#37 US Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconaissance challenges in the Asia-Pacific
Publish Date: May 2013
Author(s): Colonel Andrew Torelli
ISBN 13: ISSN 2200-1697
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In theory the US employs intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in the air, space, surface and cyberspace domains to gain accurate and timely knowledge on current and potential adversary motivations, intentions, force capabilities and posture. It is supposed to provide decision-makers and other warfighters with accurate and timely indications and warning, targeting support, and coherent battlespace picture. Basically, ISR information identifies what we know, what we don’t know, and what we think we know. It also identifies where the knowledge gaps are and where increased focus needs to be placed, to gain knowledge and enable decision-making.
Although US ISR is a key power projection capability in the Asia-Pacific it faces two key strategic security challenges over the next decade: China’s anti-access and area denial strategy, and a lack of a regional ISR architecture. This paper argues that any US rebalancing efforts to expand its ISR capabilities into the theatre will need to account for these challenges and seek opportunities to improve vigilance across the spectrum of conflict, operations spanning from humanitarian relief to conventional war.
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