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Accuse me of being a blatant cheerleader all you want, but you have to read our AirSea Battle coverage in the latest editions of Aviation Week & Space Technology and Defense Technology International (start at p.32 in the online Zinio edition). Bill Sweetman and one of our regular contributors, Richard Fisher, dived deep into the subject and have come back with an exhaustive review of where this potentially revolutionary U.S. battle plan is going -- and whether it is on course.As Bill and Richard say, it's no secret that long-term U.S. battle plans are being formed with China in mind. The question is whether AirSea, which has been gestating for years but recently put on steroids by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, is enough or headed in the right direction.Amy Butler, our editor in chief, Tony Velocci, and I all got to sit down with the chief of naval operations (CNO) recently and we presented the question to him. (Get a copy of the April 4 AW&ST for the full Q&A with Navy Adm. Gary Roughead.) In short, he says AirSea is more than just China, it's about countering anti-access, which “has been part of warfare since the beginning of time.” Still, foreign anti-access capabilities are proliferating more than in the past, and that includes growing non-state actors like Hezbollah, which almost sank an Israeli warship in their 2006 war.Yes, China's military might be developing faster than once expected, but he says U.S. planners are taking the Asia giant's fast-paced growth into account. “The pace is a bit faster than projected, but you watch that and then make sure that you have the ability to operate where you want to operate,” the CNO says. “My job in the Navy is to make sure we are not denied options."
ar99, Navy, Air Force, China, AirSea, wellington
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