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海-空作戰計畫:美中軍事衝突之未雨綢繆 - J. Holmes
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Preparing for War with China

 

James Holmes, The National Interest, 08/16/12

 

For an operational concept that has never been published, the U.S. military’s AirSea Battle doctrine has elicited some fiery commentary. Or maybe it stokes controversy precisely because the armed forces haven’t made it official. Its details are subject to speculation. The chief source of information about it remains an unclassified, unofficial study published in 2010 by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

 

The debate over AirSea Battle swirls mostly around technology and whether the doctrine is aimed at China. To answer the latter question first: Yes, it is about China. It has to be.

 

This is no prophecy of doom. From a political standpoint, war with China is neither inevitable nor all that likely. But military people plan against the most formidable capabilities they may encounter. And from an operational standpoint, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) presents the sternest “anti-access” challenge of any prospective antagonist. Either strategists, planners and warfighters prepare for the hardest case, or the United States must write off important regions or options.

 

The PLA thus represents the benchmark for U.S. military success in maritime Asia, by most accounts today’s crucible of great-power competition. Other potential opponents, notably the Iranian military, fall into what the Pentagon terms “lesser-included” challenges. If U.S. forces can pierce the toughest anti-access defenses out there -- if they can crack the hardest nut -- the softer defenses erected by weaker opponents will prove manageable.

 

That focus on anti-access is why AirSea Battle is about China -- because it’s the gold standard, not because anyone expects, let alone wants, war in the Western Pacific.

 

The Technology

 

Anti-access is a catchy new name for the old concept of layered defense. Like all naval officers, I was reared on it. Think about air defense. When an aircraft-carrier task force goes in harm’s way, commanders dispatch “combat air patrols” around the fleet, concentrating along the “threat axis,” or direction from which air attack appears most likely. Interceptors from the carrier air wing constitute the first, outermost line of defense.

 

Then come surface-to-air missiles from the fleet’s picket ships. If attackers get past the fighter- and missile-engagement zones, “point” defenses such as short-range radar-guided missiles or gatling guns essay a last-ditch effort. Each defensive system engages assailants as they come within reach. Multiple engagements translate into multiple chances for a kill, improving the fleet’s chances of withstanding the assault. A corollary: defenses become denser and denser as an adversary closes in.

 

The same logic applies to coastal defense but on a grand scale. A nation intent on warding off adversaries fields a variety of weapons and platforms to strike at sea and aloft. These systems have varying ranges and design parameters. Tactical aircraft can fly hundreds of miles offshore and fire missiles that extend their lethal reach still farther. Missile-armed patrol boats have small fuel tanks and limited at-sea endurance, so they stick relatively close to home. The same goes for diesel-electric submarines.

 

If anti-access is about mounting layered defenses, AirSea Battle is about developing technologies and tactics for penetrating them. Thus, in some sense China and America are replaying the interwar years. War planning commenced in earnest following World War I. Imperial Japan planned to shut the U.S. Pacific Fleet out of the waters, skies and landmasses within a defense perimeter enclosing the Western Pacific, the China seas, Southeast Asia and parts of the Bay of Bengal. Not to be outdone, U.S. Navy officers devised and tested out war plans for breaching Japanese anti-access measures.

 

Weirdly, planners on both sides of the Pacific largely agreed on how the coming conflict would unfold. Japan would lash out at the U.S.-held Philippines. U.S. leaders would order the Pacific Fleet to relieve the islands, confronting the Imperial Japanese Navy with a numerical mismatch. Anti-access, Japanese style, meant forward-deploying warplanes to islands along the defense perimeter and submarines to adjacent waters. Aerial and undersea attacks would whittle the U.S. fleet down as it lumbered westward -- evening the odds before a decisive battle somewhere in Asian waters.

 

Submarines and land-based tactical aircraft remain among the panoply of anti-access weaponry. Complementing them are missile-armed patrol boats acting as offshore pickets; shore-fired antiship cruise missiles; and antiship ballistic missiles with ranges conservatively estimated at over nine hundred statute miles. Beijing would expect the PLA Navy surface fleet to handle whatever remnants of the U.S. Pacific Fleet limped into East Asian waters following repeated aerial and subsurface onslaughts.

 

The Human Element

 

The hardware dimension of the U.S.-China strategic competition, however, is inextricable from the all-important human dimension. Weapons don’t fight wars, as strategic thinkers from U.S. Air Force colonel John Boyd to Chinese Communist Party chairman Mao Zedong remind us; people who operate weapons do. Both individuals and the big institutions they serve have deep-seated worldviews and ideas about how to cope with the strategic surroundings. A culture that comports with strategic and operational circumstances represents an asset. A culture that flouts reality is a huge liability.

 

So the struggle between AirSea Battle and anti-access is about more than developing gee-whiz technologies. A culture war is brewing between two great powers with very different conceptions of the relationship among land, air and sea power. And again, ideas matter. As naval historian Julian S. Corbett explains, armaments are “the expression in material of strategical and tactical ideas that prevail at any given time.” What hardware a nation’s armed forces acquire speaks volumes about how strategic leaders think about war -- and how they may wage it.

 

China conceives of land-based forces as intrinsic to sea power and has done so at least since the inception of the People’s Republic. This composite conception of sea power comes as second nature for the PLA. Mao Zedong reportedly issued the PLA Navy’s founders three curt instructions: “fly, dive, fast!” Commanders, that is, premised maritime defense on short-range aircraft flying from airfields ashore, diesel submarines diving beneath the waves, and fast patrol boats armed with guns and missiles. These were the ancestors of today’s ultramodern anti-access force.

 

Maoist China viewed sea power as more than the fleet. It was an amalgam of seagoing and land-based platforms and weaponry. Accordingly, the navy remained close to home throughout Mao’s long tenure as CCP chairman. That’s markedly different from the U.S. Navy, which kept squadrons on foreign station from its earliest history. Forward deployment is in American seafarers’ DNA. Think Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary Wars. China, by contrast, has not forward deployed warships since the Ming Dynasty -- and even then it did so only intermittently. The ongoing counter-piracy deployment off Somalia thus marks a break with centuries of historical practice.

 

The PLA Navy has remained true to its Maoist history even while constructing a blue-water fleet. Coastal defense remains the service’s core function, although it has vastly expanded its defensive zone.

 

If the PLA Navy needs to reinvent its institutional culture to operate far from Chinese coasts, the U.S. military faces an even stiffer cultural challenge in orienting itself to new realities. The post–Cold War U.S. military came to see naval power as a supporting arm of land power. The U.S. Navy projected power onto distant shores, supporting the army, Marines and air force as these sister services prosecuted air and ground campaigns in theaters such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Facing no competitor of the Soviet Navy’s stature, the U.S. Navy leadership issued guidance stating that the navy could assume it commanded the sea. There was no one to contest its mastery. Thus, in the words of the 1992 directive "...From the Sea," the service could “afford to de-emphasize efforts in some naval warfare areas.” In practice, that meant capabilities like antisubmarine warfare and mine countermeasures -- capabilities critical to surviving and prospering in anti-access settings -- languished for two decades.

 

Only now are they being rejuvenated. As the anti-access challenge has come into focus, the navy has started scrambling to upgrade its weaponry and relearn half-forgotten skills. In all likelihood, the air force is in worse straits. Despite Billy Mitchell’s early experiments with using air power to defend American coasts -- remember his famous 1920 sinking of a battleship from the air -- the modern U.S. Air Force does not consider fighting at sea one of its central purposes. The services have some way to go before they can put forth the cohesive effort AirSea Battle demands.

 

Punching the Pillow

 

In short, the Asian continental power takes a holistic view of sea power, while the power that rules the waves thinks of sea power as subsidiary to land power. This cultural inversion would favor PLA defenders in a U.S.-China war. After all, fighting offshore is familiar terrain for them, whereas U.S. leaders long assumed they no longer had to fight for sea control. The services must dispel that ingrained assumption. The advantage goes to China unless the U.S. Navy and Air Force undertake a cultural transformation ahead of time, learning to work together in the maritime domain.

 

Reinventing military institutions in peacetime invariably poses a high-order leadership challenge. It often takes some trauma -- like defeat -- to clear minds. What to do, short of that doomsday scenario?

 

First, we need an official AirSea Battle concept to jolt the services into action and impart direction. Let’s publish one. Second, the navy and air force must embrace the concept, forging themselves into a joint weapon of sea combat. And third, national leaders must hold the services accountable for this project. Franklin Roosevelt once compared the U.S. Navy to a pillow. Civilian officials could punch it as hard as they liked, but it sprang back to the same shape. One suspects the U.S. Air Force bureaucracy is the same way.

 

Keep punching, Washington.

 

James Holmes is an associate professor of strategy at the Naval War College and a contributor to Competitive Strategies for the 21st Century, just out from Stanford University Press. The views voiced here are his alone.

 

http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/preparing-war-china-7352

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請參考:

 

「說不準主義」:歐巴馬外交政策 – D. Blumenthal

https://city.udn.com/2976/3091681?raid=4859467#

(在【歐巴馬觀察】一欄下,08/19/12)

 

作者舉pivot to Asia以及air-sea battle等為例,批判歐巴馬的外交政策。這篇文章可以支持我對pivot to Asia以及air-sea battle兩者的分析。

 

前者請見:我為什麼把Asia Pivotpivot詮釋為「轉進」

https://city.udn.com/2976/4833189?tpno=1&cate_no=2976

(在【美國的 Pivot = 轉進 -- BBC】一欄下,06/14/12)

 

後者請見本欄(08/18/12):孫子曰(國防佈署與戰爭開打有別。這是孫子說的:不恃敵之不來,恃吾有以待之。)

 



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「海-空作戰」:應用與落實 - N.A. Schwartz/J.W. Greenert
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Air-Sea BattlePromoting Stability in an Era of Uncertainty (接上文)

 

General Norton A. Schwartz, USAF & Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, USN, 02/20/12

 

New Threats to American Power Projection

 

When the Soviet Union dissolved, so did the predictability that guided U.S. force development and force posture for decades. Our predecessors recognized, however, that new adversaries would inevitably rise to challenge our national interests. They developed an improved model of expeditionary warfare demonstrated in Desert Storm, one that capitalized on and sustained American freedom of action. Thanks to their foresight and effort, the U.S. military today can surge aircraft, ships, troops and supplies from locations within the United States and across the globe to any region of concern. If conflict erupts and if called on by the U.S. national leadership, the U.S. military can seize air, maritime and space superiority, and exploit that advantage in follow-on operations.

