Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Worth reading: U.S. military needs to do less than you all think to respond to China

I’ve been a bit critical of International Security in the past, so I want now to highlight a good article in its summer issue by Stephen Biddle and Ivan Oelrich, worth reading.

BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12:  Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) accompanies U.S. President Barack Obama (R) to view an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. U.S. President Barack Obama pays a state visit to China after attending the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting.  (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) accompanies U.S. President Barack Obama (R) to view an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. U.S. President Barack Obama pays a state visit to China after attending the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) accompanies U.S. President Barack Obama (R) to view an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. U.S. President Barack Obama pays a state visit to China after attending the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

 

I’ve been a bit critical of International Security in the past, so I want now to highlight a good article in its summer issue by Stephen Biddle and Ivan Oelrich, worth reading.

Their key conclusion:
It is just as important, though, to be clear on what is not needed: the analysis above implies that AirSea Battle is not required for U.S. security in the Western Pacific, nor must the United States accept the costs and risks associated with its requirement for massive preemptive attack against Chinese land-based missiles and infrastructure located deep in mainland China. Our analysis implies no need to redesign or fundamentally restructure the U.S. Navy and Air Force to cope with Chinese A2/AD. A number of more limited changes are needed, but the analysis above does not imply a case for transformational change to meet the threat of A2/AD in the Western Pacific — incremental updating on the margins of existing U.S. capabilities and programs is sufficient.
Photo credit: FENG LI/Getty Images

 

I’ve been a bit critical of International Security in the past, so I want now to highlight a good article in its summer issue by Stephen Biddle and Ivan Oelrich, worth reading.

Their key conclusion:

It is just as important, though, to be clear on what is not needed: the analysis above implies that AirSea Battle is not required for U.S. security in the Western Pacific, nor must the United States accept the costs and risks associated with its requirement for massive preemptive attack against Chinese land-based missiles and infrastructure located deep in mainland China. Our analysis implies no need to redesign or fundamentally restructure the U.S. Navy and Air Force to cope with Chinese A2/AD. A number of more limited changes are needed, but the analysis above does not imply a case for transformational change to meet the threat of A2/AD in the Western Pacific — incremental updating on the margins of existing U.S. capabilities and programs is sufficient.

Photo credit: FENG LI/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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