The U.S. military is no longer as overwhelmingly superior in numerical and qualitative terms as it was not so long ago. That has big implications for its plans in Asia.
The JOAC document confirms what commentators have been saying for the past few years. The proliferation of increasingly lethal, increasingly affordable precision weaponry makes venturing into contested regions a hazardous prospect for U.S. forces despite their superiority on a one-to-one basis. Ambitious regional powers – China and Iran come to mind – covet the option of barring nearby seas and skies to adversaries in wartime. Tools of the trade include anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles, missile-armed combat aircraft, and missile- and torpedo-firing submarines. Effective access denial would imperil important U.S. interests, especially around the Asian periphery, while corroding U.S. commitments to allies within weapons range of access deniers.
Full article: U.S. Confronts an Anti-Access World (The Diplomat)