From the CSBA report on the ASBC: the section entitled "Blind PLA ISR Systems."
Nice Washington Post piece (by Greg Jaffe, of course) on the great COIN counterattack that is the Pentagon’s AirSea Battle.
Read more: AirSea Battle: The Military-Industrial Complex’s Self-Serving FantasyAs scenario work goes, what the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis has done in its war-games has to rank right up there with the most egregiously implausible efforts ever made to justify arms build-ups.
Barnett was just getting wound up in his desconstruction of this concept and continued write more on the topic, by commenting and linking an analysis by an Australian strategist who if we recall the film On the Beach is about the last place standing after a bunch of great powers pulled the ultimate trigger.
AirSea Battle calls for deep strikes on the Chinese mainland to blind and suppress PLA surveillance systems and degrade its long-range strike capabilities. Such an attack, even if it relied solely on conventional systems, could easily be misconstrued in Beijing as an attempt at pre-emptively destroying China’s retaliatory nuclear options. Under intense pressure, it would be hard to limit a dramatic escalation of such a conflict – including, in the worst case, up to and beyond the nuclear threshold.
Keeping China from doing something truly stupid in East Asia is not hard. We need to undermine their asymmetrical approach by - as this article argue - creating our own, and NOT by setting ourselves up for a rapidly escalating great-power war. Bombing the length and breadth of China in the opening hours of some crisis is just plain stupid and reckless and painfully unimaginative. This is a massive retaliation response that pretends China isn't a nuclear power capable of significant retaliation.
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person who hasn't taken the crazy pill on this one: YOU DON'T CONDUCT WIDESPREAD BOMBING CAMPAIGNS AGAINST THE HOMELANDS OF NUCLEAR POWERS!
Point being, we are locked in a symbiotic relationship with China. There is no good global economy without us and there is no good global economy without them.
This is what gets me when Pentagon strategists casually consider war with China, to include direct attacks on the Chinese homeland. What happens to the global economy when the two intertwinned biggest national economies decide to start blowing each other's citizens up? The global economy would tank at a speed that would stun everybody. There wouldn't be any days or weeks of bombing campaigns. We'd have global economic turmoil of a stunning nature well before that, as the markets would freak out.
Beyond that fantastic scenario extension lies CSBA’s plans to basically destroy the entire Chinese air force and submarine fleet, plus institute a “distant blockade” that would see us interdict and search—and here the irony balloons—China’s seaborne trade, which ought to be fairly simple since so much of it involves the US economy. And because it’s not easy to stop committed large ships (don’t tell Somalia’s pirates), CSBA broaches the notion of using Air Force bombers to “provide ‘on-call’ maritime strike.” One can only imagine how many thousands of Wal-Mart containers the US military could send to the bottom of the Pacific before the White House would hear some complaints from the US business community. But why let that reality intrude?
Read more: A complication that displays the interdependency between the Chinese and US economies
Now I am a realist, as well as being a bit of a hawk in the area of defense, but Barnett makes sense on this one.
The interest of the United States strategically remains and has always been to preserve our interests as a maritime nation and having not only a strong navy, but a solid strategy is the bedrock principal in continuing to lead that role. It seems that other's are sensing the same thing. Several new blogs have appeared in the past couple of months to join the bevy of excellent sites like Information Dissemination, and US Naval Institute Blog. Two of the most active are the Center for International Maritime Security and most recently, The Diplomat's Flashpoint. Naval centric topics have joined the list of simulations on Wikistrat "When China’s Carrier Group Enters the Persian Gulf".
My advice is for everyone to keep their powder dry and their nukes locked shut and take the time to ponder how we can all share this blue, as in mostly covered in water planet in peace. Being prepared is essential to a nation's survival, but bluster, and veiled threats of insured destruction, are about as productive as announcing that your planning to negotiate a new loan, while seated across from the banker, fully armed and wearing combat gear and twirling your pistol. In the best traditions of our country, we have always managed our way through over a century of being a great power by following Theodore Roosevelt's admonition to "Speak softly, and carry a big Stick." It is not lost that the USS Iowa's nickname is "Big Stick."