Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Old Strategies coming back into Fashion

This caught my eye. Looks like the Air Force did a Map Exercise using China as the Red Force. They were trying to forecast what air power they would need in order to fight a conflict in the Pacific Rim with a near equal opponent.

A lot of the strategies that they are proposing seem oddly familiar. Things like dispersion, forward staging of repair and supply units, communications, and mid-air refueling are big on their list of things they want.

I'm not a Pac Rim guy. I was an Eastern Europe/Russia guy. But these things they are saying for are the same things they wanted when I was a kid living next to a SAC base in the Dakota's.

Their suggestion that we get basing and transit rights in Japan and South Korea may be problematic. We are slowly drawing down our environments in those countries, and they are integrating themselves economically and socially with the rest of the Pac Rim, including China. In the event of a crisis, I'm not sure we could rely on these two countries to not do the calculus and see that China could do a lot more damage to them than a loss of our good graces could do. And there's a precedent in the Iraq War. Turkey refused to allow our troops to cross their territory to get to Northern Iraq, and to my knowledge there haven't been any repercussions. We need to have back up plans to project air, naval, and land power into the Pac Rim in the event that one or both of these important allies go cold on us.

We no longer keep B-52's and B-1's doing circuits on a 24x7 basis, but I don't think that's a permanent situation. China is going to be a major competitor to us for the foreseeable future, and I don't see that relationship as friendly in the long term. Even if the communist government was to disappear tomorrow, the issues that force China to look for more land and resources are still there.

I'd suggest that we beef up our basing in Guam, and do something that draws a very bright line in the sand with Taiwan. Something on the order of recognition of that country and basing of Air Force and Navy units there.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
DaddyBear's Den by DaddyBear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at daddybearden.blogspot.com.