 

Over the past twenty years we have executed this power projection model with great skill and effectiveness—a fact not lost on states that once sought or now seek to challenge U.S. influence. The leaders of these states believe they have found weaknesses in American military strategy and are working to exploit them through an “anti-access and area-denial” strategy focused on preventing U.S. forces and other legitimate users from transiting international waters, skies, or space.1

 

Anti-access and area-denial strategies are not new. The ancient Greeks exploited geographical advantages in the Strait of Salamis, scoring a decisive naval victory over the invading Persians in 480 BCE before they could land their huge army. At Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Empire of Japan attacked America’s power projection capabilities in the Pacific in an attempt to sever U.S. access to East Asia. And on the shores of France in 1944, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel and the German High Command attempted to deny Allied troops access to the European continent. Some of these strategies were more successful than others; each, however, complicated their opponent’s decision calculus and made their efforts considerably more costly in blood and treasure.

 

Anti-access and area-denial strategies are also not exclusively combat operations. The Soviet Army’s blockade around Berlin in June of 1948 was an area-denial strategy designed to achieve its aim without combat. The Berlin Airlift, however, revealed the advantages of being able to exploit freedom of maneuver in the air. That model was repeated during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war in Operation Nickel Grass, when airlifted American supplies sustained isolated Israeli forces facing a two-front attack by Soviet-supplied Arab militaries. Threats from North African states constrained airspace along the southern Mediterranean, so with only a narrow corridor of international airspace to navigate, the Air Force turned to the Navy’s Sixth Fleet for help. Breaking from traditional practices, the ships of the Sixth Fleet dispersed along the flight path, stationing one ship every 300 miles along the air route to aid in navigation, with an aircraft carrier every 600 miles to provide air defense for the stream of Air Force transports that helped keep Israel in the war.

 

As in the past, America’s adversaries today are embracing a strategy of access denial to counter American power projection. Unlike the past, however, state and non-state competitors are increasingly able to combine geographic, political and military impediments into a congruent strategy that extends across all domains to counter American power projection. This comprehensive approach is empowered by the growing national power of countries with expanding economies, increasingly sophisticated long-range precision weapons, space and cyberspace attack capabilities, and the increasing vulnerability and fragility of the global economy.

 

Some rising powers that appear to be seeking regional hegemony hope to employ access denial strategies to isolate other regional actors from American military intervention, enabling them to more effectively intimidate and coerce neighboring states. As already suggested, absent credible U.S. security assurances, the victims of coercion, including historic American allies, may become unable or unwilling to resist an adversary’s growing influence; or they might engage in a destabilizing arms race that could include weapons of mass destruction. If this process continues, U.S. political influence will recede, aggression against our allies and partners will become more likely, and U.S. national power will degrade as our alliances weaken.

 

Of particular concern is the sustained effort by certain states to develop, stockpile and proliferate advanced long-range precision weapons. These advanced weapons can be networked and integrated with sophisticated over-the-horizon surveillance systems. Long-range anti-ship ballistic missiles such as the Chinese DF-21D, long-range cruise missiles like the Chinese DH-10, and improved mobile ballistic and air defense missiles, including the Russian S-300/400/500 and Chinese HQ-9 variants, allow potential adversaries to threaten air and naval freedom of movement hundreds of miles from their shores. In maritime chokepoints such as the Straits of Hormuz and Malacca, adversaries could attempt to deny access with shorter-range missiles, integrated air defenses, fast attack boats and mines.

 

More sophisticated adversaries can further expand the range of the denied area with growing fleets of diesel submarines, improved fighter and bomber aircraft, and surface combatants with advanced air defense and electronic warfare systems. With this expanded anti-access envelope, adversaries can threaten U.S. aircraft, forward airfields and ports. Anticipated improvements in remote sensing and weapons guidance, maneuverable and terminally guided ballistic missile warheads, growing anti-satellite capabilities and cyber attack will amplify the military anti-access and area-denial challenge, further testing America’s ability to sustain regional security.

 

States are not the only actors exploiting the proliferation of these weapon systems. Hezbollah’s successful C-802 anti-ship cruise missile launch against an Israeli naval vessel in 2006 demonstrated that non-state actors can acquire advanced weapons and employ them against a capable military.

 

An American Response

 

Air-Sea Battle is designed to sustain America’s freedom of action in the face of these developments. Although Air-Sea Battle aims to create a more credible fighting force, our vision should not be mistaken for a one-dimensional combat plan against specific adversaries. Air-Sea Battle’s purpose is to guide our services’ efforts to organize, train and equip our forces by describing how to ensure freedom of action for the entire Joint Force. Operational plans building on the Air-Sea Battle concept will not be developed in the Pentagon but by the combatant commanders themselves. Our focus is on how to provide combatant commanders the capabilities needed to gain and maintain access as part of their plans.

 

We will organize, train and equip, however, with increasingly constrained resources. We cannot expect to defeat modern anti-access threats by building larger numbers of more advanced, more expensive, less-integrated ships and aircraft. The emerging geopolitical environment, the rapid expansion and proliferation of anti-access and area-denial weapons capabilities, and looming domestic budgetary constraints dictate that we must improve our power projection capabilities in smarter, more cost-effective ways.

 

We will of course continue to develop superior technology, but we must also focus on improving the ability of existing platforms to operate or deliver effects in denied areas. This will include new, more integrated weapons, sensors, cyber and electronic warfare, and unmanned systems. These systems and payloads can evolve more quickly than their manned host platforms, allowing more rapid exploitation of new technologies. This is an essential element of Air Sea Battle capabilities.

 

We will also rely on a uniquely American capability that cannot be hacked or reverse-engineered: our skilled sailors and airmen, our long histories of success, and our shared values. We will foster a more permanent, well-institutionalized partnership, with corresponding organizational structure, operational concepts, training, readiness and acquisition strategies that will capitalize on our commonalities and maximize our collective ingenuity.

 

The first steps to implement Air-Sea Battle are already underway here at the Pentagon. In our FY 2012 and FY 2013 budgets we increased investment in the systems and capabilities we need to defeat access threats. We also established a new Air-Sea Battle Office to improve integration and inter-service communication. Institutionalizing these arrangements is a key to fostering persistent and sustainable progress in Air-Sea Battle implementation and to engender the “culture of change” highlighted in the new strategic guidance to the Department of Defense. Much as AirLand Battle and its “31 Initiatives” influenced a generation of airmen and soldiers, we want Air-Sea Battle to shape a new generation of airmen and sailors. Active collaboration between our services will reveal untapped synergies in key areas such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; electronic warfare; command and control; and building and sustaining fruitful international partnerships with U.S. allies, partners and friends.

 

Our future investment, doctrine development and innovation will be guided by employing tightly integrated, cross-domain operations to defeat anti-access and area-denial threats and restore our freedom of action. This central idea is embodied in the construct of “Networked, Integrated Attack-in-Depth.” This construct is used to pursue three lines of effort to disrupt, destroy and defeat adversary anti-access and area-denial capabilities:

 

·        “Networked”: By establishing resilient communications networks and reinforcing the links between people and organizations, air and naval forces will maintain decision advantage and effective cross-domain operations despite an adversary’s anti-access and area-denial efforts.

·        “Integrated”: Air and naval forces will tightly coordinate their operations across each domain to defeat anti-access and area-denial threats. This will require new models for command and control to allow, for example, cyber or undersea operations to defeat air defense systems or air attacks to eliminate submarine or mine threats. Air and naval force integration will also capitalize on multiple attack pathways to increase combat efficiency and hold targets at risk that would otherwise be immune from attack.

·        “Attack-in-Depth”: In traditional attrition models of warfare, forces attack the outer layer of an enemy’s defenses and deliberately fight their way in. In contrast, under Air-Sea Battle, forces will attack adversary systems wherever needed to gain access to contested areas needed to achieve operational objectives.

 

Using “Networked, Integrated Attack-in-Depth”, American air and naval forces will conduct operations along three main lines of effort:

 

·        Disrupt. This category includes offensive operations to deceive or deny adversary battle networks, particularly intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and command and control (C2) systems. This reduces the effective density of adversary anti-access systems by forcing attacks against false targets, causing adversary hesitation in the face of poor information, and preventing the cueing of adversary ships, missiles, electronic warfare systems and aircraft.

·        Destroy. Offensive operations to neutralize adversary weapon delivery platforms such as ships, submarines, aircraft and missile launchers fall into this category. This also prevents the adversary from extending the range of the denied area, and reduces the density of anti-access and area-denial attacks.

·        Defeat. Defensive operations to protect joint forces and their enablers from weapons launched by an adversary are important to the Air-Sea Battle concept. Our efforts to disrupt the enemy’s C2 and ISR will reduce the density of attacks to enhance the effectiveness of our defensive systems.

 

The Air-Sea Battle operational concept will guide our efforts to train and prepare air and naval forces for combat. We already train together and share joint doctrine. Under Air-Sea Battle, we will take “jointness” to a new level, working together to establish more integrated exercises against more realistic threats. Our people will practice coordinated operations combining stealthy submarines, stealthy aircraft and remotely piloted vehicles. We will learn to deliver full-motion video directly from Air Force remotely piloted aircraft to Navy ships transiting high-threat regions. We will coordinate between Air Force and Navy operations centers to create seamless and resilient command and control networks. We will learn how to integrate naval forces into airfield defense, and we will train our Air Force aircrews to defend ships at sea. To identify and exploit these synergies, commanders will promulgate promising ideas across the services, and we will incorporate them into our budgeting, acquisition, and development of doctrine and tactics. These efforts will sustain American military credibility, enhance the expeditionary credibility of ground forces and bolster international trust in critical areas where U.S. power projection capabilities underpin regional stability and security.

 

We will also use Air-Sea Battle to guide collaborative efforts to develop and modernize our air and naval forces. We have historically built magnificent platforms and capabilities tailored to service-specific requirements, with the Air Force focusing on prevailing in the air and space, and the Navy in the maritime domains. However, modern technology has blurred the historical distinction between the services’ traditional realms. Having a strong Air Force no longer guarantees control of the air, and having a strong Navy no longer guarantees control of the seas. Our respective warfighting domains have become intertwined such that the ability to control and exploit one increasingly depends on control in the others. We have already begun this collaboration with our work on the Global Hawk and Broad Area Maritime Surveillance aircraft, the F-35 Lightning II, and a range of sensor, network and weapon systems.

 

Our services will strive to institutionalize the pursuit of commonality, interoperability and joint efficiencies through Air-Sea Battle. Rather than simply identifying gaps in service-specific capabilities, we will survey our combined forces, searching for strengths and shortfalls in our aggregate capability. There should be some appropriate redundancy between the services to capitalize on the benefits of competition and the imperative to confront the adversary with multiple challenges. But redundancies must result from conscious decisions to develop capacity in key areas rather than a failure to integrate.

