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ICAS Public Lecture (4.18.2014) Handout #3 Narushige Michishita: Myths and Realities of Japanese Security Policy
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ICAS Public Lecture (4.18.2014) Handout #3 Narushige Michishita: Myths and Realities of Japanese Security Policy



2013 changing military strategies and the future of the usmc presence in asia

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ICAS Public Lecture (4.18.2014) Handout #3 Narushige Michishita: Myths and Realities of Japanese Security Policy Document Transcript

  • 1. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 57 Changing Military Strategies and the Future of the U.S. Marine Presence in Asia Narushige Michishita Associate Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies This report is intended to provide a reference for considering future security in Asia and Okinawa base issues by examining changes in military strategy in Asia, scenarios and countermeasures for major disputes/conflicts, and the U.S. Marine Corps’ role during the Cold War and in the future. 1. Changing Military Strategy in Asia – Comparing the Cold War with the Present The strategic environment surrounding Japan has changed significantly with the end of the Cold War, and in response, military strategy in Asia has also changed significantly. The strategic environment during the Cold War was characterized by (a) a clear threat in the Soviet Union, (b) the assumption of a global war scenario, and (c) deterrence as the key to security. After the Cold War, the characteristics became (a) unclear, diverse threats, (b) the assumption of regional dispute scenarios, and (c) a shift of focus from deterrence to defense. Accordingly, both Japan and the United States changed their military strategy in response to the end of the Cold War. 1) Military Strategy During the Cold War The Cold War in East Asia was characterized by the following. First, in East Asia, Japan was positioned in the center of the theater of confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. In the 1970s, when the Soviets deployed nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines 57
  • 2. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 58 (SSBNs) equipped with submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) in the Sea of Okhotsk, the strategic importance of the Soviet Far Eastern theater increased dramatically. The Soviet Union also deployed different bombers and combat aircraft including the Tu-22M backfire bomber, Kiev- class aircraft carriers, Sovremenny-class destroyers equipped with anti-ship missiles, and SS-20 intermediate-range ballistic missiles. As a result, the Pacific Fleet became the largest of the Soviet Union’s four fleets and one fourth to one third of Soviet military forces were deployed to the Far East. In response to the Soviet strategy that turned the Sea of Okhotsk into a sanctuary for its SSBNs, the United States adopted an offensive strategy called the “Maritime Strategy.” The U.S. planned to send offensive forces to the Sea of Okhotsk in wartime to attempt to destroy the war potential of SSBNs.48 Specifically, in the initial stage, the United States would attack the Soviet base with cruise missiles and aircraft carriers. In the next stage, it would destroy the Soviet’s SSBNs with nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) and shift the strategic nuclear balance between the United States and Soviet Union to its advantage. 48 John B. Hattendorf, The Evolution of the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Strategy, 1977- 1986, Naval War College Newport Papers 19 (Newport, Rhode Island: Naval War College, 2004); and Barry R. Posen, Inadvertent Escalation: Conventional War and Nuclear Risks (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) (Cornell University Press, 1992), pp. 129-158. 58
  • 3. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 59 Figure 1. Soviet Operations in the Sea of Okhotsk/ Northwest Pacific Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Soviet Military Power: Prospects for Change (1989) [Reproduced for this publication by Okinawa Prefectural Government] 59
  • 4. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 60 Figure 2. Soviet Perspective of Northwest Pacific and Deployment Routes Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Soviet Military Power: Prospects for Change (1989) [Reproduced for this publication by Okinawa Prefectural Government] Against this geopolitical background, Japan decided to contribute to the Western Bloc’s Soviet containment policy by strengthening its own defense capabilities. Its core duties were the three-strait blockade and sea-lane defense. The goal of the three-strait blockade was to block the Soviets from advancing into the Pacific and to make it possible for Japanese and U.S. naval vessels to enter Soviet waters. The goal of the sea-lane defense was to support U.S. offensive operations by guarding the U.S. Navy (in 60
