Indo-Pacific Rivalry and U.S. Naval Planning

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-11-127-136
I. Kramnik,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 25.07.2023. Revised 04.08.2023. Accepted 25.08.2023.

Abstract. The U.S.-China maritime rivalry in recent years has taken on the character of a naval race where the pretender PLA Navy is rapidly increasing its capabilities and already possesses numerical superiority over the U.S. Navy. To some extent, the present situation is similar to previous naval races of the 19th and 20th centuries, between Britain and Germany, between the United States and Japan, and between the United States and the Soviet Union. However, in the past, British and American command of the seas was also confirmed by their advantage in shipbuilding, including commercial one. Now, this advantage has been lost. China, while challenging for sea control, has already gained superiority in shipbuilding. This causes the U.S. to seek means to compensate for the lack of material forces. Nevertheless, the possibility of maintaining sea control in the face of growing numerical superiority of the adversary is questionable. The capability for effective deterrence without an equivalent material basis is also questionable. This situation forces U.S. analysts to search for other solutions, including the change of the naval posture and ship`s classification, which has been established over the decades. So far, these visions have not been incorporated into official strategic guidance. The paper examines the impact of this race on American military planning and its reflection in official strategic guidance. The U.S. strategic guidance hierarchy and the interrelationship of the keystone provisions of its documents as related to military and naval planning are reviewed, as well as the evolution of naval planning in the preceding period. The article considers the key provisions and priorities of the U.S. naval strategy and the criticism of this strategy from the U.S. researchers. It analyses possible further U.S. actions for implementation of the adopted maritime strategy and the limitations on this path.

Keywords: Navy, military planning, Command of the sea, integrated deterrence, maritime strategy


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For citation:
Kramnik I. Indo-Pacific Rivalry and U.S. Naval Planning. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 11, pp. 127-136. EDN: ASHOQA

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