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PLA Reform in 2017: Likely Directions and Implications for Taiwan March 8, 2017 — 2017 will be a busy year for PLA reform. Key goals include rebalancing towards a greater focus on the navy and air force, restructuring the ground forces, and revising the personnel system to promote stronger joint operations capabilities. Taiwan needs to work, both individually and in concert with the United States, to mitigate the risks of a PLA that will be better organized, trained, and equipped to threaten the island’s safety. MORE

President Trump’s Defense Budget: Just a Down Payment March 7, 2017 — President Trump took the right approach: an incremental first step that demonstrates his commitment. Before he lays out the required long-range strategy to correct the shortcomings in our armed forces, he will need to explain his vision for America’s leadership role in the world. His forthcoming National Security Strategy will lay out that vision, and the National Security Council must assist him in laying out the underpinning role of defense within that overarching strategy. It must also define parameters for a subordinate National Defense Strategy that Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his still understaffed team at the Pentagon are responsible for. These more detailed plans will lay out the larger architectural design that the American people and our allies so clearly need to see. But in the absence of the entire design, we should cash the down payment immediately and begin to sharpen the tired instruments we have to work with now. MORE

Strategic Culture and Ways of War: Elusive Fiction or Essential Concept? March 1, 2017 — This review essay appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of the Naval War College Review in March 2017.Is MORE