Join us Sunday 12-16-12 at 5 pm (Eastern U.S.) for Episode 154: Offshore Control and Asia/Pacific with TX Hammes

With significant budget cuts already underway and expected for years, how do we adjust through the Pacific Pivot as these cuts take place, yet still remain postured to influence the region in peacetime and defend our national interests in war?

What is the best way to match required capabilities inside an economically sustainable military budget?
While many are familiar with the concept of “Offshore Balancing” – what is “Offshore Control?”

Our guest for the full hour to discuss the concept he raises in his latest article in the United States Naval Institute’s Proceedings, Offshore Control is the Answer, will be Colonel T.X. Hammes, USMC (Ret.)
Col. Hammes served thirty years in the Marine Corps at all levels in the operating forces. He participated in stabilization operations in Somalia and Iraq as well as training insurgents in various places.

Hammes has a Masters in Historical Research and a Doctorate in Modern History from Oxford University, and is currently a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University.
He is the author of “The Sling and the Stone: On War in the Twenty-First Century” and “Forgotten Warriors: The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, the Corps Ethos, and the Korean War,” and many articles and opinion pieces. He has lectured at U.S. and International Staff and War Colleges.

Listen live (or download later) here or pick it up from our iTunes page.

Posted by Mark Tempest in Maritime Security, Podcasts
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  • RightCowLeftCoast

    Unfortunately, due to my schedule I am unable to join the chat and listen live. Yet, thankfully I can still comment and give my two cents.

    As was said, given the balancing act our allies in Southeast Asia and the West Pacific must do, I must agree that selling a cooperative alliance centered around defense and supporting our allies sovereignty is far easier than calling for an offensive alliance against one of their key trading partners. This is what made NATO and the failed SEATO an easy sale, saying that we support defending their sovereignty was easy; asking others to join us in an offense that may not directly impact them is far harder, as we have seen with some NATO members in Afghanistan.

    So if our goal is defensive and primarily maritime, (as hard as this is for me to say as an army Veteran) there is no need for a large standing active Army. Perhaps a very capable and deployable Guard or Reserve based force with a small core Active force is called for. With decreasing military budgets this frees up manpower and funds to increase Naval, Marine, and Air Forces. This allows for increasing capabilities that will be able to deploy easily to assist our allies in defending their sovereignty, as well as control the SLOCs leading to the ever important ports of coastal mainland China.

    For the Army, as is the case of the 1 brigade of 2d ID that makes up the American contingent UNFK, perhaps forward deploying brigades can serve as tripwires to deter potential agression upon our allies. Additionally, as stated in the Podcast, providing theater air defense capability is another role for the Army, keeping with the Coastal Defense school of thought that has a long history in the Army.

    For the Navy and Marines, amphibious, ASW, and submarine based ASuW capabilities have gone neglected in our focus on ashore conflicts that have occured in Iraq and Afghanistan. To defend our allies in the West Pacific and Southeast Asia, being able to deter an amphibious invasion and keep them supplied via shipping is very important. For persistance defence a naval presence is far more economic than land based air patrol in conducting these missions. Better yet, submarines can do these missions without ever being observed.