T.X. Hammes on "Asia and the Future of American Strategy" at the Center for National Policy
The Center for National Policy held a panel discussion on developments in Asia that have been taking place over the recent years, "often without American attention or participation."
"Dozens of free trade deals have been signed between the nations of the Asia-Pacific that have not included the United States. And China has become the number one trading partner of almost every nation in the Asia-Pacific region. And the budget of the armed forces of the People’s Republic of China has been growing at a double digit rate for over a decade." (Scott Bates)
"As you mentioned, we have just a rebalancing to Asia about the same time we brought up the air-sea battle concept. Air-sea battle has taken all of the options out of the room. There’s been no discussion of a strategy if you have a conflict with China. Now, first off, a conflict with China is extraordinarily unlikely. Let’s agree on that. Also agree on the fact that there is no limit to the infinite capacity for stupidity of the human race. So while it’s a really bad idea, you have to be prepared in case it happens.
The problem I have with ASB is that it’s admittedly just a concept, not a strategy. And authors have said that. The CNOs said that, chief staff of Air Force. The problem is if you have a concept without a strategy, you end up with blitzkrieg going into the Soviet Union. Well, blitzkrieg was a brilliant operational concept and very effective in France. In absence of strategy, it was against the Soviet Union with disastrous effects. So if I don’t like that situation, I have to propose my own strategy, so I wrote a strategy using Eliot Cohen’s model, which says you have to list assumptions first, then coherent ends, ways, and means, prioritize them, sequence them, and have a theory of victory, how does this end. Unfortunately, to evaluate a strategy, you have to compare to something. So I’ve written a strategy in a vacuum because there’s no other strategy that’s openly expressed about dealing with China."
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