The Heart of the Matter – Effective 21st Century Pacific Strategy

The United States faces financial, strategic and intellectual challenges in shaping an effective pacific strategy for the 21st century.  This forum will look at these challenges and various ways to shape capabilities, which would allow the US and its allies to meet the various challenges of a 21st, approach.

We will be looking at various discrete challenges, as well as specific dynamics in the region, which will define the nature of the problem and paths to its resolution.

Among the questions we will address are the following:

  • The Pacific sees the continuing salience of nuclear weapons to a deterrent equation.  The Russians, Chinese and North Koreans are all adding capabilities.
  • But instead of focusing on Nuclear Deterrence the real question is now how to have credible deterrence in a Nuclear/WMD world and what does it mean specifically  in the Pacific for the 21st century?
  • What changes does the PRC “underground Great Wall” bring to US/PRC deterrence equation?
  • Is the USN, USAF and USMC capable of building a “big blue ‘tron’ blanket” with the same combat results of their WWII ‘Big Blue Blanket” using a lot of ships?
  • Does the Pacific theater have appropriate technology to both fight a space war over satellites and redundancy in the event of “lights out” in space?
  • Does the US Sea Service have the necessary assets to fight a WWII “Solomon Island” type campaign integrating both Carrier Air with a “Gator Navy/Marine”  Island base strategy?
  • Are US Forces and Allies modernizing   in harmony to support unified 21st Century con-ops?
  • What role does “Big Army” have?
  • With the Afghan draw down does the US have more than enough UCAS assets? Is the “unmanned revolution” in Afghanistan and blip on the screen or a harbinger of things to come?
  • Is the PRC using economic warfare to purchase America and Allied national security businesses?
  • To what extent is PRC espionage affecting the Pacific balance of forces?
  • Is it clear to US, Allies and any aggressors what “red lines” exist before combat operations are launched?
  • How will various Allied-PRC dynamics affect US options and demands for security and defense capabilities?
  • Have PLA forces demonstrated and established ocean based test ranges to link sensors, missiles (air, sea or land launched) with end game maneuvering warheads?
  • Does the US and allied forces have effective kinetic and “tron” killing capability to stop end-game maneuvering warheads? Who is really winning in this game of high tech IR&D?
  • How many ship repair facilities-including large dry docks-exist in the Pacific rim?

This list is meant to be suggestive, not exhaustive.  A key part of the Forum will be to identify the questions, which need to be addressed, rather than remaining shackled in 20th century understandings of Pacific security and defense dynamics.

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