Category Archives: Events

Upcoming Lectures, Meet-ups, Happy Hours, Discussions, Symposia, Conferences

29 June – 3 July 2015 Events of Interest

This is a roundup of events by  that our readers and members might find interesting. Inclusion does not equal endorsement, all descriptions are the events’ own. Think of one we should inclcalendarude?  Email Emil at operations@cimsec.org.

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Upcoming CIMSEC Events

During the first full week of July, CIMSEC will host a series focused on the implementation, opportunities, and challenges of Distributed Lethality. Interested in contributing? More details here.

Last week at our June DC meet-up Brian Slattery lead a great discussion on the Index of U.S. Military Strength (view the 2015 version here). He’d appreciate your feedback.

July 23rd Mark your calendars! For July Scott would like to try something a little different – using the structured brainstorming of human-centered design-thinking to have a participatory wargamming event focused on exploring national interests / potential next actions in the South China Sea. Details TBD.

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29 June – 3 July 2015 Events of Interest

29 June 2015 – Washington, DC – Wilson Center – “Can Russian-Western Cooperation in the Arctic Survive the Current Conflict” 

29 June 2015 – Washington, DC – CSIS – “Degrade and Defeat: Examining the Anti-ISIS Strategy” 

29 June 2015 – Washington, DC – Atlantic Council – “Diplomacy Beyond the Nation-State” 

30 June 2015 – Washington, DC – The Heritage Foundation – “Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future” 

30 June 2015 – Washington, DC – Hudson Institute – “Strategic Failure: A Book Discussion with Mark Moyar” 

1 July 2015 – Washington, DC – Spy Museum / NIP – “Tracking the Elusive Pueblo”

1 July 2015 – Brussels, Belgium – Carnegie Europe – “Ukraine Unrest: Unraveling Post-Cold War Order?” 

1 July 2015 – Washington, DC – CSIS – “Arctic Crossroads: Iceland’s Strategic Interests in the Arctic” 

1 July 2015 – Arlington, VA – AFA – “Huessy Breakfast Series” (ft. Rebeccah Heinrichs and Steve Pifer)

2 July 2015 – Washington, DC – New America – “Team of Teams: Lessons from JSOC for a Complex World”

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Long-range Events

9 July 2015 – Washington, DC – CSIS/USNI – “Maritime Security Dialogue” 

11 July 2015 – Canberra, Australia – Australian National University – “SDSC Conference 2015: Pacific War”

2-3 Sept 2015 – London, UK – ACI – “6th Maritime Salvage & Casualty Response”

9-11 Sept 2015 – Washington, DC – BORDERPOL – “Curtailing Terrorist Travel: Threats and Solutions 

21 July 2015 – Washington, DC – CSIS – “5th Annual South China Sea Conference”

23-25 Sept 2015 – Mumbai, India – Informa Exhibitions and Hamburg Messe und Congress – “INMEX-SMM India”

23-26 Sept 2015 – Giardnini Naxos, Sicily – EISA – “Pan European Conference on Maritime Security”

10-11 Oct 2015 – Philadelphia, PA – Temple – “U.S. Bases and the Construction of Hegemony”

14-16 Oct 2015 – Lisbon, Portugal – Portuguese Naval Academy (Escola Naval)- “The Navy and the Great War-Politics and Naval Power” (Paper Proposals Due 28 Aug)

20 Oct 2015 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Council – “Niall Ferguson on the Life of Henry Kissinger”

28-29 Oct 2015 – Joint Base Andrews, Maryland – DHS/S&T – “9th Annual SMA Conference”

11-12 Nov 2015 – London, UK – ACI – “7th Artic Shipping Summit 2015″

12 Nov 2015 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Council – “Winter is Coming: Garry Kasparov on Putin’s Grand Strategy”

China’s Military Strategy: Assessment of White Paper 2015

This article can be found in its original form at the National Maritime Foundation here and was republished with permission. 

China has been issuing Defence White Papers biennially since 1998. The ninth White Paper of 2014 titled ‘China’s Military Strategy’ was released recently in May 2015. This essay seeks to analyse the salient aspects of the document, particularly in context of the preceding document of 2012 released in April 2013.

In comparison to the Defence White Papers published by China in the preceding years, the 2014 document is very concise. Nonetheless, it reveals substantial content and context, disproportionate to the size of its text. While much of the revelation is likely to be Beijing’s ‘strategic communications’, the document is nonetheless insightful.  

Title of White Paper

The present White Paper has continued the trend of using a thematic title – a trend that was initiated with the 2012 document titled ‘The Diversified Employment of China’s Armed Forces’. The trend and the specific title spelling out “China’s Military Strategy” signify the increased self-confidence of an emerging global military power, which until a few years ago, preferred to be opaque to the world on ‘matters military’.  The document also reflects an increased self-assurance as a nation, stating that “China’s comprehensive national strength, core competitiveness and risk-resistance capacity are notably increasing, and China enjoys growing international standing and influence”.