  • 5. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 61 particular, U.S. aircraft carrier task forces) from Soviet attacks. Therefore, the Maritime Self-Defense Force notably improved its anti-submarine capabilities, the Air Self-Defense Force added equipment to fight Soviet bombers and combat aircraft, and the Ground Self-Defense Force adopted a strategy to resist enemy landing operations. P-3C, F-15, and E-2C early warning aircraft and surface-to-ship missiles (SSM) became effective anti- Soviet measures. 2) Post-Cold War Military Strategy The end of the Cold War dramatically changed the strategic environment of Northeast Asia. In the post-Cold War world, threats became unclear, diverse, and geographically widespread. The possibility of full-scale war between the superpowers diminished, and many of the new threats were low intensity or indirect. Instead, there was an increased possibility that low-intensity threats would become realities. In this way, Post-Cold War Japan was confronted with numerous new threats. In 1994, there was a mounting crisis with North Korea developing nuclear weapons in the Korean peninsula, and Japan seriously considered imposing economic sanctions on North Korea. In 1995, the Aum Shinrikyo cult released sarin gas in the Tokyo subway system, leaving 11 dead and many wounded. In 1998, a Taepo Dong missile launched by North Korea flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific. In 1999, two North Korean spy ships were discovered in Japanese waters. And in 2001, the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred, symbolizing a new era. In December of the same year, a North Korean spy ship believed to be involved in drug smuggling was discovered in the southwest waters of Kyushu. In 2002, North Korea admitted to abducting Japanese citizens. And in 2006 and 2009, North Korea conducted nuclear tests. Responding to these new developments and changes to strategic environment, Japan and the United States revised the Guidelines for U.S.- Japan Defense Cooperation, and in 1999, Japan enacted the Law 61
  • 6. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 62 Concerning Measures to Ensure the Peace and Security of Japan in Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan (SIASJ Law). This law allows Japan to support the activities of U.S. forces away from the Japanese territories if the situation is perceived to have “an important influence on Japan’s peace and security.” 49 The Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law, passed in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was created based on the SIASJ Law. Furthermore, after the 1998 Taepo Dong missile launch, the Japanese government decided to conduct joint technological research with the United States on a ballistic missile defense (BMD) system. In the meantime, Japan also proceeded with operational countermeasures. The Ground Self-Defense Force strengthened its counter-guerilla and counter-special forces training and exercises. Japan and the United States conducted cooperative training exercises co-training for urban combat against guerillas and commando forces. The Maritime Self-Defense Force strengthened its coordination with the Japan Coast Guard while adding high-speed missile craft, aligning its Special Boarding Unit to disarm and neutralize suspicious vessels, and equipping destroyers and patrol helicopters with machine guns. 3) China’s Rise and the U.S. Response In recent years, China has increased and modernized its military capabilities, mainly its navy and air force. Based on this, China began strengthening its influence in the region, resulting in new military-strategic developments in Asia. The Chinese military build-up drawing the most attention is China’s development of its so-called anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities. The goal of A2/AD capabilities is to eliminate the influence of other countries, particularly the United States, from as near as the South China Sea, East China Sea, and Yellow Sea to as far as the 49 U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee, “Completion of the Review of the Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation”, September 23, 1997. http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/security/defense.html 62
  • 7. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 63 Western Pacific Ocean and to form a regional order that will serve its own interests. As a means of doing this, China has established two lines of defense called the “First Island Chain” and the “Second Island Chain” around its periphery. It is reinforcing or developing different types of ships, submarines, fighters, bombers, cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and anti- ship ballistic missiles (ASBM) to protect these lines. Of these, intermediate-range ballistic missiles and long-range cruise missiles can pose a threat to forward-deployed U.S. troops and U.S. bases in Japan. Sovremenny-class destroyers equipped with multiple anti-ship missiles and silent Kilo-class submarines are capable of obstructing mobile strike forces, including U.S. aircraft carriers, from taking action in the waters surrounding China and the Western Pacific. On the other hand, ASBMs are technically difficult to bring to maturity and should not pose a realistic threat to the U.S. Navy. However, even if they would not actually make direct hits, if ASBMs were deployed, the U.S. military would be compelled to take expensive countermeasures and U.S. policymakers would have to think twice about deploying aircraft carriers to China’s surrounding seas. Even without ASBMs, the J-20 stealth fighter could be used to deny access. China seems to be strengthening A2/AD capabilities with the short-term goal of blocking U.S. intervention in Taiwan and the mid- to long-term goal of preventing the United States, Japan, and other countries in the region from interfering with China’s attempt to create a new regional order. 63
  • 8. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 64 Figure 3. First and Second Island Chains Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China (2011) In response, the United States is in the process of developing a new concept called “Air-Sea Battle,” and the Pentagon established an Air-Sea 64
