06 May 2010

Letter to Proceedings Editor re China ASBM Development

Andrew S. Erickson, Response to “Get Off the Fainting Couch,” C. Hooper and C. Albon, pp. 42-47, April 2010 Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Vol. 136, No. 5 (May 2010), pp. 8-12.

I welcome the authors’ forceful contribution concerning Chinese antiship ballistic missile (ASBM) development. They correctly underscore Chinese sensitivity, and vulnerability, to foreign prompt global strike systems. Respectfully, however, the following points warrant clarification:

  • Contrary to the assertion that recent research “brings very little new information to the table,” such publications offer a tremendous amount of new data, particularly through analysis of authoritative, primary Chinese sources. Science of Second Artillery Campaigns, for example, reveals considerable new information about how China would plan to employ the ASBM as a deterrent and how it might use it operationally if deterrence fails. …