This is the first book to examine the concept of anti-access and area denial warfare, providing a definitive introduction to both conceptual theories and historical examples of this strategy. Also referred to by the acronym "A2/AD," anti-access warfare has been identified in American strategic planning as the most likely strategy to be employed by the People's Republic of China or by the Islamic Republic of Iran in any future conflict with the United States. While previous studies of the subject have emphasized the effects on the joint force and, air forces in particular, this important new study advances the understanding of sea power by identifying the naval roots of the development of the anti-access concept.
The study of anti-access or area denial strategies for use against American power projection capabilities has strong naval roots-which have been largely ignored by the most influential commentators. Sustained long-range power projection is both a unique strength of U.S. military forces and a requirement for an activist foreign policy and forward defense. In more recent years, the logic of the anti-access approach has been identified by the Department of Defense as a threat to this U.S. capability and the joint force.
The conclusions in Anti-Access Warfare differ from most commentary on anti-access strategy. Rather than a technology-driven post-Cold War phenomenon, the anti-access approach has been a routine element of grand strategy used by strategically weaker powers to confront stronger powers throughout history. But they have been largely unsuccessful when confronting a stronger maritime power. Although high technology weapons capabilities enhance the threat, they also can be used to mitigate the threat. Rather than arguing against reliance on maritime forces-presumably because they are no longer survivable-the historical analysis argues that maritime capabilities are key in "breaking the great walls" of countries like Iran and China.
~ Advance Praise for Anti-Access Warfare ~
“Tangredi's brilliant analysis of anti-access warfare cuts across both the history of warfare and today's global space. It succinctly provides the tools we need to understand both the future of warfare and how crucial maritime capability will be to ‘breaking the great walls’ should that ever become necessary. Read it to see a chilling vision of the potential future of combat in the global commons.”
— Adm. James Stravidis, USN (Ret.), former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe; dean, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
“Much has been written about so-called anti-access and area-denial challenges, but none as thoughtful and as penetrating as this book. Through his excellent command of history, Tangredi shows us that anti-access strategies are as old as ancient Greece. This book is a must read for those trying to understand the theory and practical impact of such strategies in today's world, and how they might be overcome.”
— Robert Work, former Under Secretary of the Navy; CEO of the Center for New American Security
“An extraordinarily rich and historically grounded examination of an emerging challenge to America's national security interests. …It's a major contribution on a topic the Pentagon has explicitly described as our most critical military issue. If not resolved we will be reduced to giving potential adversaries veto rights over our ability to operate in international waters and let some autocratic regimes create "no-go areas" for U.S. forces or those of our allies. The author offers a timely, well-researched solution to this growing technologically oriented threat. Highly recommended to strategically minded students of warfare.”
— Frank Hoffman, senior research fellow, National Defense University
“Perfectly timed, historically grounded, and acutely reasoned, this superb book will make a critical contribution to the recalibration of our military strategy in an age of austere resources and many-layered threats. Clear thinking such as Tangredi's exceeds many a gilded weapon system in its relevance to our security.”
— Ralph Peters, Fox News strategic analyst and author of Cain at Gettysburg