Fifty to One: Why China Is Weaker Than it Looks Militarily in Maritime East Asia
Defense is dominant in maritime East Asia.
“[D]efense is dominant, at least within maritime East Asia, because precision-guided munitions enable even relatively weak countries to sink surface ships and shoot down aircraft near their homelands…. China’s neighbors can counter Chinese naval expansion asymmetrically, by launching precision-guided munitions from a variety of relatively cheap platforms…. According to a recent study, the average cost of an A2/AD [anti-access/area denial] capability is about one-fiftieth the cost of the power-projection capability that it could neutralize in war.”
— Michael Beckley, in the fall 2017 issue of International Security
This also makes me wonder if focusing on naval platforms — aka a “350-ship Navy” — is wise.