The Dreadnought Paradox: An Argument for an Expanded Submarine-Based Conventional Deterrent to Counter A2/AD in the Pacific Theater
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The Dreadnought Paradox An Argument for an Expanded Submarine-Based Conventional Deterrent to Counter A2AD in the Pacific Theater argues that new approaches are required to counter Chinese developments in antiship ballistic missile and other technology designed to prevent American forces from intervening in a Pacific contingency. The recommendation is straightforward increasing the size of the guided-missile submarine SSG force and scope of its mission as part of a conventional deterrent. Evidence strongly suggests Beijing has identified the aircraft carrier as the U.S. center of gravity, the destruction of which they believe would neuter our capacity and will. They are probably right. But aircraft carriers are not obsolete, their current protection measures and previously assumed ability to establish sea control en route are. A dangerous situation is emerging wherein the carrier, as the sine qua non of U.S. maritime force projection, has also become the ne plus ultra of an asset so valuable it cannot be risked in actual combat. To avoid this Dreadnought Paradox the U.S. and its allies need to refocus on submarine-borne conventional strike capability to ensure lethal counterforce strikes against A2AD - and prepare the way for the carrier and amphibious task forces.
- Submarine Engineering
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Guided Missiles