The Dragonian Subsurface Abyss and Submarine Force's Ability to Counter the Rising Threat
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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In January 2012, President Obama formally announced Americas shift in strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region. In March 2013, budget cuts and impending force reductions led Defense Secretary Hagel to order a reassessment of DoD capability to implement the new strategy. Regardless of the outcome of this assessment, the Asia-Pacific region will almost certainly remain a centerpiece of the current administrations national security policy for the near future. While the administration seeks the primary aim of enhancing Americas relationship with China to secure vital U.S. economic and security interests, the lack of transparency in the build-up of the Chinese submarine force may threaten this goal. Meanwhile, China continues to enhance its anti-access and area denial capabilities, putting Americas power projection capability in the Western Pacific at significant risk. Advancements in the numbers and capabilities of Chinas diesel-electric submarine fleet are enabling rapid development of its area denial capability in the vast littoral areas of the Western Pacific. Improvements in its nuclear ballistic missile submarine force will give China a subsurface nuclear strategic strike capability to rival that of the Cold War-era Soviet Union within the next few years. Finally, improvements in Chinas nuclear fast-attack submarine force are expanding the nations reach and regional focus to an increasingly large expanse of the Pacific while helping to turn Chinas navy into one of the worlds most formidable blue water forces. While the U.S. joint force operates many platforms that can contend with various elements of Chinas anti-access, area denial, and antisubmarine warfare capabilities, the unique characteristics of the U.S. Submarine Force makes its assets the optimum platforms to perform this role. Unfortunately, planned reductions in the U.S. Submarine Forces end-strength threaten to shift the balance of naval power in the Western Pacific to China.
- Submarine Engineering
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics