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China, the German Analogy, and the New Air-Sea Operational Concept
By Douglas C. Peifer,  Professor of Strategy, Air War College
www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00304387 (Scroll to item 9)
Reviewed by Francis P. Sempa, Contributing Editor

Douglas C. Peifer, writing in Orbis, the flagship journal of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, challenges the conventional view that the U.S. must maintain its capability to project dominant power in the seas offshore China in order to preserve the balance of power in East Asia.

Defense and security experts have repeatedly warned of the threat of Chinese advances in anti-access and area-denial capabilities. American warships in the Yellow, East China, and South China Seas, they warn, are becoming increasingly vulnerable to China's anti-ship weapons, endangering our ability to confidently and effectively project power in the region.

The growth of China's naval power in the region is frequently compared to Germany's challenge to British sea power prior to World War I. Peifer uses that analogy instead to support his view that the most cost effective and least provocative strategy for the U.S. is to maintain and enhance its ability to impose a devastating distant blockade from as far away as the Indian Ocean and the Malacca and Lombock straits. Peifer reminds us that it was Britain's distant blockade of Germany rather than its ability to project naval power close to Germany that proved most effective in World War I. The Battle of Jutland was inconclusive, but the British blockade inflicted devastating losses on the German economy and people.



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