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Report on U.S. Military Power 2012 (19)

(People's Daily Online)

10:56, July 19, 2013

II. Development of the "Joint Operational Access Concept"

On January 17th, 2012, DoD released "Joint Operational Access Concept". This is the first official document going public with a complete analysis on how to achieve operational access in the face of armed opposition from a variety of potential enemies. The document is composed of 12 parts, including introduction, purpose, scope, the nature of operational access, operational access in the future operating environment, the military problem: opposed operational access in an advanced antiaccess/area-denial environment, operational access precepts, capabilities required by this concept, etc. The main contents of the document are as follows:

1. Clarification of Key Terms

According to the "Joint Operational Access Concept", "operational access" refers to "the ability to project military force into an operational area with sufficient freedom of action to accomplish the mission. As war is the extension of politics by other means, operational access does not exist for its own sake, but rather serves broader [U.S.] strategic goals,whether to ensure strategic access to commerce, demonstrate U.S. resolve by positioning forces overseas to manage crisis and prevent war, or defeat an enemy in war. Operational access is the joint force contribution to assured access, the unhindered national use of the global commons and select sovereign territory, waters, airspace and cyberspace. The global commons, in turn, are areas of air, sea, space, and cyberspace that belong to no one state. While operational access is achieved through the projection of military force, assured access is achieved by projecting all the elements of national power."

Antiaccess refers to those capabilities, usually long-range, designed to prevent an advancing enemy from entering an operational area, including medium-and-long-range missiles, long-range reconnaissance and surveillance systems, kinetic and nonkinetic antisatellite weapons, submarine forces and cyber attack capabilities, terrorists, and special operations forces. Antiaccess actions not only tend to target forces approaching by air and sea predominantly, but also can target the cyber, space, and other forces that support them.

Area-denial refers to those actions and capabilities, usually of shorter range, designed not to keep an opposing force out, but to limit its freedom of action within the operational area, including air forces and air defense systems, shorter-range antiship missiles and submarines, precision-guided rockets, artillery, missiles, mortars, chemical and biological weapons,computer and electronic attack capabilities, land and naval mines, armed and explosives-laden small boats and craft, land maneuver forces, special operations forces, and unmanned systems such as unmanned underwater vehicles. Area-denial capabilities target forces in all domains, including land forces. The distinction between antiaccess and area-denial is elative rather than strict, and many capabilities can be employed for both purposes. For example, the same submarine that performs an area-denial mission in coastal waters can be an antiaccess capability when employed on distant patrols.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:YanMeng、Yao Chun)

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