Understanding the Evolving U.S. Role in Pacific Rim Security: A Scenario-Based Analysis
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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This report summarizes an analytical approach to developing a set of policy changes or policy variants that will help to achieve U.S. national security objectives in the Asian Pacific region as the force structure is reduced and political developments limit U.S. access to traditional bases. The concept introduced is to identify a spectrum of potential conflicts that might occur in the period from 2000 to 2005 and a range of force postures that include locations of major force elements. An operational strategy for achieving national objectives is created after examining how U.S. forces are likely to be used and the relationship of U.S. forces to those of regional partners and allies. Where deficiencies in meeting regional objectives are noted, policy variants aimed at mitigating adverse consequences are examined. The procedures in the analysis are intended both to identify important policy issues now and to provide a framework for subsequent analysis at the U.S. Pacific Command USPACOM and elsewhere using different assumptions and a more detailed examination of selected scenarios. Policy analysis of this type is intended to stimulate thinking and to systematically deal with the difficult question of which programs and forces to emphasize as the U.S. enters a period of declining defense resources and changing threats. Combat simulations are useful in identifying important uncertainties and the likely course of conflict, but there is no precise answer to the question, How much is enough Judgment and risk balancing are required to achieve U.S. political, economic, and military objectives in the Commander in Chief, USPACOMs CINCPACs area of responsibility and throughout the world.
- Government and Political Science