Core National Objectives

In the document, China has maintained its earlier stance of avoiding war through its military strategy of “active defence” (that envisages an ‘offensive’ only at the operational and tactical levels). However, the document mentions “preparation for military struggle (PMS)”, which indicates its strong desire to retain the option of first use of military force, if it cannot achieve its core objectives otherwise. Furthermore, the emphasis on “maritime PMS” indicates that these objectives pertain to Taiwan’s “reunification”, and fructification of its maritime-territorial claims in the Western Pacific. Furthermore, the inclusion of the phase “You fight your way and I fight my way” indicates that China’s war-fighting concept to meet its core objectives is likely to be based on use of asymmetric capabilities.

Maritime Interests

The previous 2012 document stated the PLA Navy’s mandate to preserve China’s sovereignty over its territorial seas and its maritime rights and interests in ‘offshore areas’ against complex security threats, thereby portraying China as a victim or an underdog reacting to the actions of Japan, and implicitly, of the U.S. The new document, however, emphasises a more proactive protection of its interests in ‘open waters’, thereby enlarging its strategic depth. Notably, the document also calls upon the need to shed the mindset that peace, stability, and development of China is linked to affairs on land rather than the sea. This indicates a maritime emphasis of China’s military strategy.

With regard to the security of sea-lanes, it uses the term “strategic Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs)”. Although the term ‘SLOC’ itself bears a ‘strategic’ connotation, the addition of the adjective indicates that China considers itself vulnerable to commodity denial during war, thereby severely limiting its option of use of military force. Although the document does not specifically mention the ‘Indian Ocean’, the reference to Indian Ocean SLOCs may be inferred.

 Naval Presence in Indian Ocean

Alike the previous 2012 document, the 2014 White Paper states that the PLA Navy would maintain “regular combat readiness patrols…(and maintain)…military presence in relevant sea areas.” While the former may refer to the Western Pacific, the latter is a likely reference to the Indian Ocean. This is buttressed by the statement that the PLA Navy would “continue to carry out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and other sea areas as required, enhance exchanges and cooperation with naval task forces of other countries, and jointly secure international SLOCs.” This implies that China’s naval presence in the Indian Ocean would continue, and may even increase. While such presence may be primarily for undertaking ‘Military Operations Other than War’ (MOOTW), it is likely to be dovetailed with preparing for ‘wartime’ operations. This assertion is borne out by Beijing’s assertion in September 2014 that its Song-class submarine deployed in the Indian Ocean was meant for counter-piracy. (The credibility of this rationale was dismissed by naval analysts on operational grounds). The document adds that the “PLA Navy will work to incorporate MOOTW capacity building into…PMS” thereby implying the China would also seek to develop fungible capabilities.

Furthermore, the White Paper lays emphasis on ‘sustenance’ of the forward-deployed naval platforms through “strategic prepositioning”. This indicates that China is likely to seek overseas access facilities (if not military bases) in the Indian Ocean, or even resort to the U.S. concept of ‘sea-basing’. The latter possibility is supported by recent news-reports about China developing large ‘Mobile Landing Platforms’ (MLP) similar to those used by the U.S. expeditionary forces.

Military Interface with Major Powers

The mention of Russia in the White Paper precedes all other countries. The “exchanges and cooperation with the Russian military within the framework of the comprehensive strategic partnership…to promote military relations in more fields and at more levels” indicates the imminence of a China-Russia quasi-alliance. 

The 2012 White Paper, without naming the U.S., had expressed a concern for its “pivot” to Asia strategy and “strengthening of its military alliances with the regional countries, leading to tensions.” In contrast, the 2014 document mentions the U.S. explicitly. While it does state the need for “cooperative mechanisms with the US Navy, including exchange of information in the maritime domain”, its tone and tenor indicates a precursor to a ‘Cold War-style’ military interface between the two major powers. It talks about a “new model of military relationship” with the US based on “major-country relations”, with “strengthening of defence dialogue (and)…CBMs to include notification of major military activities (and) rules of behaviour” to prevent “air and maritime encounters…strengthen mutual trust, prevent risks and manage crises.” However, it is yet unclear what kind of bipolar interface will eventually emerge since the current global environment marked by close China-U.S. economic ties is vastly dissimilar to the erstwhile Cold War era.

 The 2012 White Paper had mentioned India’s combined Army exercises with PLA and increased anti-piracy coordination with India. Since the 2014 document is more succinct, the lack of details is understandable. However, the lack of even a mention of defence exchanges with India, or any other Asian country is remarkable.

Also ‘conspicuous by absence’ are the various facets of ‘transparency’ that the preceding Defence White Papers had addressed, ranging from China’s defence budget to its nuclear weapons policy of no-first use (NFU). Evidently, China has ‘arrived’ on the world stage with a single-minded preoccupation of how it could challenge the unipolar world order dominated by the U.S.