 

We are all too aware that as the Air-Sea Battle concept gains traction within the defense establishment, it could fall victim to its own success. The concept could tempt military leaders to market every new program or initiative under the banner of Air-Sea Battle. Not every worthwhile innovation will be Air-Sea Battle related, nor should it be. There will be a simple test to determine an initiative’s applicability: If an initiative does not promise any improvement in the integrated and combined ability of air and naval forces to project power in the face of anti-access and area-denial threats, then it’s not Air-Sea Battle.

 

Even without Air-Sea Battle, the Air Force and Navy would surely have tried to answer the anti-access and area-denial challenge. But they would have done so through separate acquisition programs, tactics and procedure development, and organizational changes. Discrete Navy and Air Force partnerships might have formed, but the result would have been an array of competing efforts with little cohesion, pursued energetically but inefficiently. These traditional approaches will not work anymore. Constrained defense budgets, aging hardware and accelerating anti-access and area-denial threats demand a more effective model of developing and fielding capabilities. We cannot simply buy our way out of this predicament by investing in new technologies. To meet the demands of the President’s strategic direction to the Department of Defense and respond to the evolving security environment, we must break bureaucratic chains, set aside parochialism and get down to the business of collaboratively developing power projection capabilities for this new era.

 

While pursuing Air-Sea Battle seems like common sense, the way ahead will be challenging. Some within the Pentagon may view our initiatives as existential threats to core service identities and beliefs, heritages and traditions. We do not see it that way. Rather than threatening service identities, we see Air-Sea Battle as strengthening them. Nobody does sea control like the U.S. Navy, and the Air Force should collaborate with the Navy to enhance American sea power. Similarly, no one does air and space control like the U.S. Air Force, and the Navy should partner with its sister service to enhance those capabilities; all within a larger joint and combined power projection context.

 

In a changing world that demands continued U.S. leadership, Air-Sea Battle is an essential part of sustaining America’s military freedom of action and ability to project power. We will institutionalize our development of doctrine, organization, training, personnel, leadership and facilities, and ensure that Air-Sea Battle survives contact with the skeptics and entrenched bureaucracy. Air-Sea Battle is not a silver-bullet solution to our security challenges, but it is a critical line of effort that we must pursue to sustain America’s military advantage, and with it, our security and prosperity.

 

1. Anti-access strategies deny an adversary entry into the region of conflict. Area-denial strategies deny an adversary movement and operations within the region of conflict. Often, the two are pursued simultaneously using similar weapons. For example, a submarine lurking outside an adversary’s ports can contribute to an anti-access strategy by disrupting ships setting sail for the region of conflict. The same submarine hunting an aircraft carrier already operating within the region would constitute an element of an area-denial strategy.

 

http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1212



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Air-Sea BattlePromoting Stability in an Era of Uncertainty

 

General Norton A. Schwartz, USAF & Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, USN, 02/20/12

 

When U.S. and coalition forces ejected Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait in 1991, a new American era of military power projection began. During the Cold War, America’s military became an increasingly static force, forward based around the world to deter warfare, dampen regional security competitions and contain Soviet expansion. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of its moderating grip on aggressive client states, U.S. forces made adjustments designed to maximize their ability to project power to “hot spots” where armed conflict could threaten allies and friends. The goal was to reassure allies and others concerning the safety and stability of an increasingly interconnected system of global trade and security. Today, these core expeditionary missions are increasingly jeopardized by the advancing military capabilities and strategic orientation of other states. In response, the Departments of the Air Force and Navy have developed the “Air-Sea Battle” concept to ensure that U.S. forces remain able to project power on behalf of American interests worldwide.

 

The transformation of U.S. power projection in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War was dramatic. Less than ten days after Iraqi military forces entered Kuwait, the U.S. military responded with five Air Force fighter squadrons, two aircraft carrier strike groups, dozens of airborne warning aircraft and two battleships. By the end of Operation Desert Storm about six months later, airlift had moved more than 500,000 troops and 540,000 tons of cargo into the theater, and sealift transported an additional 2.4 million tons of equipment. The magnitude of this accomplishment comes into better focus when we consider that it took the Allies nearly two years to position forces for the D-Day invasion during World War II.

 

Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm not only heralded a new epoch in U.S. power projection; they also reflected the new post-Cold War security reality. A static focus on the Fulda Gap, or on any other fixed geographical location on land or at sea, was rendered obsolete. Since security challenges to core U.S. interests could now arise in any of several regions, including some in which prepositioned U.S. forces were not at hand, the U.S. military reduced its reliance on large, expensive, Cold War-era overseas garrisons, fleet stations and forward air bases, focusing instead on developing the means to rapidly deliver combat power whenever and wherever U.S. strategy required. This transformation delivered remarkable successes over the next two decades, as demonstrated in Operations Deliberate Force, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Odyssey Dawn.

 

Potential adversaries were clearly mindful of this transformation. They observed the inability of Soviet-era doctrine and weapons to blunt American power and reconsidered their approach to resisting U.S. military intervention. Competitors with the will and means gradually shifted from planning to fight American forces when they arrived and instead focused on denying U.S. access to the theater. The fruits of these modernization efforts, many of which incorporate technologies developed by the United States and allied countries, are now materializing. Today, the development, proliferation and networking of advanced weapon systems specifically built to circumvent U.S. defenses threaten America’s freedom of action and its ability to project military power in strategically significant regions. This development could erode the credibility of U.S. security commitments to partners and allies, and with it their political stability and economic prosperity. Air-Sea Battle responds to this concern.

