Throughout the history of warfare, the advantage has constantly swung between offense and defense, with new technologies and innovative tactics displacing old doctrines and war plans. The defensive advantage of the Greek phalanx was outmaneuvered by the skilled Roman legion. Improvements in fortifications and armor led to castles and iron-clad knights, until the invention of gunpowder made them obsolete. Rapidly maneuvering infantry assaults were favored until the trenches and machine guns of World War I made them suicidal. The French investment in the Maginot Line proved worthless in the face of a combined-arms Blitzkrieg around its flank. In all these examples, the common denominator is that one side’s tactical advantage spawned new ways of military thinking among its opponents, eventually degrading that advantage or reversing it completely.
Outflank China in the South China Sea
By Lieutenant Brett Wessley, U.S. Navy