Sea Devils, Submersibles, and Underwater IEDs: Asymmetric Undersea Threats to Assured Access in an Operational Environment
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI
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Current U.S. military strategy requires assured maritime access to achieve national policy objectives. Because of our conventional superiority in the maritime domain, adversaries will seek asymmetric advantages to contest this access. Asymmetric undersea threats - such as sea mines, improvised explosive devices, combat swimmers and swimmer delivery vehicles, semi-submersibles, and mini-submarines - can disrupt assured maritime access. Operational commanders must recognize the existing danger posed by such threats, and mitigate risk through the integration of joint, multinational, and interagency forces and capabilities. This paper discusses asymmetric undersea threats and their advantages to an adversary seeking to challenge assured maritime access. Next, the paper addresses current obstacles faced by U.S. joint forces when encountering these threats. Finally, it makes recommendations on how an operational commander can mitigate the risk posed by asymmetric undersea threats.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Undersea and Antisubmarine Warfare
- Underwater Ordnance