new deployment plan, an A-10 squadron will be stationed in the Middle East along with two F-15E and F-16 squadrons.
A squadron has about 12 aircraft.
The program has raised eyebrows within the military, as the Air Force has phased out its aging A-10s and diverted funds for other programs.
Air Force Chief of Staff CQ Brown told a defense conference earlier this month that the A-10 phase-out was happening faster than originally thought.
Critics of the A-10 say the 40-year-old aircraft is too fragile and slow to compete with China's growing military.
But experts believe it could still be useful in the Middle East, including against lightly armed militias or Iranian naval vessels, allowing the Pentagon to move advanced multirole warplanes to the Pacific and Europe.
Larry Stutzriem, a retired Air Force major general who has flown the A-10, F-16 and other aircraft, pointed out that the immediate priority is to send the most suitable aircraft to the Pacific Ocean to meet the challenge of higher-level threats, A- The 10 could still be useful in CENTCOM's missions in the Middle East.
In addition to the A-10 stationing in the Middle East, a more comprehensive classified plan includes two or three ships stationed in the Middle East, but not aircraft carriers, according to officials with knowledge of the plan.
In addition, the United States will retain two Army "Patriot" (Patriot) anti-aircraft missile battalions in the Middle East.
The United States will continue to have about 2,500 troops in Iraq and about 900 in Syria to help fight Islamic State militants.
All in all, more than 30,000 U.S. troops will remain in the Middle East.
Some civilian defense officials last year suggested further cuts to U.S. naval and Patriot missile deployments in the Middle East in order to move troops elsewhere.
The Patriot missile system is particularly in short supply globally, but Gen. Erik Kurilla, who leads Central Command, dismissed the proposal in a classified memo to Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, according to people familiar with the matter. Austin therefore decided to maintain the current troop levels.
In this regard, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense, Ryder, was unwilling to talk more, only saying that the global force management process is dynamic, and the Secretary of Defense makes decisions based on threats to US forces and national security interests.