 

After a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States finds itself at a strategic turning point not unlike that at the end of the Cold War. When Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta introduced the new strategic guidance for the Department of Defense, he stated that the “smaller and leaner” Joint Force of the future must be prepared, in conjunction with allies and partners, to confront and defeat aggressors anywhere in the world, “including those seeking to deny our power projection.” The new strategic guidance directs U.S. forces to maintain the “ability to project power in areas in which our access and freedom to operate is challenged” and to be “capable of deterring and defeating aggression by any potential adversary.” As service chiefs, we are responsible for organizing, training and equipping air and maritime forces so that current and future combatant commanders can effectively execute this power projection mandate in support of U.S. national strategy.

 

With Air-Sea Battle, we are reinvigorating the historic partnership between our two departments to protect the freedom of the commons and ensure operational access for the Joint Force. Air-Sea Battle provides the concepts, capabilities and investments needed to overcome the challenges posed by emerging threats to access like ballistic and cruise missiles, advanced submarines and fighters, electronic warfare and mines. By better countering these military threats, Air-Sea Battle will improve the credibility and effectiveness of the entire Joint force as a key element of Joint Operational Access Concept implementation directed in the new defense guidance. Air-Sea Battle relies on highly integrated and tightly coordinated operations across warfighting domains—for example, using cyber methodologies to defeat threats to aircraft, or using aircraft to defeat threats on and under the sea.

 

This level of integration requires that the Navy and the Air Force not only restore and institutionalize their close interdependence in the field but also support Joint efforts to better integrate the processes they use to develop, manage and prepare forces for deployment. Those processes, in turn, must translate into effective organizational, operational and acquisition strategies. Clearly, for U.S. military forces to continue protecting the freedom of international waters, skies and cyberspace we must build on our collective service histories and shared values to foster a more permanent and well-institutionalized partnership between the departments. Air-Sea Battle does exactly that.

 

Preserving U.S. global freedom of action is increasingly important; American interests remain expansive, even as American resources become more constrained. Autocratic states and groups seeking to subvert the prevailing political and economic order are already leveraging their geographic advantages to employ armed coercion and political action to counter American presence and power projection, as well as to disrupt free access to key areas in the air and maritime commons. As these revisionist strategies advance, America’s friends will increasingly seek the security and stability provided by comprehensive U.S. national power. If America appears unable or unwilling to counter an adversary’s anti-access military capabilities, its friends and allies may find U.S. security assurances less credible, leading some of them to seek accommodation with aggressors or alternate means of self-defense, including weapons of mass destruction. Either course of action could lead to dangerous regional security competitions. Meanwhile, downward pressure on U.S. national defense spending complicates defense planning and weapon system recapitalization. Through the Air-Sea Battle concept and its mandate for improved Air Force and Navy integration, we aim to help address these challenges.

 

We know that increasing integration between our two services will not be easy. In a challenging budget environment, the constituent parts of the defense establishment often focus on furthering institutional self-interest, reflexively defending service prerogatives based on traditional roles and missions. As service chiefs, we are dedicated to avoiding debilitating parochialism. We will support those within our services who appreciate the evolving international security dynamic and the necessity of Air-Sea Battle. Through greater service integration and interoperability, Air-Sea Battle will benefit our services, the joint force, and more importantly, our country.

 

Service Integration in the Past

 

Air-Sea Battle does not mark the first time interservice integration was employed to solve a difficult operational problem for the U.S. military. Today, the challenge of finding, tracking and capturing or killing terrorists depends on increased integration between special operations forces and their air and naval components. During the Cold War, the Army and the Air Force partnered to develop NATO’s Follow-On Forces Attack concept and the Army’s AirLand Battle doctrine to counter Soviet bloc numerical advantages. Whereas the Red Army’s threat to Europe demanded an air- and land-centric focus, today’s paramount challenges place a premium on preserving freedom of action in the air, maritime, space and cyber domains.

 

Air and naval integration within the U.S. armed services has a long, albeit episodic, history. To retaliate against the December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at a time when the United States lacked forward military bases, Army Air Forces and naval aviators set aside their polarizing interwar rhetoric to conceive the entirely novel 1942 Doolittle Raid, which launched 16 B-25B medium bombers from the deck of the USS Hornet. Later that year, the Army Air Force again partnered with the Navy to use specially modified B-24 Liberator bombers to defend cargo-laden Allied ships from Kreigsmarine U-Boats lurking in the Atlantic.

 

The rise of Soviet naval power in the late 1970s and early 1980s motivated a new Air Force-Navy partnership, one that lasted for nearly a decade. Facing threats from Soviet “Backfire” bombers armed with anti-ship “Kitchen” cruise missiles, the Navy looked to Air Force F-15 fighters and E-3 airborne surveillance and control aircraft to augment aircraft carrier air defenses. The Air Force agreed to use long-range B-52 bombers to augment Navy sea-mining capacity, and, as part of the Busy Observer program, to perform maritime surveillance. The Navy also requested that the Air Force take a more active role in maritime surface warfare. The Air Force initially elected to rely on standard bombs rather than incorporating the Navy’s new Harpoon anti-ship missile. But the rapid advancement of Soviet sea-based air defenses soon necessitated an anti-ship weapon that had longer range than the Air Force could provide. As a result, by 1982 the Air Force decided to incorporate the Harpoon, presenting an imposing threat to the Soviet navy. These efforts, however, were discontinued after the Soviet Union disbanded and the Cold War ended.

