In September 2009, the U.S. Navy and Air Force signed a classified memorandum to initiate an inter-service effort to develop a new operational concept called the AirSea Battle. It emulates the successful AirLand Battle operational concept developed by the U.S. Army in the early 1980s. Only general features of the new concept are publicly known, but its focus seems to be to counter growing challenges to U.S. military power projection in the western Pacific and Persian Gulf. In particular, North Korea; the People’s Republic of China, especially because of its rapidly developing anti-access/area-denial capabilities; and Iran are considered potential threats.1
AirSea Battle is described as “operational” but is more likely tactical, because Navy doctrine formally recognizes major operations only as a method of using naval forces in combat. And the Air Force focus is on planning and executing “air campaigns,” even though no single service can plan and conduct an entire campaign today. AirSea Battle more closely resembles a concept of operations than what is commonly understood as defining an operational concept.