As China gains strength, militarily and economically, the strategic interests of the United States will lie increasingly in the Pacific. As China commissions aircraft carriers, we redeploy ours with plans to have some 60 percent of the fleet and 6 of our 11 carriers in the Pacific by 2020.
Still, as Guy Taylor and Rowan Scarborough report in the Washington Times:
“Our historic dominance that most of us in this room have enjoyed is diminishing, no question,” Adm. [Samuel] Locklear, chief of U.S. Pacific Command, said Wednesday at a naval conference in Virginia.
Admiral Locklear added this:
“We need to think about all scenarios, not just the ones we’ve been dealing with over the last several years where we’ve enjoyed basic air superiority and basic sea superiority. There are places in the world where in this century we won’t have them.”
The Chinese, Taylor and Scarborough write, recently:
... conducted the first test of an ultra-high-speed missile vehicle, a cutting-edge technology that presumably could challenge U.S. operations in the Pacific.
A move which the admiral sees as troubling and something that the U.S. should match:
“To be honest with you, the lack of urgency on the development of [a] next-generation, surface-launch, over-the-horizon cruise missile is troubling,” the admiral said. “As the PACOM commander, I need you to be thinking in the offensive: How are you going to show up? How are you going to be dominant? How are you going to be lethal?”
Big questions for the long game.