Captain (Dr.) Gurpreet S Khurana is the Executive Director, National Maritime Foundation (NMF), New Delhi. The views expressed are his own and do not reflect the official policy or position of the NMF, the Indian Navy or the Government of India. He can be reached at gurpreet.bulbul@gmail.com

 

CIMSEC’s June NY Meet-up

013a7778ffe210bbe8932e2ec467933eJoin our New York chapter for its June informal meet-up/happy hour. Members Ankit Panda and Stephen Brooker will lead a discussion on the South China Sea. We hope you’ll drop by for drinks and discussions with friends old and new.

Time: Thursday, 18 June 5:45pm
PlaceBedford Falls (Backyard)
206 E 67th St NW
New York City, NY

All are welcome – RSVPs not required, but appreciated: newyork@cimsec.org

Call for Articles – July’s Distributed Lethality Week

Week Dates: July 6-10
Articles Due: June 30
Article Length: 500-1500 words
Submit Articles to: nextwar (at) cimsec.org

Since the leaders of the Surface Navy unveiled the concept of
Distributed Lethality in January 2015, the idea has been met with
enthusiastic support.  The basic premise behind Distributed Lethality is that the Surface Navy can increase its combat power by distributing it across more platforms.  By threatening the adversary with more, capable platforms, the Distributed Lethality concept forces the adversary to spread his intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) assets thin and complicates his targeting problem against U.S. Navy assets.  As Rear Admiral Peter Fanta, Director, Surface Warfare, put it, “if it floats, it fights.”

Distributed Lethality implies a radical shift in the way we train our Sailors, deploy our forces, and equip our ships.  Distributed Lethality will require a fundamental change in the way the U.S. Navy thinks about projecting firepower.  For decades, the centerpiece of U.S. Naval operations has been the Carrier Strike Group.  Some may see Distributed Lethality as the answer to China’s and other’s Anti Access Area Denial (A2AD) strategy, which is apparently designed to keep U.S. Navy aircraft carriers out of the East and South China Seas.  Along the same lines, there are those outside the Surface Navy that suspect Distributed Lethality may be in part a way to wrest control from an often dominant aviation community. Whatever the case is – Distributed Lethality is here and moving forward.

During the first full week of July, CIMSEC will host a series focused on the implementation, opportunities, and challenges of Distributed
Lethality.  Contributions may address programs already in place,
existing technology that could be reoriented toward Distributed
Lethality, new tactics or technologies that might enhance the concept, or some other facet of Distributed Lethality. How can Distributed Lethality defeat the A2AD strategy? What will Distributed Lethality Command and Control look like? How will logistics work? Should Distributed Lethality be employed only by the Surface Navy? Or should it be a Navy-wide concept of operations?

Publication reviews will also be accepted.

James Drennan is a Surface Warfare Officer and a Distinguished Graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School’s Systems Engineering Analysis program. 

 

CIMSEC’s DC June Meet-Up – June 23rd

front1Join our DC chapter for its June informal meet-up/happy hour. Member Brian Slattery will lead a discussion on the Index of U.S. Military Strength. We hope you’ll drop by for drinks and discussions with friends old and new.

Time: Tuesday, 23 June 5:30-8:30pm
Place: Bistro d’OC (Upstairs)
518 10th St NW
Washington, DC

All are welcome – RSVPs not required, but appreciated: director@cimsec.org

CIMSEC’s 2015-2016 Officers and 2015-2017 Board

Congrats to CIMSEC’s newly elected officers and board members!

If you’d like to see their goals for the org, you can see them here. The current officers and board will begin the process of turnover and transition to be completed by the end of June.

Position and Percentage of Votes of Submitted Ballots (missing percentage indicates abstentions)

Board:

Chairman, Board of Directors
Scott Cheney-Peters – 96%

Member, Board of Directors
Scott Cheney-Peters – 98%
Chris Rawley – 96%
William Allen – 80%
Mike Carroll – 84%
Mary Ripley – 90%
Andrea George – 86%
Ben Purser – 82%
Matt Hipple – 94%
Chris Wood – 80%
Jordan “Patsy” Klein – 74%


Officers:

President
Matt Hipple – 94%

Vice President
Roger Misso – 92%

Treasurer
Victor Allen – 90%

Secretary
Josh Tallis – 94%

Director of External Relations
Katherine Dransfield – 45%
Robert Holzer – 29%

Director of Membership
Bret Perry – 94%

Director of Online Content
Dmitry Filipoff – 94%

Director of Operations
Emil Maine – 96%

Director of Publications
Matt Merighi – 94%

CIMSEC DC Memorial Day Meet-Up: May 25th

downloadJoin our DC chapter for a special Memorial Day edition DC-area informal meet-up/happy hour. Capt. Brett Friedman will present a short preview of his new book, 21st Century EllisOperational Art and Strategic Prophecy for the Modern Era. We hope you’ll drop by for drinks and discussions with friends old and new.

Time: Monday, 25 May 6:00-8:30pm
Place: District Chophouse
509 7th St NW
Washington DC
(Upstairs)

All are welcome – RSVPs not required, but appreciated: director@cimsec.org