ON-Lion Letter
"Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. military has been able to project power overseas with few serious challenges to its freedom of action," begins a January study from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) in Washington, D.C., Outside-In:  Operating from Range to Defeat Iran's Anti-Access and Area-Denial Threats.  "This 'golden era' for U.S. power projection may be rapidly drawing to a close."

China "is developing an anti-access/area-denial ... battle network that could constrain the U.S. military's ability to maneuver in the air, sea, undersea, space, and cyberspace operating domains," continues Outside-In, by CSBA senior fellow Mark Gunzinger with research fellow Christopher Dougherty.  "Over the coming years, the spread of advanced military technologies will allow other states to pursue A2/AD strategies tailored to the unique geographic and geostrategic characteristics of their regions.

"Iran, in particular, has been investing in new capabilities that could be used to deter, delay, or prevent effective U.S. military operations in the Persian Gulf," according to Gunzinger and Dougherty.  "Iran's acquisition of weapons which it could use to deny access to the Gulf, control the flow of oil and gas from the region, and conduct acts of aggression or coercion, are of grave concern to the United States and its security partners.

"As the United States redeploys its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, it has the opportunity to develop a new operational concept for projecting power that could offset Iran's growing military might."

Specifically, the CSBA study "proposes three lines of operation to prevent the success of an Iranian anti-access and area-denial strategy and regain the U.S. military's freedom of action," including setting "conditions to deter or defeat Iranian coercion and aggression, while deploying U.S. forces to support initial operations against Iran from outside the reach of its anti-access threats."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports CSBA.
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