The U.S. Navy is facing growing asymmetric threats, not least of which is from China, and more specifically its anti-access/area denial strategy.
The Pentagon’s annual report on China’ military strength from 2019 describes the A2/AD strategy as a means to “dissuade, deter, or, if required, defeat third-party intervention against a large-scale, theater-wide campaign” mounted by China’s People’s Liberation Army, or PLA. In short, it appears Beijing’s aim is to prevent American and allied military forces from operating freely in the A2/AD airspace and maritime “bubble” around China’s coastline.
China has in recent years worked to extend the range of this bubble beyond the so-called first island chain and into the Western Pacific. The key to this effort is not just longer-range missiles, but also a growing number of space-based sensors.
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