Smarter Power, Stronger Partners, Volume I
Oct 12, 2016
This volume describes nine warfighting scenarios to test whether the anti-access and area-denial threat to U.S. force projection is growing more severe in critical regions. The potential adversaries in the scenarios are China, Russia, and Iran. The scenarios describe plausible U.S. and adversary military actions based on common understanding of current operational capabilities and approaches.
Trends in Force Projection Against Potential Adversaries
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This volume describes nine warfighting scenarios, some set in 2015 and some set in 2025. The principal purpose of these scenarios is to test the hypothesis that the anti-access and area-denial (A2AD) threat to U.S. force projection is growing more severe in critical regions. The potential adversaries in the scenarios are China, long recognized for its A2AD capabilities, as well as Russia and Iran. Both the 2015 and 2025 scenarios describe plausible U.S. and adversary military actions based on common understanding of current operational capabilities and approaches.
The scenarios show that the A2AD capabilities of important potential adversaries are likely to increase in significant ways over time, threatening U.S. strategic interests. In particular, adversaries' ability to conduct A2AD at distance is likely to increase, to the detriment of U.S. force projection. Further, the U.S. response under current strategy and operational approaches to defeating A2AD could lead to conflict escalation and, in some cases, increased risk of nuclear war.
This volume is a companion to Smarter Power, Stronger Partners, Volume I: Exploiting U.S. Advantages to Prevent Aggression (by Terrence K. Kelly, David C. Gompert, and Duncan Long, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RR-1359-A, 2016).
This research was sponsored by the U.S. Army Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, Army Quadrennial Defense Review Office, and conducted by the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program within the RAND Arroyo Center.
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