Monday, November 17, 2014

A Third Offset Strategy

Oh, Offset 1 and 2 - we barely knew ye!

Def Sec recently LOL'd that Collectivist China and Common Wealth Russia are hot for gear and plots “designed to counter traditional U.S. military advantages—in particular, our ability to project power to any region across the globe by surging aircraft, ships, troops, and supplies.”

Oh No!

As a matter of urgency, the U.S. military needs to “offset” the investments that adversaries are making in anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities—particularly their expanding missile inventories—by leveraging U.S. advantages in unmanned systems and automation, extended-range and low-observable air operations, undersea warfare, and complex system engineering and integration.

 Doing so would allow the United States to maintain its ability to project power, albeit in novel forms, despite the possession of A2/AD capabilities by hostile forces.

First, and importantly, is the need for a strategy that provides U.S. leaders with options that can be tailored to address a wide range of anticipated threats.

Second, the global air warfare capability that emerged from the New Look provided valuable strategic freedom of maneuver, complicating the Soviet Union’s defensive planning while reducing basing vulnerability.

Third, the threat of asymmetric punishment—the capability and willingness to strike outside the theater of operations chosen by an adversary with flexible means can further increase an adversary’s uncertainty, enhancing deterrence.

Fourth, when used prudently, covert operations can provide an affordable option for achieving national security objectives.

Lastly, alliances matter—not only for burden sharing, but also for complicating an adversary’s operational planning and imposing costs upon them.

Center For Strategy And Something Something unleashes a spirited PDF with a preliminary outline for an offset strategy that exploits and builds upon existing enduring capability advantages to restore and maintain global power projection capability.

Pic - "This effort is essential in order to improve crisis stability, bolster allied confidence in U.S. security commitments, strengthen conventional deterrence, reduce operational risk in the event of war, and compete more efficiently over the long run."