24 August 2012

China’s Maritime Salient: Competitive Strategies on the Oceanic Front for the 21st Century

Paul S. Giarra, “China’s Maritime Salient: Competitive Strategies on the Oceanic Front for the 21st Century,” in Thomas Mahnken, ed., Competitive Strategies for the 21st Century: Theory, History, and Practice (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012), 275-88.

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China’s emergence will continue to disrupt the established world order and challenge American national interests. To protect those interests, the United States will need to design and implement a strategy to compete with China over the long term. Devising an effective strategy is more important for the United States than at any time since the demise of the Soviet Union. Dealing with China will require rebuilding military capabilities that have deteriorated markedly since the Cold War and developing new ones. Properly envisioning a future conflict with China is the first crucial step to planning for and winning it: primarily maritime, of long duration, and widespread. Such a conflict would have a minimum of three fronts: in the maritime salient defined by the strategic triangle bounded by Sakhalin, Singapore, and Guam; across the Indian Ocean; and along the SLOCs from San Diego to Singapore. U.S. forces will have to fight to pass through their own lines, fight to get forward, and fight to stay forward. …

For one of the works cited, click here:

Andrew S. Erickson and Lyle J. Goldstein, eds., Chinese Aerospace Power: Evolving Maritime Roles (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2011).