Obama administration and Department of Defense officials are publicizing the so-called “strategy” of the Air-Sea Battle (ASB) and the “pivot” of U.S. military forces to the Pacific area. 1 But neither the ASB nor the pivot is a “strategy.” Rather, they are operational concepts that should support the U.S. national-security strategy.
One strategic goal is to deter and defeat aggression. Another is to support U.S. allies around the world. And maintaining open sea lanes for commerce is a subset goal. There are others, spelled out in lofty terms in rarely read documents. 2