 

These examples typify past Air Force and Navy integration efforts, which tended to be episodic and ad hoc. Once the specific threat abated, the partnership dissolved almost as quickly as it had formed. Today, however, we face a range of increasingly complex threats that demand a more enduring, more deeply institutionalized approach. Air-Sea Battle mitigates access challenges by moving beyond simply de-conflicting operations in each warfighting domain, toward creating the level of domain integration necessary to defeat increasingly varied and sophisticated threats. As these historical examples illustrate, this integration needs to occur in the field—but it also needs to occur institutionally in our service efforts to organize, train and equip the current and future force.

 

Growing Challenges to Security and Prosperity

 

The imperative behind Air-Sea Battle, as we have argued, stems from the importance of our nation’s military capacity for protecting allies and partners as well as ensuring freedom of access to key areas of international air, sea, space and cyberspace. Our military’s power projection ability also allows U.S. statesmen to better manage the risks and uncertainties associated with changes in the distribution of power, especially when those changes empower states who challenge important international norms.

 

Free access to the ungoverned “commons” of air, maritime, cyberspace and space is the foundation of the global marketplace. More than two billion passengers and more than 35 percent of international trade by value transit international airspace annually. Ninety percent of global trade by volume travels by sea, and 25 percent of that, approximately 50,000 vessels a year, travels through a 1.7-mile-wide sliver of ocean at the Strait of Malacca. Financial traders around the world conduct secure banking transactions involving more than $4 trillion per day using intercontinental communications traveling through underwater cables and precise timing signals from the space-based Global Positioning System.

 

Interconnected systems of trade, finance, information and security enable global prosperity and have helped lift almost a billion people out of poverty since World War II. But this interconnectedness also makes the global economy more susceptible to disruption. The fragility of chokepoints in air, space, cyberspace and on the sea enable an increasing number of entities, states and non-state actors alike to disrupt the global economy with small numbers of well-placed, precise attacks. Today, for example, Iran regularly threatens transit access through the Strait of Hormuz in response to international sanctions.

 

Moreover, these strategies and the weapons that support them are also no longer the exclusive province of large states. Pirates, terrorists and insurgents are increasingly able to disrupt free transit in the air, on land and at sea. The United States must be prepared to respond to these contingencies, to defend U.S. interests abroad and to preserve the freedom and security of the global commons in this rapidly changing environment.

 

-- 待續



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U.S. Military Pivots to Air and Sea

 

International Institute for Strategic Studies, 05/31/12

 

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 cognizant of its military developments, and is taking what it considers appropriate measures.

 

The ABC of the ASBC

 

The first public mention of the ASBC by the Pentagon came in a solitary paragraph of the February 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which explained that: 'The Air Force and Navy together are developing a new joint air-sea battle concept for defeating adversaries across the range of military operations.' Under Secretary of the Navy Robert Work then gave a detailed conference presentation on the ASBC in October 2010. Since then little more detail has become apparent, primarily because the ASBC remains classified.

 

A report published by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in May 2010 entitled 'AirSea Battle: A Point of Departure', though unofficial, accurately suggested that the ASBC was being developed to ensure continued freedom of manoeuvre and access for US forces in an increasingly contested theatre, namely the western Pacific.

 

It is clear that the proliferation of advanced military technology - particularly anti-access/area-denial (A2AD) capabilities that seek to deny an adversary entry into a theatre and to limit its manoeuvrability within it - is the main driving factor behind the creation and development of the new operational concept.

 

The US and its allies are now faced with the prospect of a growing number of nations, some of them potential adversaries, armed with conventional precision weapons systems that have a comparable accuracy and reach to those of their own inventories. Washington last found itself in this situation towards the end of the Cold War. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, it has enjoyed almost entirely unopposed access to the maritime and aerial global commons.

 

There are two areas of the world where the US military could face severe access issues and constraints on its freedom to manoeuvre. These are the western Pacific, given China's increasingly capable military, and the Persian Gulf, where Iran's (often Chinese-supplied) A2AD capabilities continue to give the US cause for concern.

 

More information about the ASBC was released in January 2012 when, within two weeks of the public announcement by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta of the much-discussed US pivot to Asia, the Pentagon released the Joint Operational Access Concept (JOAC), intended to provide the 'overarching concept under which we can nest other concepts dealing with more specific aspects of anti-access/area-denial challenges, such as the Air-Sea Battle'.

 

The JOAC stresses the need for 'cross-domain synergy': a closer working relationship between the different services, including the use of dispersed forces in several bases to operate on 'multiple, independent lines of operations' and bringing these forces together to 'manoeuvre directly against key operational objectives from strategic distance'. These ideas were reflected in the US military's proposals for new forward deployments, including the rotation of up to 2,500 Marines through Australia on six-monthly deployments, the deployment (although not basing) of up to four littoral combat ships in Singapore and an increased presence in Guam.

 

At its simplest, the JOAC can be seen as a framing document for how to get to the fight - it addresses how to overcome an opponent's efforts to deny access - but does not focus on how subsequently to stay in the fight by countering the adversary's area-denial methods.

 

Shedding light

 

The most comprehensive exposition of the ASBC by a serving US military officer was published in The American Interest in February. Written by US Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz and US Navy Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the article, entitled 'Air-Sea Battle: Promoting Stability in an Era of Uncertainty', lays out the broad theoretical concepts behind the ASBC.

