The United States (US) military's ability to operate with relative impunity has started to change.
Author: U. S. Military
Publisher: Independently Published
The United States (US) military's ability to operate with relative impunity has started to change. Adversaries took note of the US's success in Operation Desert Storm, and developed techniques to prevent or disrupt US access to operating domains. While China's Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) buildup has drawn much of the country's attention, another state, Russia, is more quietly developing its capabilities. Russia's territorial seizures and money from natural resources have helped the Russian military develop formidable capabilities. Anti-access is nothing new to Russia, however. Through an exploration of the requirements of A2/AD strategy and a look at the history of the Soviet Union's military strategy, similarities to modern Russian plans, especially in the maritime domain, are evident.The Joint Operational Access Concept defines anti-access as "those actions and capabilities, usually long-range, designed to prevent an opposing force from entering an operational area," and defines area-denial as "those actions and capabilities, usually of shorter range, designed not to keep an opposing force out, but to limit its freedom of action within the operational area." Sam Tangredi asserts five fundamental elements common to the construction of A2/AD strategies: the perception of strategic superiority of the attacking force, the primacy of geography as the element that most influences time and facilitates attrition of the enemy, the primacy of the maritime domain, the criticality of information and intelligence, and the deterministic impact of external events. All are evident in the strategy of the former Soviet Union and modern Russia.The former Soviet Union operated with a doctrine aimed to deny access to their waters to US forces, and contest operations should US forces enter their territory. Modern Russia is developing A2/AD "bubbles" in four areas: the Baltic, the Black Sea, Syria, and the Arctic. Long-range missile systems threaten both ships and aircraft. The buildup of bases and weapons in the Arctic is allowing Russia to secure large pieces of the Arctic while the West can only watch. Russia is asserting itself over its former sphere of influence, while Russian ships, aircraft, and submarines practice the same missions they trained for under the Soviet Union-the destruction of US forces at sea and the denial of regional basing.