Anti-Access/Area Denial Isn’t Just for Asia Anymore
U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO
Ambassador Julianne Smith assumed her position as the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO in November 2021. Prior to her current position, she served as a Senior Advisor to Secretary Blinken at the Department of State.
Previously, she served as the Director of the Asia and Geopolitics Programs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
From 2014 – 2018, she served as the Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). From 2012-2013, she served as the Acting National Security Advisor and Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President of the United States. Before her post at the White House, she served for three years as the Principal Director for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon. In January 2012, she was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.
Prior to her government service, Ambassador Smith held a variety of positions
at research institutions including the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the German Marshall Fund, the American Academy in Berlin, and the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin. She has written extensively on transatlantic relations and European security.
Ms. Smith is a recipient of the Richard von Weizsäcker Fellowship at the Bosch Academy in Berlin and the Fredin Memorial Scholarship for study at the Sorbonne in Paris. A native of Michigan, she received her B.A. from Xavier University and her M.A. from American University. She spent a year learning German at the University of Munich. In 2017, she received the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
If there’s one set of foreign military capabilities that has garnered U.S. attention in recent years, it’s those related to anti-access and area denial. Even the most acronym-constrained policymakers regularly cite A2/AD and its challenge to American power projection in the western Pacific. And with good reason: China’s investments in ballistic and cruise missiles, submarines, air defenses and counter-maritime forces have focused military minds on the East Asian littoral’s increasingly contested nature, and on ways in which the United States and its allies might overcome the growing challenges.
Anti-access is, however, not merely an Asian affair. While Washington continues its rebalance to the Pacific, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has dragged the U.S. back to Europe and to a renewed focus on the continent’s attendant security threats. As NATO and Pentagon planners begin to envision the previously unimaginable – conflict with Russia in Europe’s east – they must focus on Moscow’s growing A2/AD capabilities and strategies and move quickly to apply the lessons from Asia. Russia’s ability to contest the landmass in Europe’s east may actually exceed China’s capacity to keep American forces away from thousands of miles of coastline.
The original text of this article was published by Defense One on April 2, 2015. Read more here.