Saturday, August 20, 2011

Defense Magazine Spring 2011

Beijing's expanding and modernizing navy, air, and missile forces, the recent revelations of an apparently operational anti-ship ballistic missile, and the first flight of what could be a fifth-generation, stealthy fighter arc part of China's attempt to create what is known as an anti-access, area-denial (A2/AD) shield. Those advanced combat systems, combined with improving intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, are intended to nullify America's superior naval and air power and make it unacceptably dangerous to attempt to project military power into China's expanding zone of influence. The threat was highlighted in a comprehensive 2010 report by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), a highly regarded Washington think tank, which warned that China's "ongoing efforts to field robust A2/AD capabilities are threatening to make U.S. power projection increasingly risky and, in some cases and contexts, prohibitively costly." "If this occurs, the United States will find itself effectively locked out of a region that has been declared a vital security interest" for 60 years, and it also would "leave longstanding U.S. allies and partners vulnerable to aggression, or more likely, subtle forms of coercion," the CSBA report stated.