Monday, April 30, 2018

Keeping an Eye on the Long Game: Part LXXIII

Admiral Davidson has a view on the Long Game, and it should sober you up this Monday.

Via our friend Andrew Erickson, we have a nice summary of China-related comments from incoming PACOM Commander, Admiral Philip Davidson, USN.

This is ... aggressive;
The strategic and operational environment outlined in the NDS clearly identifies the importance of developing and fielding a force posture that is capable of countering Chinese malign influence in the region.With respect to their actions in the South China Sea and more broadly through the Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese are clearly executing deliberate and thoughtful force posture initiatives. China claims that these reclaimed features and the Belt and Road Initiative will not be used for military means, but their words do not match their actions.Our defense strategy provides the necessary guidance that will drive our actions.

The Dynamic Force Employment and Global Operating Model concepts inform how the Joint Force is employed across the spectrum of military operations from deterrence operations to crisis response. Due to the distances involved in the Indo-Pacific, we cannot rely solely on surge forces from the Continental United States to deter Chinese aggression or prevent a fait accompli. PACOM must maintain a robust blunt layer that effectively deters Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific.
What exactly does that require and how does that mesh with the CINC's desire to have fewer American forces doing overseas what local forces should?

...and are we about to dust off the 'ole Pershing (III?) and GLCM, but this time with a conventional warhead ... maybe?
The Conventional Prompt Strike system will help meet military requirements in PACOM, but I think we need to also look at additional systems in order to balance against the large numbers of conventional missiles that China has already fielded. In the Indo-Pacific, the absence of the INF Treaty would provide additional options to counter China’s existing missile capabilities, complicate adversary decision making, and impose costsby forcing adversaries to spend money on expensive missile defense systems.
I believe the INF treaty today unfairly puts the United States at a disadvantage and places our forces at risk because China is not a signatory.
Going back to the first issue - if you get the CINC to OK more US forces in WESTPAC, where are you going to put them?
Current force structure and presence do not sufficiently counter the threats in the Indo-Pacific, particularly a resurgent China that leverages military modernization, influence operations, and predatory economics in pursuit of regional hegemony and displacement of the United States over the long term. Aligned with the concept of blunt forces in the NDS, the size of the Indo-Pacific region and the diversity of threats warrant a stable and sizable forward presence. Additional rotational forces allow for more engagements and help increase the readiness of the forward stationed forces.
Lots of good stuff there, read it all.

It ain't 2010 anymore, that's for sure.

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