Air-Sea Battle in Joint Planning

I am still recovering from our first operational decision game and found myself referring back to the Warfighting- MAGTF Ops block of instruction we have received thus far. I am sure many groups have brought up Air Sea Battle during the course of their seminar discussions. A quick web search will yield dozens of articles… it made me wonder how we can can begin to apply it during our planning exercises. Although I know very little about the concept, it has taken root as part of the larger Joint Operational Access Concept. Seeing as how amphibious operations are supposed to be “our bag”, I can’t help but wonder how our doctrine is going to change given the current threat environment…

Perhaps we’ve seen this cycle before- amphibious operations are far to dangerous and costly- our equipment is too valuable to hazard given the enemy’s capabilities. Really? Time for another look. Up until now we have had the luxury of permissive/semi-permissive environments- both in the maritime and air domains. This advantage can’t last forever. We may find ourselves ordered into the fray with the amphibious equipment we have today. It all depends on the strategic end state and America’s willingness to go all in. I am curious to hear your thoughts on these relatively new concepts and how we can test them out while in the relatively safe confines of our conference rooms.

I found the below article interesting as a primer…

Subject: Air Sea Battle- Well intentioned “Jointness”-Can We Make it Work?

Maj. Doug Cullins

One Minute to Midnight

Tomorrow marks the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis — when the United States and the Soviet Union stood nose-to-nose at the brink of nuclear war over the Soviet introduction of missiles into Cuba.

For a firsthand interpretation of events as they unfolded, you can watch Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s recollections in the highly acclaimed documentary, Fog of War. (Sorry, I’d link to the GRC’s holding, but their site’s down). A brief excerpt of his interview is available on-line here. Frankly, I think Fog of War should be required viewing for all CSC students. Really. Take some time and watch it. You won’t be disappointed.

For the twitterati among us, Foreign Policy magazine is live tweeting the events as they unfolded 50 years ago at @missilecrisis62.  For those who don’t trust other people’s interpretations of events, you can also listen to audio of the discussions President Kennedy had with his national security leadership through George Washington University’s National Security Archive. Is reading more your thing? You can read the transcripts of those conversations in The Kennedy Tapes.

The world as we know it almost ended fifty years ago this week. It warrants taking a moment to think about the moral courage, personal strength, and strategic vision required of President Kennedy, Premier Khrushchev and their teams to avert unparalleled catastrophe.

Dr. Johnson