Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Government

Reader 1

Jennifer Taw

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© 2012 Joshua D. Bowling

Abstract

Maritime conflict in the next decade or three, when it happens, will not be the full-blown war that our carriers and strategic submarines are designed for. Instead, it will be economic warfare through the interdiction of maritime trade, harassment of naval vessels as rising nations attempt to expand their sphere of influence, and development of cheap (or uncounterable) technologies that keep potential adversaries or rivals at bay. All of this will take place in blue-water environments as access to the littorals is effectively denied by these new technologies. As it stands, the United States is inadequately prepared to face this possibility. This paper will examine how and why this strategy will arise, identify the most likely locations and actors, and explore how these scenario are likely to play out. Additionally, this paper will examine potential remedies that the United States (or other interested powers) could undertake to reduce the impact of these strategies, perhaps even avoiding their occurrence altogether.

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