The largest US amphibious exercise in 40 years highlighted Washington’s anxiety to show its global military supremacy over Russia and China but also exposed some of its weaknesses, Chinese military observers have said.
The Large Scale Exercise 2021 took place between August 3 and 16 across 17 time zones and involved 25,000 personnel from global combat commands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Europe.
The naval and marine units involved in the exercises are responsible for potential flashpoints with Russia and China, including the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean, as well as the East and South China seas.
It was similar in scale to military exercises conducted during the Cold War in the 1980s, and observers said it was intended to send a message to Moscow and Beijing that the US could handle multiple fronts.
“Although no one admits it, their actions say it all,” said Antony Wong Tong, a Macau-based military commentator.
Vice-admiral Steve Koehler, the commander of the Third US Fleet, said the exercise showcased America’s ability to synchronise and integrate military operations across the globe.
“It is clear to me that, in today’s dynamic maritime security environment, the US Navy brings precise, lethal and overwhelming force at the time and place of our choosing to achieve our objectives in the battle space,” Koehler said.