Promoting International Energy Security. Volume 3: Sea-Lanes to Asia
RAND PROJECT AIR FORCE SANTA MONICA CA
Pagination or Media Count:
Security for Asia s major energy sea-lanes running from the Hormuz Strait, into the Indian Ocean, through the Malacca Strait to Singapore, and into the South China Sea currently lags behind the growing criticality of these waterways. Key economic powers in the region depend on sea-lane transport for the vast majority of their oil supplies, which in turn help to fuel their economic growth. Although the U.S. Navy has traditionally guaranteed freedom of the seas in Asia, a growing mission set and shrinking force structure challenge this role. The growing mismatch between the importance of the sea-lanes and the stress on and vulnerability of the system has contributed to rising energy insecurity in the region. This exploratory report assesses whether an alternative approach to sea-lane security would be valuable and what role, if any, the U.S. Air Force might play in enhancing sea-lane security. RAND found that, while the direct benefits of greater Air Force engagement in improving energy sea-lane security would likely be marginal, the spillover benefits of joint operations with the Navy and multinational engagement could make greater Air Force involvement worthwhile.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics