Accession Number : AD1012777

Title :   Resisting Reflexive Control: A Reassessment of Chinas Strategy and A2/AD

Descriptive Note : Technical Report


Personal Author(s) : Kennedy,Patrick J

Full Text :

Report Date : 01 Apr 2015

Pagination or Media Count : 46

Abstract : The current fixation on anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) blinds US military planners to the sophistication of Chinas approach to strategy and falls prey to reflexive control manipulation. Reflexive control is an indirect means to maintain control over opponents by influencing their decision-making process. The influence comes from conveying specific information and/or actions to drive a predetermined decision. Chinas strategy is a multidimensional approach that adeptly blends non-kinetic forms of warfare with a modernized military that has brought tensions in the Pacific to heights not seen since World War II. The Chinese Communist Partys (CCP) increasing assertiveness affects several key aspects of US strategic level planning by diverting attention away from Chinas greatest vulnerability-the Indian Ocean. Described by former President Hu Jintao in 2004 as the Malacca problem, the Indian Ocean controls the flow of an estimated 80 percent of Chinas imported oil. The significance of this vulnerability is that the imported energy requirement for the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) is expected to double in the next two decades. Evidence to support this vulnerability thesis also abounds in the PRCs quiet but extensive relationship building and infrastructure investments in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Burma. These investments all have a single intent-reduce the susceptibility of energy interdiction in the Indian Ocean. The PRCs development of potent A2/AD systems is only part of a much more elaborate strategy that exploits Americas instinctive predisposition to solve technological problems with more technology. The United States, however, has neither the fiscal nor military capacity to solve the problem sets inherent in the Pacifics future operational environment. As a result, the United States should examine an alternative strategy that avoids the PRCs A2/AD strengths and concentrates on its weaknesses.

Descriptors :   warfare , military strategy , Propaganda , electronic warfare , area denial , international relations , national politics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE