About SLD Forum

The first Second Line of Defense Forum issue is an attempt to generate a robust and insightful debate about the most important issue facing American National Security in the 21st Century—it actually is a simple question with no easy answers—

How can the PRC dominate the Pacific in the next 15 years?

Most often the issue discussed by American defense thinking has been from an American viewpoint–What should America be doing to address the rapid modernization of the Peoples Liberation Army( PLA). We have opened this SLD Forum by reversing that paradigm.

A technical point for this introduction is that the PLA was used as a catch all term for all the various forces the PRC is building. The leadership of China has by their words and deeds shown that they are focusing on all domains of battle; Land, Air, Sea, Space and Cyber. Consequently any part or all of their modernization programs, and training and tactics is on the table for discussion-including economic warfare and their focus on denial and deception as an additional tool of war.

In addition, other strategic assets are clearly at play – economic, diplomatic, political – within which the military modernization is wrapped. These elements are an important part of the equation to determine the course and fate of PRC ascendancy.

In order to have a professional debate with everything discussed and argued over, there is but one simple ground rule—No personal attacks. The discussion and yes at time fights should always be on the merits of the case presented.

The Editors reserve the right to refuse anything that cross the line of being a personal attack. Additionally, anonymous postings can be made.

The other issue is length. An article should be around 700 words and a specific comment under three hundred. The opinions are that of the readers and contributors not Second Line of Defense. After a robust debate over the next month the salient points will be summarized.

Trying to compile those points credited to individuals will be not done. Rather a listing of subjects and insights that are deemed important will be listed as comments made by contributors. The original articles will be kept posted for appropriate credit for those who use their name.

In addition to the core question of the month, we will are creating a Sound Off column in honor of our friend John Wheeler. The column will appear throughout the month, and contributors are invited to provide a candidate Sound Off essay. We begin with a subject close to the heart of Jack, namely the future of American air power and the role of the F-22 within that future.

John Wheeler, USMA 66, served in Vietnam 1969-70 and in four tours in the Pentagon for four Presidents. He prepared the first Joint Munitions Effectiveness tables for nuclear and biological weapons which undergirded National Security Decision Memorandum 35 to forego US use of Biological weapons. He served as Special Assistant to the 21st Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne, with work focused on Cyber Warfighting and Precision Strike. He chaired the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the Vietnam Wall in DC, and was first Chairman and CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He is Chairman of the new American Warfighters Fund, a charity which addresses key unmet needs of America’s active duty personnel, veterans and their families. John met a tragic death and the end of 2010 and we refuse to forget John or his contribution to our lives. With this column, we intend to keep his moral conscience alive and informing our lives and the public issues for the nation.

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