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Employing Land-Based Anti-Ship Missiles in the Western Pacific

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Technical rept.

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In his strategic defense guidance of January 2012, President Obama declared that U.S. economic and security interests are inextricably linked to the developments in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean and South Asia. 1 In doing so, he shifted the U.S. focus to the Indian and Pacific Oceans and provided a set of precepts that will shape the future orientation of the joint force. This shift in strategic priorities to East Asia was preceded by a growing literature about threats to the ability of the United States to project and sustain power there. Over the past several years, some strategists have argued that China is shifting the balance of power in the Western Pacific in its favor, in large part by fielding anti-access weapons that could threaten U.S. and allied access to vital areas of interest. Others have argued that such innovations have lowered the costs of anti-access capabilities such that regional actors can contest America s 60-year-old dominance over the global commons and its ability to maintain their openness. As a result, new concepts such as AirSea Battle are being developed to set the conditions at the operational level to sustain a stable, favorable conventional military balance throughout the Western Pacific region. In general terms, AirSea Battle envisions integrated Air Force and Navy operational concepts to mitigate missile threats to U.S. bases correct imbalances in strike capabilities enhance undersea operations offset the vulnerabilities of space-based command and control C2 and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems increase interoperability and enhance electronic and cyber warfare capabilities.5 It would do so by improving the integration of air, land, naval, space, and cyberspace forces to . . . deter and, if necessary, defeat an adversary employing sophisticated anti-accessarea-denial capabilities.

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  • Guided Missiles

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