The capabilities needed to defeat Iran’s area-denial attempts in the Persian Gulf are the same ones needed to support the Pentagon’s fledgling AirSea Battle concept in the Western Pacific, according to a new Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments report released on Tuesday. Both concepts require new long-range strike systems, such as penetrating bombers and carrier-based unmanned aircraft, improved air and missile defenses, and increases to the Navy’s “undersea magazine of standoff munitions,” states Outside-In: Operating from Range to Defeat Iran’s Anti-Access and Area-Denial Threat, authored by CSBA’s senior fellow Mark Gunzinger. These LRS systems must be capable of operating in degraded or denied communications environments, and the Pentagon should procure “non-kinetic capabilities, including cyber, electronic warfare, and directed energy systems, to disrupt, disable, and destroy Iranian [anti-access/area-denial] threats,” reads the report. Gunziger says the Air Force also should assess future strategic lift requirements prior to closing down the C-17 production line, with the assumption that Iran “will be capable of controlling the sea lines of communication through the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf in the initial stages of conflict.”
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.