Saturday, July 02, 2022

Stand-In-Forces is the maritime equivalent of insurgency forces...AGAINST the Chinese?

 via USNI

As conceived, stand-in forces are a modern, maritime version of a previous, successful COIN force: the Marine Corps’ Vietnam-era Combined Action Platoon (CAP) program.4 The similarities between SIF and CAP are striking: Both aim to restore respect and credibility of the rule of law; emphasize maintaining contact with the adversary; place U.S. forces forward to live with and around local forces and populations; empower allies and partners by complementing their capabilities to counter adversary malign behaviors; and help local forces defend the integrity of their own sovereign territory. Should matters escalate from the day-to-day status quo into higher-end conflict, both position forces to help defend that sovereign territory and facilitate the introduction of reinforcements to defeat aggression against U.S., allied, and partner interests.


A force tasked to undertake maritime counterinsurgency in the South China Sea or elsewhere must be able to accomplish four essential goals to defeat the insurgency short of war or prevail against enemy conventional forces in the event of kinetic escalation. First, it must seek and support efforts that incentivize compliance with the provisions of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. Second, it must deter escalation to armed conflict while responding to harassment or punishment of U.S. regional allies and partners. Third, it must empower those allies and partners to defend and exercise their own territorial sovereignty. Last, if deterrence fails and the situation escalates, it must facilitate the introduction and employment of additional forces and capabilities to help defend U.S. friends and allies against aggression. This is precisely what SIF are designed to accomplish, and the AIMD2 effectively positions SIF to succeed: 


From my chair we're acting like the "insurgent" force with this plan against a larger, better organized military force.

This isn't Vietnam.  We're playing the role of the Viet Cong against the bigger stronger force (US at that time, the Chinese during this scenario).

 The fourth layer, composed of large, standoff, legacy forces outside the weapons engagement zone, provides critical depth to the defensive posture, designed to back up the three advanced layers by surging forward at opportune times and places to mitigate adversary sea-denial capabilities and, if required, bring decisive combat power on target.

So in other words, the US Marines are now recon/counter recon forces with the US Army rushing in to provide decisive combat power on target?

But this part is the thing that has me spinning.

 Some may suggest that “virtual presence,” enabled by emerging technologies, is just as effective as physical presence. But with insurgents physically present to threaten, harass, intimidate, and coerce civilian compliance with Beijing’s will, allies and partners reasonably consider U.S. virtual presence to be actual absence. 

It's pie in the sky to believe that many nations in the Pacific would happily allow the US to simply flow thru their countries or even sit off shore if the US/China were to partake in activities even below the threshold of war.

Who would want to get in the middle of two superpowers?  We're talking about the Pacific!  Ukraine this ain't! 

I've done a terrible job explaining my misgivings.  Go here and read the article for yourself.

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