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Air-Sea Battle not Aimed at China, Say Experts

May 17, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman
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The Air-Sea Battle concept that is to frame a new U.S. military capability is not designed for a confrontation with China as many critics contend, said two retired U.S. flag officers. Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF (Ret.), former deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, U.S. Air Force, and Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, USN (Ret.), former commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told an audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, that the new concept is geared toward new tactics likely to be employed by a range of adversaries facing off against the United States in future conflicts. "Air-Sea Battle is meant to be a strategic concept," Adm. Walsh emphasized. "It is not just about China." Gen. Deptula noted that the success of U.S.-led operations in Kuwait and Iraq have shown the world how effective the U.S. military is when forces are allowed time to build up in strength before striking in a remote region. Many potential adversaries have taken note and are structuring their forces to deny access to allied militaries into a conflict region. "We now realize that we have to adjust to countries trying to deny us access," Gen. Deptula explained. "It [Air-Sea Battle] aims at any country that would want to deny us access. It could be anywhere. "The idea is to build capabilities that would be so overwhelming that no nation would attempt to deny us access," he declared.

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