 

It confirms that the ASBC is 'designed to sustain America's freedom of action' in the face of an adversary's A2AD capabilities by establishing networked and integrated forces to attack in depth. This will entail the further development of inter-service communications capabilities, allowing the Air Force and Navy to communicate more quickly, efficiently and at various levels of command, accompanied by close coordination to enable cross-domain operations. Attacking in depth implies assaulting forces at any location, rather than attempting to 'roll back' layers of enemy defenses to ultimately achieve a target.

 

These networked, integrated air-sea forces would be expected to 'disrupt, destroy and defeat' - disrupt the C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) networks of an adversary, destroy weapons-delivery platforms, and defeat incoming weapons and platforms to prevent damage to US forces. Essentially, the ASBC is designed to allow freedom of access and manoeuvre by destroying the networks and weapons platforms that might deny that freedom at the start of any conflict. This could, controversially, involve attacking the sovereign territory of an adversary rather than destroying forward-deployed ships and submarines on the high seas or missiles in flight.

 

Improving posture


Given that the ASBC is an
operational concept, not an operational plan, the language used to describe it is fittingly oblique and theoretical. The intention is for the ASBC to inform national strategy, force posture and budgets, but not to act as a specific proposal for a particular hypothetical scenario. ASBC thinking is still in its infancy and has yet to produce many specifics: although the idea was discussed before and during the 2010 QDR, the Air-Sea Battle Office was only created in August 2011 and now employs between 12 and 15 people from USAF, USN and the Marine Corps.

 

Nonetheless, the ideas of how the ASBC may guide future operational planning and exercises are slowly fermenting. An exercise held by the US military in November 2011 involved a variety of communications between a fifth-generation fighter aircraft, a forward-deployed command and control node, a floating maritime operations centre and a nuclear-powered submarine that launched a Tomahawk cruise missile against a target identified and located by the aircraft. The February 2012 American Interest article mentioned the prospect of coordinated exercises between stealthy submarines, stealthy aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. Video will be streamed from unmanned aerial vehicles to naval vessels, and operations centres will be networked to combine command and control.

 

The primary aim is to encourage integration between the USAF and the USN (and to a lesser extent the Marine Corps), but the Pentagon has taken care to mention that the concept affects all five domains (land, sea, air, space and cyberspace). This is to ward off the possibility of inter-service politics complicating the progress of the ASBC, with the point being made that it allows for the more effective insertion of land and amphibious forces into contested space, and hence benefits all services. However, there is a risk that the ASBC will be viewed unfavourably by the US Army - it might be anxious that such a concept will serve to reinforce the thinking that led to the 2013 budget's more significant cuts to land forces.

 

Broader trends

 

The ASBC reflects more than just service rivalry within the US military: it also underlines changes in the global balance of power and wider international trends such as the shift in focus from land to sea. The maritime domain has become more contested in recent years as traditionally land-focused powers, particularly China, have sought to secure their growing maritime interests. Thus, the People's Liberation Army Navy has seen considerable investment since the 1990s, and since 2008 has maintained China's first out-of-area active operation in more than six centuries in the shape of its ongoing counter-piracy patrols. The increased importance of maritime trade to China and other trading nations in Asia has also created a new imperative to protect trade routes.

 

Following a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and despite its concerns about Iran, the US has little appetite for another protracted land campaign and is shifting its focus to the sea and air. Hence, the pivot to Asia is also a pivot to air- and sea-focused military strategies.

 

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.

 

Nevertheless, it is likely that the ASBC will be a guiding principle for future joint-service military exercises and could even influence procurement and force posture decisions, particularly in Asia. But perhaps its greatest impact will be in regional dynamics. By focusing on anti-access/area-denial capabilities, the ASBC essentially alerts potential rivals, particularly China, to the US military's willingness and ability to adapt to any challenges they might offer. For example, one potential scenario could be that the US would escalate a conflict situation early in a crisis by aggressively attacking targets on the Chinese mainland and dismantling A2AD networks and capabilities. In this way it would maintain freedom of access and manoeuvre, and assume total battlespace dominance.

 

The concept will be a significant comfort to Washington's allies in the region, demonstrating its continued commitment to and investment in the idea of providing them with a security umbrella to shield them from China's growing military power. However, the ASBC may also have a negative impact on regional security, as it may encourage China to think more exclusively about reacting to US military developments, and vice versa.

 

Though the region is far from the kind of naval arms race that was seen in early twentieth century Europe, the ASBC, along with the related JOAC and US pivot to Asia, will enhance the rivalry between Beijing and Washington in the western Pacific. Whether this encourages further dialogue and transparency from China in order to mitigate tension, or whether it merely inspires a reinvigorated military modernisation process as the People's Liberation Army looks to offset the ASBC, has yet to be determined.

 

Copyright ©2006 - 2012 The International Institute For Strategic Studies

 

http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2012/05/31/us_military_pivots_to_air_and_sea_100068.html

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開欄文作者討論的是軍事戰略與戰術。兩國之間是否進行戰爭,則是政治決定。我們必須牢記孫子說的:

兵者,國之大事。死生之地,存亡之道,不可不察也。

國防佈署與戰爭開打有別。這是孫子說的:

不恃敵之不來,恃吾有以待之。



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請移駕至【中美關係討論】一欄發表高見

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Yeah, right!

This past couple of years, the USA has been deploying carriers, making Japan, Korea, Philipine, even their defeat - Vietnam to surround China.

What is this guy "pretending" that USA is NOT waging the war against China?

China IS doing EVRYTHING possible to avoid war. If it is another USA, UK. The war would have broke out LONG time ago!

I will come back and when the Chinese version came out, people will feel the blood!




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