  • 9. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 65 Battle Office in November 2011 for this purpose. In January 2012, the Joint Chiefs of Staff announced the “Joint Operational Access Concept (JOAC)” to counteract A2/AD. Additionally, in March, the Army and Marine Corps announced “Gaining and Maintaining Access: An Army- Marine Corps Concept,” a document that explains Army and Marine Corps roles in JOAC. JOAC is a concept to resist A2/AD. Air-Sea Battle, Army and Marine Corps concepts, and operations such as entry operation and littoral operation are positioned beneath JOAC. To oppose A2/AD and secure access to the combat theater, JOAC indicates that it is crucial to (a) maintain forward-deployed bases, (b) gain foreign partners willing to provide military and political support, and (c) maintain routes from the continental United States to the theaters. JOAC also lists the following general principles for military operations: “create pockets or corridors of local domain superiority to penetrate the enemy’s defenses and maintain them as required to accomplish the mission,” “maneuver directly against key operational objectives from strategic distance,” and “attack enemy anti-access/area-denial defenses in depth rather than rolling back those defenses from the perimeter.”50 4) Comparing Military Strategies During the Cold War and at the Present What is demonstrated by a comparison between U.S. and Soviet military strategies during the Cold War and U.S. and Chinese military strategies at the present time? Here, I will consider the similarities and differences between the two and point out facets of the current strategic environment that are more favorable than during the Cold War and the reverse, facets of the current situation that are riskier than during the Cold War. 50 U.S. Department of Defense. “Joint Operational Access Concept (JOAC).” January 17, 2012. p. iii. http://www.defense.gov/pubs/pdfs/JOAC_Jan%202012_Signed.pdf. 65
  • 10. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 66 First, looking at similarities between military strategy during the Cold War and the present, China is currently trying to define the South China Sea as an area of its “core interest” and turn it into a sanctuary in the same way that the Soviet Union tried to turn the Sea of Okhotsk into a sanctuary. In the Sea of Okhotsk, the Soviet Union deployed SSBNs, which had the ability to attack the United States, and China is now building an SSBN base in Hainan Island in the South China Sea. Also, in the same way that the Soviet Union tried to deny access to the Sea of Okhotsk by establishing two defensive lines called “sea control” and “sea denial,” China is currently trying to create two defensive lines called the “First Island Chain” and the “Second Island Chain” to deny access to the South China Sea. There are also many commonalities in the types of equipment used to deny access. The Soviet Union deployed multiple submarines, fleets, and bombers to protect its two defensive lines. China is rapidly increasing its equipment in the same way including the addition of Sovremenny-class destroyers, which the Soviet Union used during the Cold War. The aircraft carrier which China recently started operating is a Soviet-era carrier purchased from Ukraine. It was previously called “Varyag,” and has been renamed the “Liaoning.” Since China is utilizing a military strategy similar to that of the Soviets during the Cold War, it is no coincidence that China has introduced many types of equipment that the Soviets developed and produced during the Cold War. However, China’s attempt to develop ASBMs differentiates it from the former Soviet Union. Of course, whether ASBMs will actually have the capability to make direct hits on U.S. aircraft carriers is questionable, but actual targeting accuracy of ASBMs aside, the existence of such equipment would place a big psychological burden on the United States. Also, the J- 20 stealth bomber that China is currently developing can be seen as a backup in case ASBM development ends in failure. Drawing a comparison with the Soviet Union, the J-20 is expected to play a similar role as the Tu- 22M “Backfire” bomber. 66
  • 11. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 67 The second similarity between the Cold War and the present is the U.S. military strategy. During the Cold War, the United States adopted the offensively oriented Maritime Strategy in response to the Soviet Union’s use of the Sea of Okhotsk as a strategic sanctuary. Since the details of JOAC and Air-Sea Battle concepts have not been defined yet, their degree of similarity with the Maritime Strategy is currently unclear. However, the general principles to “create pockets or corridors of local domain superiority to penetrate the enemy’s defenses and maintain them as required to accomplish the mission” and “attack enemy anti-access/area- denial defenses in depth rather than rolling back those defenses from the perimeter” have much in common with the Maritime Strategy. 51 In particular, the “create pockets or corridors of local domain superiority” section corresponds to the Sea-lane Defense that Japan was responsible for within the “roles and duties” shared between Japan and the United States during the Cold War.52 The “attack enemy anti-access/area-denial defenses in depth” section evokes cruise missile attacks against Vladivostok and Khabarovsk.53 These aspects will be worth noting as JOAC and Air-Sea Battle concepts are developed. Next, I will discuss the differences between the Cold War period and the present by dividing them into differences that are favorable for Japan and differences that are unfavorable. The first difference that is favorable to Japan is geographic in nature. During the Cold War, the Kuril Islands, which played the role of a strategic barrier separating the Western Pacific from the Sea of Okhotsk, were controlled by the Soviet Union. However, Japan controls the Ryukyu Islands, which currently plays the same role. For this reason, Japan and the United States can simultaneously use the Ryukyu Islands as a defense line and base for attacks. The second 51 U.S. Department of Defense. “Joint Operational Access Concept (JOAC).” January 17, 2012. p. iii. http://www.defense.gov/pubs/pdfs/JOAC_Jan%202012_Signed.pdf. 52 Ibid., p.iii. 53 Ibid., p.iii. 67
  • 12. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 68 difference is that the Soviet Union during the Cold War was a sophisticated military superpower, which retained the ability to wage global nuclear war in addition to the ability to wage a full-scale war in Europe. However, China is currently inferior to the United States and Japan in terms of conventional capabilities and does not have strategic nuclear capability comparable to the Soviet Union’s. Third, the United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War had a completely adversarial relationship in all aspects: military, politics, economy, and ideology. While there is constant competition and conflict between the United States and China, the relationship is nowhere near as antagonistic as a cold war. Lastly, related to the previous point, the Soviet Union’s national goal was victory in its competition with the United States, and in military terms, this meant victory in a global war. However, China has several goals including (a) obstructing Taiwan’s independence, (b) securing/acquiring resources, and (c) strengthening influence in the region. Therefore, China is unlikely to get into a situation where it provokes escalation of conflict by focusing all of its interests and resources on competing with the United States. 68
  • 13. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 69 Figure 4. Chinese Activities in the Vicinity of Japan Source: Japan Ministry of Defense, Defense of Japan 2012 (2012) On the other hand, when comparing the Cold War and the present, we can also find differences that are not favorable for Japan. First, the only exits Soviet fleets had for advancing to the Western Pacific were the three straits of Soya (La Perouse), Tsugaru, and Tsushima, but China’s fleets have at least nine to eleven locations that could be used as exits to advance to the Western Pacific. In other words, Japan and the United States have an advantage in their control of the Ryukyu Islands, but the environment is advantageous for China because there are many exits to the Western Pacific. Second, compared to the Cold War era, the current theater for military competition has expanded from the three dimensions of “land, sea, and air” to the five dimensions of “land, sea, and air plus outer space plus cyberspace.” Of course, it is unclear who will gain a greater advantage from this, but at the very least, the competitive landscape has become more complex and opaque. Third, the European and Far Eastern theaters, which 69
  • 14. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 70 were coupled during the Cold War, have become decoupled in the current strategic environment. The Soviet Union was a global threat, but China is nothing more than a regional threat. Because of this, some European countries are willing to export weapons to China. Fourth, although there were bitter conflicts between the United States and Soviet Union, they did not engage in direct critical conflict in Asia because they established game rules between themselves in the late 1970s when the Soviet Union started military expansion in the Far East. Both the United States and Soviet Union learned the lessons of the Berlin and Cuban crises that occurred in the 1950s and 1960s. On the other hand, present day China is trying to play the world power game for the first time with aspirations of becoming a superpower equivalent to the United States. In other words, China is currently in the same position as the Soviet Union was in the 1950s and 1960s without clearly set game rules between itself and the United States. The occurrence of a crisis under this environment can be considered unavoidable, and we have already glimpsed the seeds of a crisis during the 2001 EP-3 incident. Lastly, without a doubt, China’s economic performance is superior to the Soviet’s. The Soviet economy collapsed as a result of the arms race that it locked itself into with the United States. However, if the United States and China lock themselves into an arms race in the future, it is not clear who will collapse first. China’s military spending increased 170% in the last 10 years, but Japan’s military spending decreased 2.5%. In the same period, U.S. military spending increased 59%, but it is believed that the United States will maintain the status quo in the future or decrease its spending. 2. Contingency Scenarios and U.S. Military Role in Asia There are three major contingency scenarios that pose security concerns in Asia. Specifically, these are (a) a full-scale conflict on the Korean Peninsula, (b) collapse of North Korea, and (c) Chinese regional hegemony. 70
  • 15. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 71 In this section, I will discuss what kind of roles the U.S. military would play in each scenario. 1) Full-Scale Conflict on the Korean Peninsula In the event that a full-scale conflict erupts on the Korean Peninsula, both the United States and South Korea are supposed to respond with “OPLAN 5027.” If North Korea started to invade South Korea, U.S. and South Korean forces would first respond with air strikes. After adequately diminishing North Korean military forces, U.S. and South Korean ground forces would move north into North Korean territory. Furthermore, if the opportunity arose in the third stage, Marines from both countries would make an amphibious landing on the coast of the Korean Peninsula and make a pincer assault on North Korean forces by cooperating with ground forces moving from south to north. North Korea has not necessarily forward deployed all of its troops, and mechanized corps are positioned in the rear area along the coast of the Korean Peninsula. One reason is that these divisions can be used as follow- up power if North Korea succeeds in invading South Korea from the north. The second reason is to prevent U.S. and South Korean Marines from landing in the rear area. In other words, North Korea is deploying its forces based not only on attack but also taking defense into consideration. Conversely, it is unlikely that Marines would land in enemy territory in the early stages of a war because the risk is too high. Marines would land when the war was fairly advanced. More specifically, they would land either after North Korean mechanized corps placed in the coastal area of the rear had moved to other areas or when these corps lost significant fighting capability. The U.S. would end up adding reinforcements to U.S. troops in South Korea and Japan, and it would carry out its duty of defending South Korea from bases in South Korea and Japan. In the early stages of the war, U.S. 71
  • 16. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 72 air bases in Japan would be actively used for air strikes on North Korea or to deploy troops to South Korea. U.S. naval bases in Japan would be used in parallel for aircraft carrier task forces, and later, marine bases in Okinawa would be used for amphibious landings. If conflict breaks out on the Korean Peninsula, Japan would invoke the SIASJ Law and provide rear-area support to U.S. operations in defense of South Korea. 2) Collapse of North Korea If North Korea became destabilized or collapsed, South Korea would respond in accordance with a contingency plan called “Buheung,” or Reconstruction, and both the U.S. and South Korean military would respond in accordance with CONPLAN 5029.54 This plan is based on six scenarios: (a) the sudden death of Kim Jong-il (author’s note – content from when the plan was developed), (b) North Korean civil war due to coup d’état or civil unrest, (c) North Korean government losing control of a nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon or a weapon of mass destruction like a missile, (d) exodus of North Korean citizens, (e) taking of Korean citizens in North Korea as hostages for political reasons, and (e) flooding or earthquake. Planned countermeasures for these situations are said to include (a) procedures for providing shelter, food, and vaccinations against contagious diseases in the event that there is a tide of refugees, (b) countermeasures in the event that Koreans involved with the Kaesong Industrial Region in North Korea become unable to return home, and (c) establishment of a North Korea Liberalization Administration Headquarters (tentative name) as a governing authority of North Korean regions with a Minister of Unification serving as the Chief of Headquarters. In response 54 An operation plan is mainly comprised of details on the timing, route, and method for moving each of the troops. On the other hand, a concept plan does not include detailed actions like an operation plan. There is a movement between the U.S. and Korea to develop CONPLAN 5029 into an operation plan, but this has not happened so far. 72
  • 17. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 73 to a fluid situation, the United States would end up deploying the Navy and Marines to North Korea and its surrounding areas and preparing for conflict resolution and peace building (maintaining order, assisting with recovery). However, there are differences between U.S. and South Korean responses in the event of a North Korean collapse. South Korea takes the approach that North Korea is part of its territory. On the other hand, while the United States does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea, North Korea is a member nation of the United Nations, and the United States effectively recognizes it as an independent nation. In a scenario that assumes the collapse of North Korea, Japan’s role is not clear. If a war clearly erupted, Japan could invoke the SIASJ Law, but if North Korea was merely getting destabilized, Japan could not invoke the SIASJ Law. Also, even if Japan invoked the SIASJ Law and played a role, it would probably be centered on humanitarian support because Japan cannot take full-scale military action. The usage of bases in Japan under this scenario would be very fluid. Japan has a treaty with the UN forces that allows UN forces to use seven bases in Japan. However, even in a situation where North Korea collapsed, it is difficult to believe that the UN Security Council would be able to adopt a resolution enabling an effective response that includes military action because China would wield its veto power. It is highly likely that China would move to secure its own country’s freedom of action while making it difficult for the U.S. and South Korean military to take action. In addition to being able to move into North Korea from its sovereign territory with relative ease, China has signed an alliance pact with North Korea, which China might use to justify its intervention. 73
  • 18. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 74 While it is unlikely that Marines would be deployed from the beginning in a major war scenario, it is quite possible that Marines would be used from the early stages in a situation where North Korea was getting destabilized. If the V-22 Osprey becomes fully operational, it would be possible to directly carry troops from Okinawa to South Korea or to North Korea given the aircraft’s extended operational radius. 