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The Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier: An American Response to the Chinese Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) Challenge

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Technical Report

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Air Command And Staff College Maxwell Air Force Base United States

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After the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States ability to project military power in defense of the nations interests have in essence gone unchallenged. However, with the emergence of regional powers in areas of vital interest to the USA this hegemonic position in power-projection capabilities seems to be coming to an end. The Peoples Liberation Army PLA is building up military capabilities and is developing anti-accessarea denial A2AD capabilities. If the current buildup continues and goes unchallenged, the cost of projecting power into the East China Sea might reach prohibitive levels, to the concern of US military leaders. Are the American bases in Japan and at Guam then the closest US forces can get to the area of operations AO in a conflict over Taiwan This essay explores the option of using Taiwan as a land based focal point in Air Sea Battle in a military engagement with China. The essay explains the development of modern Chinese military doctrine, with the focus on the active defense of the PLA Air Force PLAAF, and the A2AD capabilities through the concept of shashoujian, or assassins mace. It goes on to discuss the emerging concept of Air Sea Battle, developed by the US Air Force and the US Navy in the face of the increasing challenge of getting access to the operational area.

Subject Categories:

  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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