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Tracking Military, Geopolitical & Strategic trends to determine China's impact Regionally Globally and Domestically
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Missile Defense’s Real Enemy: Math

Missile Defense’s Real Enemy: Math | China Commentary | Scoop.it

Will China’s military rival the United States’ in the Pacific? Will Japan abandon the constitutional fetters on its own military? How will India respond to the String of Pearls strategy? The Diplomat has put together a team of leading analysts to offer must-read, regular commentary on the big defence and security issues in the Asia-Pacific.

 

By Harry Kazianis February 2, 2013

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Stretching back several decades, the concept of missile defense has been hotly debated. Some well reasoned scholars argue that the United States and other countries need such defenses incase deterrence breaks down or an irrational actor gets their finger on the nuclear trigger. Others argue that missile defenses are a waste of money given that they are easily defeated, and defensive technology will always stay behind the curve -- never ready for primetime.

 

Both sides have logical arguments. For the record, I am an advocate of missile defense -- under certain conditions. With various nations all over the planet purchasing or developing ballistic and cruise weapons, defenses against such weaponry are vital -- especially for the American navy in the form of Aegis missile defenses.  When it comes to missile defense in nuclear matters- I have some shall we say, complex views. For regimes such as Iran, North Korea and others when sometimes rationality is not their strongest suit -- missile defense all the way. When it comes to nations with larger missile arsenals such as China or Russia, I am not sold -- yet.

 

There is however one thing you can't argue against, simple math.

Case in point, take a look at a recent book chapter by Dr. Toshi Yoshihara in Chinese Aerospace Power (a really good book, China defense geeks I am talking to you -- it's a classic -- get your credit card out) from our friends over at the Chinese Maritime Studies Institute.

 

Dr. Yoshihara notes:

"ASBMs (anti-ship ballistic missiles) may not need to produce mission kills against the surface fleet to complicate U.S. plans. They only need to reach the fleet's defensive envelope for the Aegis to engage the incoming threats, thus forcing the defender to expend valuable ammunition that cannot be easily resupplied at sea under combat conditions. Even inaccurate ASBMs, then, could compel the Aegis to exhaust its weapons inventory, leaving it defenseless against further PLA actions. Used in conjunction with conventional ballistic missile strikes against U.S. bases and other land targets across Asia -- strikes that would elicit more intercept attempts -- ASBM raids could deprive the United States and its allies of their staying power in a sea fight."

Such a point raises a larger question. Will American commanders in the future face large missile forces aimed at their ships that can just simply overwhelm their defenses through sheer numbers?

 

Another example comes from a 2011 report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis entitledOutside-In: Operating from Range to Defeat Iran’s Anti-Access and Area-Denial Threats (A2/AD geeks, this is truly a must read). In sketching out a scenario for a possible Iranian A2/AD campaign between 2020-2025, the authors explain:

 

DOSID's insight:

This is not really "China Speific" but very pertinent in the overall potential Military Stand off in the China Seas or the Indo Pacific.

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New US military concept marks pivot to sea and air

New US military concept marks pivot to sea and air | China Commentary | Scoop.it

A new operational concept currently under development by the United States military will form a key part of its 'pivot to Asia' and represents a similar pivot from land-based to air- and sea-focused military strategies. The emergence of the Air-Sea Battle Concept (ASBC) follows years of classified work by the US military on how to contend with near-peer competitors or high-end asymmetric threats.

The US is beginning to brief some of its allies on the ASBC, demonstrating not only the importance of the concept in US military thinking, but also its intended role as a reassurance to partners in Asia. Few ideas are currently influencing the posture and doctrine of US naval and air forces more than the ASBC. However, few concepts of such potential significance have been so closely guarded – until recently only a small coterie of Pentagon officials knew its full details.

Though the limited official material available on the ASBC does not identify any specific nation that is seen as a threat, but rather sets out capabilities that an adversary could possess, the strategy is likely to have been conceived as a signal to Beijing that Washington is cognisant of its military developments, and is taking what it considers appropriate measures.

DOSID's insight:

Does the ASBC actually matter?
Air-sea combined operations are not a particularly new idea. The US military's Second World War Pacific operation was essentially an air-sea campaign, focused on naval deployments and aircraft carriers providing air cover for amphibious landings as part of the island-hopping strategy. Further, improving cross-domain operations seems like a simple exercise in stating the obviously desirable: in modern militaries integrating networked services is undoubtedly a positive way of enhancing the ultimate effectiveness and efficiency of any operation.

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China, America, and the Pivot to Asia

China, America, and the Pivot to Asia | China Commentary | Scoop.it

Despite the United States’ focus on the Middle East and the Islamic world for the past decade, the most important international political developments in the coming years are likely to happen in Asia. The Obama administration has promoted a “pivot to Asia,” away from the Middle East and toward the Asia-Pacific.

The main factor driving Washington’s interest in the region is the growing economic and military power of the People’s Republic of China. Accordingly, this analysis focuses heavily on the implications of China’s growing power and influence.

This paper has three sections. First, it sketches the two main schools of thought about China’s rise and examines the way in which Washington’s China policy combines elements of those two theories. The second section critiques both theories of China’s rise and argues that U.S. policy combines them in a way that puts a dangerous contradiction at the heart of America’s China policy. The final section recommends offloading responsibility for hedging against potential Chinese aggression to like-minded countries in the region and shows that those countries are capable of doing so..

DOSID's insight:

Note: pdf free to download. "China, America and the Pivot to Asia." A must read on the US asia Pivot 

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Inside the Ring: Asia pivot questioned

Inside the Ring: Asia pivot questioned | China Commentary | Scoop.it
Assistant Secretary of State Kurt M. Campbell on Tuesday defended the Obama administration’s new policy called the “pivot” to Asia from critics who say the shift is largely rhetorical and lacks a substantial program to build U.S.

 

“I believe, at a fundamental level, that the process of rebalancing is a substantial effort that will take years,” Mr. Campbell said during a talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

China, meanwhile, recently challenged the administration on the pivot. A Chinese official said during a meeting of American analysts that he was told by a senior Obama administration official that the entire pivot to Asia could be abandoned by the middle of the president’s second term in office. The Chinese official cited continued problems in the Middle East and lack of support from Congress.

DOSID's insight:

There has been a bit of heart burn within the US Strategic community about the feasiability of the "Asia Pivot" as the Asia Pivot is largley dependant on the Air Sea Battle Doctrine [ASB], which by now even the average Chinese on the streets  knows that the ASB is China specific.

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