ISSUE BRIEF

Deflecting the Assassin’s Mace: The Pentagon’s New AirSea Battle Concept and its Strategic Relevance to India

July 7, 2010

AirSea Battle, the latest brainchild of the Pentagon, may seem far removed from the Indian military’s preoccupations. After all, India has only just initiated its transition to network-centric warfare, and the conflict scenarios it faces in the Indian Ocean Region do not seem to bear much resemblance to those currently rippling through the WPTO. Nevertheless, Indian strategists may well find that many of the tactical quandaries faced today by the US carrier fleets cruising through the Asia Pacific are destined to become those of the Indian Navy in the not-too-distant future. Pakistan’s troubling mimicry of Chinese naval strategy, whether it be through its emphasis on A2/AD or on subsurface warfare, would indicate that it too will attempt in time to offset India’s growing conventional and technological edge by brandishing its own “assassin’s mace”. Hopefully, by then, India will have devised its own AirSea Battle concept, enabling it to parry the blow and reassert sea control.


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War Doctrines by Brigadier (Retired) Sukhwindar Singh