3) Chinese Regional Hegemony Lastly, preparations to respond to a Chinese regional hegemony scenario are currently underway. A detailed military plan has not yet emerged. As of the present, the United States is in the process of developing a strategic concept called “Air-Sea Battle,” and Japan is trying to respond to this with “Dynamic Defense Force.” Since I have already written about the content of Air-Sea Battle, I will only explain “dynamic defense capability” here. The content of the “Dynamic Defense Force” is indicated in the basic defense policy document National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG), which was revised in 2010. The NDPG indicates that Japan will build up a Dynamic Defense Force with the goal of responding flexibly and seamlessly to different scenarios that occur during peacetime and wartime. Dynamic Defense Force increases intelligence gathering capability and regional presence during peacetime by strengthening patrol and surveillance activities. It also improves presence and full readiness for crises and conflicts by strengthening exercises and training. This is based on the awareness that the central issue in future relations with China will be about competition during peacetime with repeated military-diplomatic skirmishes, instead of full-scale military conflict. In 2012, in the wake of the Japanese government’s purchase of three of the Senkaku islands, Chinese ships and aircraft started frequently entering Japanese waters and contiguous waters near the Senkaku Islands. These types of demonstrative use of force are typical of the situations that will arise in the future between Japan and China. If China continues to take similar actions, the 74
  • 19. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 75 occurrence of more serious crises would come as no surprise. Also, as demonstrated by the Chinese fishing boat collision that occurred near the Senkaku Islands in 2010, civilian activities that cannot always be controlled by the governments of either country could cause a crisis. 4) Future Prospects Of these scenarios, the likelihood of “a full-scale Korean Peninsula conflict” becoming a reality is still considered to remain low even though North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and missiles is a concern. On the other hand, the probability of a “ North Korean destabilization scenario” is expected to increase. A year has passed since the young, inexperienced leader Kim Jong-un officially raised to power, and so far there seem to be no particular problems with the situation. However, when his father Kim Jong-il came into power, his opponents intensified activities within the ruling circle two years later. The same can happen to his son. Lastly, we cannot deny that the “Chinese regional hegemony scenario” is gradually becoming a reality. A relationship with China that has some level of competition and conflict is becoming unavoidable for Japan and the United States. Going forward, concerns will probably focus on which area of gradation from peacetime to wartime will become central in the military relationship between U.S.-Japan and China. If U.S.-Japan and China’s military relationship remains at a relatively low level of conflict, and the strong overtones become “long-term competition in peacetime,” then Dynamic Defense Force will probably become more important than Air-Sea Battle. In this case, military-diplomatic mind games will play an important role against a backdrop of military power because the critical issue will be how to effectively handle China’s “maritime guerilla operations.” The occurrence of full-scale conflict is a low possibility. However, power struggles during peacetime will continue to occur, like the situation in the Senkaku islands where Chinese boats are repeatedly violating Japanese territorial waters and gradually trying to create a fait accompli. 75
  • 20. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 76 In the event that U.S.-Japan and Chinese relations deteriorated and a full-scale military conflict became more likely, the development of China’s nuclear strategy, including the build-up of SSBN forces, and progress with A2/AD capability would become a critical concern. In this situation, maintaining a warfighting strategy with a long-distance strike capability, and more robust deterrence capability would become critical. In such a scenario, some Japanese and U.S. forces, including the U.S. Marines, might be redeployed to rear areas in order to maintain strategic depth. Because Marines positioned in Okinawa are highly vulnerable, they could be redeployed to Australia, Guam, or other locations in Asia. Tohoku or Hokkaido could also become candidates. The fact that the Marines were prepositioned in Okinawa during the Cold War with the goal of landing in the South Kuril Islands and/or Sakhalin Island could serve as a reference. 76
  • 21. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 77 Figure 5. Geopolitical Position of Okinawa and the U.S. Marine Corps Presence Source: Japan Ministry of Defense, Defense of Japan 2012 (2012) Conversely, in the event that China’s “maritime guerilla strategy” becomes a central concern, we would need to maintain our forces in the vicinity of the potential flashpoints, and this is precisely the essence of Dynamic Defense Force. In this scenario, U.S. forces in Japan, including the Marines, would remain forward deployed, and the maintenance of rapid response capability for diverse situations would be emphasized. The V-22 Osprey, which has a combat radius of 600 km, would play a major role. 77
