It might be difficult for most any American, especially in the younger generation, to remember a time when America was not deeply involved in a raging foreign conflict - whether directly or via proxies. At this very moment the US is shipping heavy weapons and sinking billions in aid into to no less than two major wars which have the potential to erupt into broader regional or even world conflagrations involving clashing large powers: namely, the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Gaza conflicts.
While much of the public might rightly think the United States has once again overextended itself, one top defense official has shrugged it off and essentially said... no problem. At an Atlantic Council event held days ago Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Christopher Grady said that the Pentagon stands ready to handle missions connected to three potential proxy wars in defense if its interests if it comes to that.
Grady described that the US Navy in particular is capable of waging battle against Russia in Ukraine, against China in Taiwan, and is ready to assist the Israelis in Gaza if called upon. This could be done simultaneously, he described, while admitting this would stretch naval forces thin.
Adm. Grady explained, "You look at what is required to support Ukraine, look at what might be required to support our partner in Israel, and then, of course, you put Taiwan on top of that—we have the construct that we do with combatant commanders and the rest that should allow us to command and control those three things all at one time."
He stressed, "It’s part of our campaigning process, which is central to the national defense strategy. Is it challenging? Sure." During the remarks he spoke of various emerging global hotspots as "test cases" and suggested that the so-called rules-based order would collapse if the US didn't rise to the challenge.
On China in particular, and the potential for future clash over Taiwan independence, he said as follows:
Grady said increased Chinese activity near the shoal was "a case where the probability of buffoonery goes way high as you start to see the Chinese PRC, PLA and, more importantly, not PLA and but kind of white and white vessels like Coast Guard equivalents," participating in activities meant to coerce U.S. allies in the region like the Philippines and Taiwan.
This appeared an attempt to justify and rally behind Biden's pushing Congress to pass a $106 billion funding package to further arm Ukraine, Israel, as well as support operations in the Asia-Pacific.
Watch the full Atlantic Council segment featuring Adm. Grady's remarks...
Later in the same week, President Biden claimed that if Ukraine weapons and funds don't continue flowing freely, Russia will be emboldened to take more territory - eventually moving beyond Ukraine, and that this would require US troops to fight Russian troops directly. The highly dubious logic seemed more of a desperate attempt at fearmongering, however, which is unlikely to sway the GOP holdouts blocking the Biden plan.