The Persian Gulf War marked a new era in American power projection. While during the Cold War the United States and its allies faced the Soviet threat from forward bases at Russia’s near abroad, Operation Desert Storm showed that U.S. forces could quickly amass at an adversary’s doorstep and project power into adversary territory. This American way of war, however, is under threat from sophisticated anti-access and area denial systems such as ballistic and cruise missiles, submarine, mines, and cyber or anti-satellite attack. To maintain American freedom of action in 2010, the Department of the Navy and Department of the Air Force developed the Air-Sea Battle Concept.
On May 16, the 21st Century Defense Initiative at Brookings hosted these departments’ most senior military officers, Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Norton A. Schwartz and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, for a discussion of the Air-Sea Battle Concept and their joint efforts to assure access and maintain stability.
Senior Fellow Peter W. Singer, director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at Brookings, provided introductory remarks, and Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon moderated the discussion. After the program, panelists took audience questions.