James Holmes is J. C. Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the Naval War College and coauthor of Red Star over the Pacific. The views voiced here are his alone.
Image: A F-35B Lightning II aircraft from the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 goes through pre-flight checks before launch aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex as part of the F-35B's first combat strike, against a Taliban target in Afghanistan, September 27, 2018. Matthew Freeman/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS