The U.S. military claimed that it had delayed testing a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile during China’s show of force near Taiwan earlier this month to avoid escalating tensions between the two countries. The test was also delayed in April to prevent rustling Russian feathers.
According to a U.S. military statement, yesterday’s test showed “the readiness of U.S. nuclear forces and provided confidence in the lethality and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear deterrent.”
The Asian country received backlash from its neighboring country Japan which received some rubble in its zone, and from world leaders across the globe for its antagonistic actions. Although Taiwan is an independent island, China considers it a part of its empire. Following U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit, an angered China deployed scores of planes and fired live missiles in the Taiwan Strait as an intimidation tactic.
As per a statement from Global Strike Command, the test launch was “part of normal and periodic actions intended to show that the United States’ nuclear deterrent is safe, secure, dependable, and effective to deter twenty-first-century threats and reassure our friends,”
China has never renounced using force to bring Taiwan under control and has had its forces looming over the island since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The intimidation was so intense that the Taiwanese people received survival guides if an invasion similar to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were to occur.
During the American launch, officials confirmed The Minuteman III’s re-entry vehicle traveled 4,200 miles from Vandenberg Space Force Base near Santa Barbara, California, to Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
The nuclear-capable Minuteman III, made by Boeing Co. (BA.N), is key to the U.S. military’s strategic arsenal. Once launched, the missile can move over 15,000 miles per hour and has a range of more than 6,000 miles (9,660 km) (24,000 kph). Launch teams are responsible for distributing missiles from reinforced underground bunkers.
Task Force commander Major Armand Wong said, “Our test launches are scheduled well in advance and are not reactionary to world events. A meticulous planning process for each launch begins six months to a year before launch,” many are questioning the validity of this statement due to its recent delays that occurred less than six months ago.
Although the air force denied the testing coinciding with any world events, the timing of the testing seems all too convenient, especially considering the delays were attempts to divert animosity towards the U.S. Many are asking, why now?
Russia and the United States have the most significant nuclear warhead arsenals. Russia has stroked the idea of its war with Ukraine leading to a nuclear war, but U.S. officials said they had seen no reason so far to change Washington’s nuclear alert levels.