Friday, September 21, 2007

Asia at Sea

Robert D. Kaplan on what's been happening in Asia:

Then there is China, whose production and acquisition of submarines is now five times that of America’s. Many military analysts feel it is mounting a quantitative advantage in naval technology that could erode our qualitative one. Yet the Chinese have been buying smart rather than across the board.

In addition to submarines, Beijing has focused on naval mines, ballistic missiles that can hit moving objects at sea, and technology that blocks G.P.S. satellites. The goal is “sea denial”: dissuading American carrier strike groups from closing in on the Asian mainland wherever and whenever we like. Such dissuasion is the subtle, high-tech end of military asymmetry, as opposed to the crude, low-tech end that we’ve seen with homemade bombs in Iraq. Whether or not China ever has a motive to challenge America, it will increasingly have the capacity to do so.

[HT: RealClearPolitics ]

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