Accession Number:

ADA583524

Title:

Maritime Trade Warfare Against a Modern Power

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2013-05-20

Pagination or Media Count:

26.0

Abstract:

Maritime trade warfare has changed as a result of emerging technologies and growing globalization, but it still remains a fundamental strategy of sea powers. This paper examines the requirements and effectiveness of a potential blockade of China from an operational level. The thesis is that an oil embargo geographically focused on the Strait of Malacca and the Lombok and Makkasar Straits could be used to indirectly but effectively attack Chinese Centers of Gravity COG while still permitting third party maritime trade in the Pacific. The paper focuses on the considerations a Joint Task Force commander and staff planning such a blockade would face, versus the strategic consequences of such an action. The paper presumes that the strategic and political will exist to conduct a blockade, and that the strategic and economic sacrifices from losing exports from China are accepted. The paper also assumes that a need exists to permit significant maritime traffic to reach allies and neutrals in the Western Pacific, therefore, the commander must plan to accommodate this need. The paper evaluates the potential effectiveness of a blockade, examines legal constraints, and assesses the operational environment for a blockade. The paper considers counterarguments throughout and concludes with recommendations.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE