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Open Access Publications from the University of California

AirSea Battle and Escalation Risks

  • Author(s): ROVNER, Joshua
  • et al.

While the U.S. Navy previously enjoyed more or less unfettered access to operate in the South China, East China, and Philippine Seas, new Chinese capabilities are likely to make these areas “contested zones.” Newly acquired or produced weapons systems could make life very difficult for the Navy in the region. Equipped with a range of new anti-access capabilities, China may even be able to deter the United States from intervening in the case of a war with Taiwan. Given the changes, it is not surprising that U.S. strategists are increasingly focused on solving the anti-access problem. One recently announced solution is AirSea Battle (ASB), an operational concept for integrating naval and air assets in order to overcome anti-access capabilities. This policy brief evaluates the pros and cons of AirSea Battle as it might be applied in a conflict between China and the United States.

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