It is essential to understand that there is no “good” strategy for a conflict between the United States and China. Any major conflict will cause massive damage to the global economy and risk nuclear escalation. Thus the United States must seek a “least bad” strategy. Offshore Control presents China with the generational challenge of establishing sea control at great ranges from its shoreline. By moving the conflict away from Chinese territory, it reverses the cost imposition. Developing penetration and sea control capabilities will cost China more than maintaining America’s defensive and sea denial capabilities. Finally, it minimizes the potential for escalation by providing time for China’s leaders to decide if escalation is a good strategic solution.
Hammes goes into greater depth in this podcast (yes, 2012, forgive me for coming to the party late). An aspect of offshore control Hammes admits is a problem is also a problem for any strategic reform of American military reform, the military-industrial complex.