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Active denial: U.S. needs to blunt China’s initial punch, group says

Tokyo-Even if the United States and China fight between the two countries where time and geography are unrelated, the United States still has an advantage. However, in reality, only a small portion of the US military (about 10-15% of Navy and aeronautical assets) is deployed in the Western Pacific.

As China attempts to seize Taiwan, its geographical proximity and dramatic military expansion make Beijing more likely to gain an advantage in the early stages of the conflict.

A group of experts said, “Active Denial“To deal with this change in balance of power. The key is to slow down China’s aggressive punches and buy time for the arrival of additional troops that could defeat potential invasion by China. They claim that.

The author proposes a step-by-step approach focused on resilience at the onset of conflict. By strengthening facilities such as concrete aircraft shelters, underground ammunition construction, and fuel storage, they say, the effectiveness of enemy attacks will be significantly reduced.

Dispersing US forward-deployed troops primarily far away from China will also increase resilience, they say. Specifically, the strategy is to reduce Japan’s U.S. military personnel from the current 55,000 to 44,000, increase Guam’s personnel from the current 8,800 to 14,000, and increase Australia’s personnel from the current 1,160 to 7,000. Is.

This study, shared exclusively with Nikkei Asia, is entitled “Active Denial: A Roadmap to a More Effective, Stable and Sustainable US Defense Strategy in Asia.” Rachel Esprin Odel, a former researcher at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a Washington think tank, led by war game specialist Eric Hegimbosam, former intelligence officer John Culver, and a Japanese expert. We spoke with nine other security experts, including one Mike Mochizuki. ..

The debate against China through’denial’was led by Elbridge Colby, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense for strategic and power planning and lead architect of the Trump administration’s 2018 Defense Strategy. rice field.

In his book Negative Strategy, Colby argues that the United States must defend Taiwan in the absence of a formal defense treaty. Otherwise, China will dominate Asia. Due to the military importance of the island.

Colby urges the United States to form an “anti-hegemonic coalition” that flexibly combines the strengths of its allies and partners. “But to maintain that coalition, China needs to deny attempts to force Taiwan to take over,” Colby said.

On the other hand, the “aggressive denial” proposed by the Quincy-led research group limits the scope of the fight and seeks a more restrained approach in a financially sustainable way. The authors said the ultimate goal should be “to defeat the aggression, not to conquer the enemy.”

Colby told Nikkei Asia that his strategy is not to conquer China, but to deny China’s goals.

The 300-page report provides specific suggestions for redesigning the US military structure to fit the new concept. The report suggests that more focus should be placed on the Navy and Air Force, and that the presence of Army and Marine Corps in the region needs to be significantly reduced.

In the case of the Navy, experts recommend a light aircraft carrier fleet consisting of small vessels, most symbolically through “decisive movement from large aircraft carriers”, towards more mobile light aircraft carriers. .. By 2040, the current 11 US aircraft carriers should be reduced to 6 and replaced by 12 light aircraft carriers with about 25 F-35B fighters. Temporarily, the report states that an already-commissioned American-class amphibious assault ship may function as a light aircraft carrier.

Large deck aircraft carriers are not only very expensive, they are also a manifestation of national power. The potential loss of one at the beginning of the conflict with China would have a significant impact on morale, the authors said. “Around the same number of seafarers and airmen as the US military died in all wars since September 11 could die from the sinking of a single US aircraft carrier,” the report said.

In a highly controversial proposal, the research group called for the Army and Marines to reduce the combined number of 71 brigade combat teams and regiments by 26, and “related” to most Marine Air-Ground Task Forces and others. We propose “the most unsuitable unit for emergencies”. In Okinawa, we will move to other places.

In exchange for the reduction of Marines in Japan, the report states that allies can strengthen preparations and training at more decentralized military and civilian airports across the country.

The authors propose a new deal with Japan to reduce funding from Tokyo’s host country and direct funding to strengthen the base in order to maintain the US base. They predict that adjusting the attitude of the U.S. military in the region will save $ 75 billion annually by 2035.



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