Water Wars: Australian Horn Goes Hypersonic

Water Wars: AUKUS Goes Hypersonic

, Erick Nielson Javier argues that the Philippines should move toward a more active deterrence posture against China. The article notes that “[t]he prerequisite metrics and theories that would make Philippine deterrence credible” are “absent from the discussion.” Defense officials, including then-Chief of Staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana have attempted to change the Philippines’ approach to deterrence from a reactive approach––facing aggressors once hostile acts are already underway––to a proactive approach of dissuading aggression. This approach leads the Philippines to lean on allies instead of building indigenous capabilities, an approach that Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin seems to recognize is flawed. Overreliance on U.S. power may contribute to a perceived inequality from the Philippine perspective, and liability from the U.S. perspective. Importantly, the article argues, Manila must develop a “theory of victory” to guide its use of its defense resources, such as preserving Philippine holdings in disputed waters. Developing such a theory could also help support the Philippine’s naval modernization efforts by interrogating the logic of procuring systems such as submarines. an article by Nozomu Yoshitomi describing the current U.S. and Japanese security posture within the first island chain and described ways in which the two nations could fortify this posture in order to deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. It begins with the premise that Beijing would require access further into the Pacific Ocean, and the most direct passages are through the southwest Japanese islands north of Taiwan or through the Luzon Strait between Taiwan and the Philippines. The author predicts that in the event of conflict, these two routes would be exposed to “fierce [People’s Liberation Army] attack to secure air and naval passages.” The U.S. Marine Corps recently announced a plan to develop three Marine Littoral Regiments (MLR) in the Indo-Pacific region in order to further the concept of expeditionary advanced base operations. The primary focus of the MLR is to support sea control by the U.S. Navy and act as a countermeasure against China’s anti-access/area denial capability. Each Marine Littoral Combat Team within the MLR will consist of three infantry companies and an anti-ship missile battery. As the passages north and south of Taiwan are suitable for advanced base operations, but three MLRs will not be sufficient to close all sea-denial gaps, the author recommends that Japan also focus on developing a robust expeditionary advanced base capability similar to the MLR.

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