Deputy Commander Brandon Anderson of the Republic of Korea United States Combined Division told Reuters and CNN on the site of the Combined Joint Fires Coordination Exercise (CJFCX) on Wednesday (local time) that the exercise brings focus back to large-scale war, adding that it tests counterattacks against ‘near-peer adversaries.’ The term ‘near-peer adversary’ describes enemies that are determined and capable of fighting back against the U.S. armed forces, possibly putting their dominant position at risk. Here, China and Russia are considered potential foes.
Despite not any official confirmation made by the U.S. Department of Defense, analysts assume that this military drill may target not only North Korea but also China and Russia. Deputy Commander Anderson’s remarks were made when he explained that the CJFCX presumes an all-out war unlike the war situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. “[We] refocused on near-peer adversary,” he said. “If we're going to look at a near-peer adversary, we have to do more challenging adverse conditions.” Reuters reported that South Korean and the U.S. forces engaged in war games keeping North Korea and their near-peer adversaries in mind.