Redefining AirSea Battle: JAM-GC, China and the Quest for Clarity

The operational concept formerly known as AirSea Battle created quite a stir. Where does its successor, JAM-GC, go from here? 

Say something about widgets and tactics:

In a similar vein, JAM-GC’s framers should say enough about hardware and methods to reassure and deter, consistent with not giving the game away. If the military already possesses the implements to wage a victorious forcible-entry campaign, say so. If new weapons remain to be developed and fielded, admit to the deficit candidly and say something about workarounds that will tide warfighters over until the JAM-GC panoply is complete. That’s part of relating a persuasive tale about power and purpose.

The finest operational concept or strategy amounts to a wish—or braggadocio—if tacticians can’t execute it. Prove to Americans, allies and friends, and potential adversaries that the U.S. armed forces boast the ways and means to fulfill grand aims. Do that, and you shall go far.

James Holmes is Professor of Strategy at the U.S. Naval War College and coauthor of Red Star over the Pacific. The views voiced here are his alone.