AirSea Battle - concept of US defeat in war with China?
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AirSea Battle envisions three main courses of actions: the destruction of an adversary’s potential in managing, monitoring and intelligence; the destruction of means with the help of which an adversary intends to isolate a combat area and not let US forces to enter it; the destruction of an adversary’s armed forces.
The problem is that for many years China has been building its armed forces according to such strategy chosen by the adversary. The Chinese strategy, in its turn, is based upon a large-scale countering of enemies’ intelligence and control systems by means of electronic warfare, cyber attacks and the use of anti-satellite weapons.
China will be able to launch a massive highly accurate non-nuclear strike against US facilities used by transportation and military infrastructure in the region by reducing abruptly the speed of building up American forces. The destruction of the Chinese potential, which enables the implementation of a strategy to isolate a combat area, may require huge resources and, what is even more important – time – taking into account large-scale Chinese investments into advanced air defense systems. The fact that China has huge stockpile of non-nuclear high accurate ballistic and cruise missiles means that the US aviation and Navy will be distracted ensuring air defense and destroying mobile missile complexes.
Today the US is facing an internal crisis and dearth of funds. At the same time, American forces are scattered across the globe, and in some parts of the world, for instance, in the Middle East, the US’s military presence is an important element of the existing balance between parties. Although the Pacific Rim is a declared priority of the American military building, the US can’t keep the same number of troops which could be seen in the North Atlantic in the Cold War times without doing harm to its commitments in other parts of the world.
The US has only two military-wise allies in the region – South Korea and Japan. But South Korea’s armed forces are completely focused on defending their country from North Korea and are not likely to render substantial assistance to its allies. As to Japanese forces, in spite of superb equipment, they are not numerous and their capabilities in the offensive are limited.
Despite having mighty armed forces, Taiwan is extremely vulnerable for strikes from the continent. The use of its military capability in an American-Chinese conflict, not influencing the island directly, may be difficult for political reasons. The Philippines, even though they have a vast territory and large population, can’t boast of threatening military capability and would be distracting American forces rather than helping them.
It’s highly probable that China, after the completion of the current cycle of reforming and rearming its armed forces through 2020, will be capable of defeating US forces and its allies in the course of some local conflict in the east part of the Pacific Ocean, wrecking or slowing down the transportation of US forces to the region from other parts of the world. China could be able of reaching its political goals even before the US localizes all the necessary forces for a full-scale counterattack.
An attempt to punish China and edge it from occupied positions after a Chinese victory will have already taken place would mean the entering of the lengthy conflict with a great foreign power – for the first time since the Korean War.
With no guarantee of victory and a real risk of a nuclear disaster. The strongest militarily US allies will be in Europe and are unlikely to be able or to be interested in helping. The US may simply have to accept defeat.
Thus, it will soon become obvious that the protection of American interests in East Asia can not be achieved without a permanent presence of significant numbers of US forces in the western Pacific. Moreover, the inevitable and important part of this presence will be land forces. With the decline in budgetary resources, it means that the United States will face problems in securing military presence in other parts of the world such as the Middle East.
Thus changes in the nature of military confrontation in the Pacific will certainly entail significant consequences for global politics and security.