  • 22. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 78 The Self-Defense Force would also further forward deploy their forces to focus on patrol, surveillance, early warning, and presence. In any event, when formulating strategy against China, we need to bear in mind that China’s strategy will continue to change because China itself does not have a clear and complete strategy. We cannot forget that China’s future is also uncertain for China’s leaders. If we look back on the Cold War, the Soviet’s naval strategy in the 1970s, which focused on disrupting the western side’s sea lines of communication (SLOC), was completely different from its naval strategy in the 1980s, which focused primarily on using strategic nuclear capability. When considering our strategy against China, we must take into account changes in Chinese military and diplomatic strategy and the interaction between our strategy and China’s strategy. 3. The Role of the Marines – Cold War Retrospective and Future Outlook 1) The Role of the U.S. Marines During the Cold War – Marines Within Maritime Strategy The U.S. Marines were put into operation in Cold War Asia with the goal of contributing to the execution of the Maritime Strategy, and the Amphibious Warfare Strategy was formulated in 1985 for this purpose.55 During the Cold War, the role and actions of the U.S. Marines in global warfare were assumed to be the following. First, it was highly likely that the Marines would not participate in direct combat in the first phase. Their focus would be to maintain rapid response capability and move rapidly to 55 “The Amphibious Warfare Strategy, 1985,” in John B. Hattendorf and Peter M. Swartz, eds., U.S. Naval Strategy in the 1980s: Selected Documents, Naval War College Newport Papers 33 (Newport, Rhode Island: Naval War College, 2008), pp. 105-136. 78
  • 23. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 79 the locations to prepare for activities in the next phase. Specifically, this could be to air transport two Marine Amphibious Brigades (MAB) and to prepare for future missions along with Maritime Prepositioning Ship squadrons (MPS squadrons). The I and III Marine Amphibious Forces (I and III MAF) would move the maximum possible number of personnel to necessary locations with landing crafts. They would also move commercial and military boats to necessary locations for assault follow-on echelons (AFOE). Integrating these would make it possible to organize Composite MAFs Forward. The II MAF might be dispatched to the Pacific, but conversely, it was also possible to move I MAF and III MAF to the Indian Ocean or the Atlantic Front. Forward-deployed troops would converge with troops coming from the U.S. mainland or take actions to avoid escalation. Next, in the second phase, possible strategies ranged from limited amphibious landing by the Marines to MAF scale amphibious landing. This would facilitate support from other military branches and allies. For example, an amphibious landing on the South Kuril Islands would become an option. Lastly, in the third and final phase in a war, the Marines would end up executing duties such as (a) recapturing territory, (b) maintaining critical SLOCs, and (c) occupying Soviet territory to end the war under advantageous conditions. The value of the Marines as strategic reserves would become highest at this point. Their activity at the Pacific Front would not directly impact the course of the war on the European Front, but they could possibly increase uncertainty by taking actions such as agilely pinpointing weak spots on the Soviet side. In the final phase of war, it would be possible for MAF to make an amphibious landing on Sakhalin Island. This was expected to contribute to the achievement of war goals in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan. 79
  • 24. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 80 As stated above, the Marines’ main targets on the Pacific Front during the Cold War were the South Kuril Islands and Sakhalin Island. In particular, partly because the United States thought that Japan would try to recapture the South Kuril Islands during wartime, the United States envisaged a strategy that would make attacking the Soviet submarine force in the fortified Sea of Okhotsk easier by mounting a preemptive strike on the Soviet forces, which might be used to attack Hokkaido, and occupying the South Kuril Islands and Sakhalin Islands. Furthermore, the Soviet Union deployed substantial ground forces equipped with tanks and artillery to these areas during the Cold War. Along with deploying army forces to Kamchatka, the Soviets also deployed new radars and attack helicopters to the Sakhalin Islands. And starting in 1978, they redeployed ground troops to the Kunashiri, Etorofu, and Shikotan Islands. The assumption that these areas would be subject to Japanese and U.S. military attacks during war was behind these actions. 2) Future Role of U.S. Marines – Position of Marines Under JOAC What are the roles of Marines as defined in JOAC, which is currently formulated as the strategic concept toward China? Here, I will clarify the Marines’ position within JOAC based on “Gaining and Maintaining Access: An Army-Marine Corps Concept,” the report which I already mentioned. The report’s general theory is that the Army and Marines “will contribute to the joint effort to gain and maintain operational access by entering hostile territory.”56 The report points out that “through entrance into an adversary’s territory or providing the credible threat of doing so, 56 U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. “Gaining and Maintaining Access: An Army- Marine corps Concept.” March 2012. p. 17. http://www.defenseinnovationmarketplace.mil/resources/Army%20Marine%20Corp %20Gaining%20and%20Maintaining%20Access.pdf. 80
  • 25. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 81 U.S. Army and Marine Corps contribute to overall campaign success.”57 The report then lists specific goals such as the following.58 ・ Neutralizing landward threats to [U.S. force] access, including those intentionally imbedded in heavily populated urban areas to negate U.S. sensors and weapons. ・ Making persistent the otherwise temporary effects of [U.S.] remote fires. ・ Providing strategic staying power - the capability for sustained, high- tempo, combat operations, or a rapid crisis response such as a raid into a sovereign territory. ・ Seizing, occupying and/or controlling terrain, particularly in maritime chokepoints essential to protecting naval maneuver, naval movement, and/or maritime commerce. ・ Controlling or influencing populations. ・ Defeating enemy forces. ・ Depriving the enemy of sanctuary. In order to achieve these goals, required Army and Marine capabilities include:59 ・ Conducting simultaneous force projection and sustainment of numerous maneuver units via multiple, distributed, austere and unexpected penetration points and landing zones in order to avoid established defenses, natural obstacles, and the presentation of a concentrated, lucrative target. 57 U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. “Gaining and Maintaining Access: An Army- Marine corps Concept.” March 2012. p. 17. http://www.defenseinnovationmarketplace.mil/resources/Army%20Marine%20Corp %20Gaining%20and%20Maintaining%20Access.pdf. 58 Ibid., p.17. 59 U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. “Gaining and Maintaining Access: An Army- Marine corps Concept.” March 2012. p. 7. http://www.defenseinnovationmarketplace.mil/resources/Army%20Marine%20Corp %20Gaining%20and%20Maintaining%20Access.pdf. 81
  • 26. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 82 ・ Countering the effects of adversary actions against the air, sea, space and cyberspace domains by locating / seizing / neutralizing / destroying land- based capabilities that threaten those domains, thus contributing to cross domain synergy. These may include, but are not limited to, air and missile defenses, anti-shipping capabilities, guided rockets, artillery, mortars, and missiles (G-RAMM), and enemy maneuver units. ・ Seizing key terrain in order to deny it to the enemy or to facilitate the introduction of follow-on forces. ・ Rapidly projecting follow-on forces that can be employed with minimal need for reception, staging, onward movement, and integration (RSOI) or dependence on local infrastructure. The report also divides entry forces into two types: assault forces and follow-on forces, and it specifies dispatch methods for the Army and Marines for each type. Assault forces are comprised of (a) Marine air- ground task forces operating from ships at sea, (b) Army airborne forces delivered by inter-theater or intra-theater airlift, (c) Army air assault forces operating from intermediate staging bases within the theater. After this, heavily-armored follow-on forces would be deployed, and the report also discusses follow-on forces that are deployed as a bridge before deployment of heavily-armored follow-on forces, which require full-scale landing infrastructure. The report gives the specific examples of (a) Army mounted forces that are directly dispatched to the target site through mounted vertical maneuvers and (b) Marine forces using maritime prepositioning forces. As stated above, the report “Gaining and Maintaining Access” presents a broad range of Marine missions and operational concepts. How these concepts will develop in the future is unknown, but I will point out the commonalities and differences with Marines missions during the Cold War. First, “neutralizing landward threats to access,” “seizing, occupying and/or controlling terrain, particularly in maritime chokepoints essential to 82
  • 27. Challenges for the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. Military Bases in Okinawa 83 protecting naval maneuver, naval movement, and/or maritime commerce,” and “depriving the enemy of sanctuary” can be considered commonalities with the Cold War period. On the other hand, “making persistent the otherwise temporary effects of remote fires,” “provide strategic sustainment,” “controlling or influencing populations,” and “ defeating enemy forces” were missions that weren’t very important in Cold War Asia. Compared to the Cold War era, the Marines’ required capabilities are small in scale, but they are expected to perform more amphibious landings. This can be attributed to the fact that Marine amphibious landings during the Cold War were expected to be implemented in the later half of a war, while the new operational concept assumes that amphibious landings would occur in parallel with operations conducted by other services. Another characteristic difference from the Cold War is that more attention is being paid to space and cyberspace in addition to sea and land. Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. Marines have operated more like the Army. As a result, the Marines are now referred to as the “second army.” To wage a full-scale war during the Cold War, the Marines needed the ability to flexibly execute amphibious landings depending on the situation in the face of larger Soviet forces. But the Marines can now easily secure points of access and openly unload their equipment because no one in the world can match U.S. military might. However, amphibious landings are becoming more important as China grows into an America’s peer competitor comparable to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Japan and the United States continue to face the difficult challenge of finding a good balance between maintaining a credible deterrence and defense posture, and minimizing the burden of military force presence on local population. I sincerely hope that this article will serve as a reference to assess and understand at least one end of this important political, military, diplomatic, and socioeconomic equation. 83
  • 28. 知事公室地域安全政策課 調査・研究班編 Executive Office of the Governor Regional Security Policy Division Research Section
  • 29. Copyright © 2013 by Research Section, Regional Security Policy Division, Executive Office of the Governor of Okinawa Prefectural Government All rights Reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form. March 2013 Published by Okinawa Prefectural Government 1-2-2 Izumizaki, Naha City, Okinawa, Japan 900-8570 (+81) 98-866-2565 Printed in Japan