Publications

June 29, 2020

NDU Korea Futures 2025 Symposium

National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies has now released a public report from its February 2020 “Korea Futures 2025” symposium. The event brought together leading government and non-government experts to discuss the Korean Peninsula over the next five years. The objective was to explore the implications and consequences of differing Korean futures for the United States and the countries of Northeast Asia. The report summarizes the discussions and presents key findings that explore critical issues of denuclearization, inter-Korean relations, the national interests of regional countries, and international reactions to a possible dramatic loss of control by the North Korean regime. No symposium can precisely predict the future, but the report’s scenarios and findings will be helpful for scholars, analysts, and policymakers to broaden their perspectives on what might happen on the peninsula and to recognize signs that change is moving in a particular direction.

June 25, 2020

System Overload: Can China’s Military Be Distracted in a War over Taiwan?

In his 2019 New Year’s Day address, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Xi Jinping issued a stern warning to Taiwan: “We make no promise to abandon the use of force, and retain the option of taking all necessary measures.” At the same time, he warned that force could also be used to forestall “intervention by external forces,” referring to the United States. While designed to intimidate recalcitrant Taiwan and U.S. leaders—and appeal to domestic nationalists—rather than to signal an imminent confrontation, Xi’s comments underscored the very real military threats that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) poses to Taiwan. As the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency notes, Taiwan has been the “primary driver” of PLA modernization for decades, spurring the development of short- and long-range ballistic missiles, amphibious and airborne units, and other capabilities targeted at Taiwan and intervening U.S. forces. Those threats have become more worrisome as the PLA conducts large-scale exercises and provocative bomber flights around the island. The PLA’s improved warfighting capabilities have contributed to China’s near-term cross–Taiwan Strait objective—deterring Taiwan independence. Understanding the costs that a war would impose on the island, few but the most die-hard Taiwan independence activists have supported overt moves toward de jure independence.

June 24, 2020

How Will the EU Survive the Coronavirus?

What will be the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on Europe?  How will the pandemic change the trajectory of European development? One way to answer these questions is to ask where Europe seemed to be headed before the coronavirus struck and then assess what is likely to change as a result of the pandemic. We will address these questions based

June 24, 2020

Terrorism in Afghanistan: A Joint Threat Assessment (Chapter III)

Chapter III: Afghanistan in the Regional Security Interplay ContextAs it has for centuries, Afghanistan, based on its location, sits at the intersection of many competing regional and international security agendas. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the geostrategic security interplay between the British and Russian Empires provided the backdrop

June 23, 2020

An Affordable Defense of Asia

US military advantages over China are steadily eroding…For the last two decades, China has studied the US military, identified its key weaknesses, and developed the tactics and forces best suited to exploit those vulnerabilities. These challenges are compounded by significant deficiencies in today’s US joint force across all domains of

June 12, 2020

PRISM Vol. 8, No. 4 (June 2020)

As the National Security and National Defense Strategies state, the world has entered a phase of great power competition in which the United States is confronted by a rising China and a resurgent Russia. PRISM V.8,N.4 offers perspective on this competition with articles by Sir Lawrence Freedman, the Honorable Joseph Nye, and the Honorable Andrew Natsios.

June 10, 2020

China’s Inopportune Pandemic Assertiveness

For a state just beginning to recover from Covid-19, China has been remarkably active in pressing its sovereignty claims. Chinese forces have been involved in a spate of incidents around its borders, most recently a series of tense encounters with India. Foreign media have seized on this as another example of Chinese opportunism, in which Beijing

June 3, 2020

Just Another Paper Tiger? Chinese Perspectives on the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy

In March 2018, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi responded to a question about the Donald Trump administration’s new “free and open Indo-Pacific” strategy by comparing it to “sea foam in the Pacific or Indian Ocean” that might get some attention, “but soon will dissipate.” Wang’s remarks raise an important question for U.S. policymakers: Is Beijing so confident in its own influence, and doubtful of U.S. commitments in the region, that it perceives a green light to continue or expand the kinds of behavior Washington is trying to discourage, such as coercion of China’s territorial rivals and “predatory” lending?

May 11, 2020

Still First to Fight? Shaping the 21st Century Marine Corps

The headline in the New York Times on June 1, 1918, read “Marines – First to Fight.” The day before, a brigade of Marines attached to the U.S. Army’s 2nd Division had raced to the Western Front to halt a breakthrough threatening Paris. They stopped the Germans cold, and five days later, the brigade successfully counterattacked at Belleau Wood

April 27, 2020

Beyond 1918: Bringing Pandemic Response into the Present, and Future

The current pandemic gives us an opportunity to envision new tools, methods, and response policies that leverage emerging technologies, which, if adopted and prudently employed, would enable capability to far better predict, prepare, if not prevent the “next” biosecurity war, and not merely repeat the errors of the “last”.