A2/AD and Wars of Necessity

December 8, 2013 Topic: SecurityDefenseMilitary Strategy Region: United States

A2/AD and Wars of Necessity

Why we need to focus our defense planning on beating anti-access/area-denial strategies, and why they aren't new.

So what sort of strategy should we adopt? First, it must be a strategy that differentiates the force structure (and decisions) needed to conduct a war of necessity from that appropriate for limited wars of choice.

Secondly, however the strategy may be developed; it must incorporate a primary focus on defeating an opponent’s anti-access strategies. In such scenarios as an East Asian conflict and others— as I describe in my latest book—in Northeast, Southwest and Central Asia (and even East Europe), collapsing an anti-access network will be the prerequisite effort on which all other military operations hinge. If we don’t make plans to do that, all other planning will be ineffective.

Sam Tangredi is Director, San Diego Operations for the planning-consulting firm Strategic Insight. While on active duty, Captain Tangredi held strategic planning positions such as Head of OPNAV’s Strategy and Concepts Branch. He earned a Ph.D. in International Relations, has published widely on defense issues, and is a recipient of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Arleigh Burke prize and the U.S. Navy League’s Alfred Thayer Mahan Award.

The following is adapted from the book Anti-Access Warfare: Countering A2/AD Strategies by Sam J. Tangredi, published in October 2013 by the Naval Institute Press. The author can be contacted at [email protected].

Image: U.S. Air Force Flickr page.