13 June 2012

PRC Area-Denial Capabilities and American Power Projection, Part 1

Taylor Marvin, PRC Area-Denial Capabilities and American Power Projection, Part 1,” Prospect Blog, 8 June 2012.

China’s development of powerful asymmetric capabilities is the greatest challenge to US power projection since the Second World War. Continued advances in anti-access/area-denial weapons and strategies are likely to shift the most important determinant of military victory from force superiority to locality; if inferior forces can asymmetrically deny superior adversaries control over a local battle space, they can cheaply achieve strategic victory. This bodes poorly for the US, whose control over distant spheres of influence in the Western Pacific is highly dependent on the ability to project power. Given America’s relatively peripheral interests in East Asia, the growing Chinese defense budget and the increasingly high costs of war, a risky US containment strategy towards China is no longer feasible. If China enjoys the ability to deny US forces local operational freedom, American security commitments in the region will become an increasingly transparent bluff. …

Click here for details on some of the works cited:

Andrew S. Erickson, Lyle J. Goldstein, William S. Murray, and Andrew R. Wilson, eds., China’s Future Nuclear Submarine Force (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2007).

Andrew S. Erickson and Lyle J. Goldstein, [Xu Qi], “21世纪初海上地缘战略与中国海军的发展” [Maritime Geostrategy and the Development of the Chinese Navy in the Early 21st Century], 中国军事科学 [China Military Science] (Vol. 17, No. 4) 2004, pp. 75-81, Naval War College Review 59.4 (Autumn 2006): 46-67.