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.
“Unless Beijing and Teheran divert from their current course of action, or Washington undertakes actions to offset or counterbalance the effects of their military buildups, it is practically certain that the cost incurred by the U.S. military to maintain access to two areas of vital interest will rise sharply, perhaps to prohibitive levels, and perhaps much sooner than many expect,” the report, titled “Questions For Strategy, Requirements For Military Forces,” said.
The report said Iran also purchased the M-11 short-range ballistic missile from China. The M-11 was designed to carry a nuclear warhead.
“Between 1995 and 2010, Iran increased the number of missiles it possessed from several hundred to an estimated 1,000,” the report said. “Simultaneously, the Iranian missile program fielded increasingly more-sophisticated missiles, with particular emphasis on technical efficiency and range.”
ANKARA — Turkey has determined that Iran was relaying chemical weapons and missiles to Syria.
Officials said Turkish authorities have seized components and material for the manufacturing of chemical weapons as well as ballistic missiles headed for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. They said some of these components were found in an Iranian truck convoy that arrived at the Syrian border with Turkey on Jan. 10.
“The four trucks were confiscated by customs,” Kilis Gov. Yusef Odabas said.