The Pivot Toward Asia: A Balanced Approach
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES
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The announcement of the U.S. strategic rebalancing toward Asia from the Middle East creates the potential for significant miscalculation. Faced with a new operational environment and different threats than those of the past decade, the Department of Defense DOD must develop a defense strategy capable of maintaining long-term security and stability in the Asia-Pacific while protecting U.S. interests in the region. This transition, compounded by the impact of sequestration and the national debt crisis, makes developing an efficient and effective defense strategy a significant undertaking. This thesis contends that a future defense strategy must combine Joint-AirSea Operations J-ASO and Security Cooperation SC to provide a balanced approach for protecting US national security interests in Asia. Joint-AirSea Operations require additional constructs for air-sea integrated operations, beyond the current air-sea battle concept in development by DOD. For this reason, this study applies Joint AirSea Operations as the broader term encompassing AirSea Battle. The methodology consists of two case studies, each examining six factors the threat, the type of conflict, the scale, the cost, the overall effectiveness of the operation, and the overall efficiency of the operation. This research paper examines two historical case studies of past U.S. military conflicts. The first study examines the Pacific Theater in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the 1991 Gulf War. The second case study examines the War in Afghanistan, the Iraq War, and Plan Colombia. The historical context from these conflicts provides the framework with which to evaluate why J-ASO and SC provide the balanced defense strategy required in the Asia-Pacific. By developing J-ASO, the DOD advances the integration of the air and maritime components similar to the post-Vietnam integration of the air and land components.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics