28 August 2016
The Pentagon has never been at a loss for cute catch phrases when it comes to describing the Next Big Thing in the way of warfare.
In the 1900s, the U.S. military was all about the “revolution in military affairs” (RMA) and “network-centric warfare.” This gave way to “force modernization” in early 2000s, when Donald Rumsfeld was in charge. By 2010, it was “AirSea Battle” (ASB), later transmuted into the jaw-mangling “Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons.”
Today, the buzzword of choice is the “third offset strategy.”
Like many initiatives coming out of the Pentagon, it is long on ambition and short on details. Yet people in the Asia-Pacific had better become familiar with this new idea, as it will likely have a significant impact on the region.
The third offset strategy is all about leveraging US advantages in new and emerging critical technology areas in order to overcome supposedly weakening US advantages in more “traditional” areas of conventional military power.
… Richard A. Bitzinger is a Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Military Transformations Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 30/08/2016