The scenario of a possible U.S. war with China dubbed "Air-Sea Battle" has angered the Chinese and is excessively expensive, U.S. military officials said.
When President Barack Obama called on the military to shift its focus to Asia earlier this year, Andrew Marshall, who runs the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment, offered up his Air-Sea Battle strategy, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. Marshall, 91, had spent two decades developing the assault.
The strategy involves bombers and submarines used to knock out China's long-range surveillance radar and precision missile systems, the Post reported. Once the Chinese military is blinded, a larger air and naval assault would follow.
Air-Sea Battle has drawn criticisms at home and abroad, the Post reported.
"The old joke about the Office of Net Assessment is that it should be called the Office of Threat Inflation," said Barry Posen, director of the MIT Security Studies Program. "They go well beyond exploring the worst cases. They convince others to act as if the worst cases are inevitable."
Marshall said it's the Pentagon's job to consider the worst-case scenario.
"We tend to look at not very happy futures," he said.
One U.S. official, whose name was not reported, said they heard complaints from China about the strategy.
"The PLA [People's Liberation Army] went nuts," the official said, upon returning from a trip to Beijing.
U.S. military officials have said the strategy is not aimed specifically at China, but is a model for any similar military threat. One Chinese general, whose name was not reported, disagreed, saying a report on Air-Sea Battle mentions the country by name hundreds of times, the Post reported.
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