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Category: Asia and the Pacific

Aug. 17, 2022

Pushing Back Against China's New Normal in the Taiwan Strait

The key question moving forward is how to prevent China from making a more aggressive posture against Taiwan the new normal. More frequent Chinese exercises and incursions close to Taiwan should be monitored and, if necessary, thwarted, countered, or disrupted. If Chinese exercises involve military aircraft venturing into Taiwan’s airspace, for example, Taipei and Washington should consider measures to warn or intercept the Chinese planes. In response to the threat of a quarantine or blockade, Taipei needs to invest in appropriate capabilities and increase stockpiles of critical resources. Finally, larger, more frequent Chinese exercises around Taiwan would make determining China’s intentions more difficult. The United States and Taiwan should refine their approach to strategic warning, identifying indicators that can differentiate between a Chinese military exercise and preparations for an actual attack.

Aug. 1, 2022

Chinese Perspectives on US Strategy in Asia, 2017-2021

The architects of US strategy in Asia have advanced a bold vision for a "free and open Indo-Pacific" but have paid less attention to China's views and responses. This article surveys perceptions of Chinese strategists toward the Trump administration's regional approach, arguing that China's analytic community came to see US strategy as largely focused on the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

March 23, 2022

Were Drone Strikes Effective? Evaluating the Drone Campaign in Pakistan Through Captured al-Qaeda Documents

At a time when the United States seems likely to rely heavily on targeted killing as an instrument of counter-terrorism, scholars, policymakers, and other analysts remain divided over its utility. These disagreements have been especially pronounced in scholarship and commentary regarding the U.S. drone campaign in Pakistan.

March 8, 2022

China's Military Strategy for a 'New Era': Some Change, More Continuity, and Tantalizing Hints

In 2019, China’s Central Military Commission adopted a new strategy for the People’s Liberation Army, titled the ‘military strategic guidelines for the new era.’ This was consistent with the past but framed by Xi’s political consolidation, growing threats from the United States and Taiwan, and a new military structure. This article documents the strategy and asks what would drive a more fundamental adjustment. It concludes that the strategy reflected a determination to focus the PLA on the necessary and the achievable, but a new direction could be influenced by changes in the strategic landscape, rapid modernization, or new operational concepts.

Jan. 26, 2022

Great Power Competition and Beijing's Olympic Moment

Despite unmistakable structural similarities in the geopolitical environment, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics that begin on February 4th will not become Berlin 1936. There will be no post-Olympic pause, no global goodwill bounce, and no thaw in Sino-American tensions after these Winter Olympic games because China does not aim for these outcomes.

Nov. 3, 2021

Extending that "Loving Feeling" to Undersea Warfare

It is time to extend that “loving feeling” to submarine warfare — including, and perhaps especially, to the submarine forces of U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

May 17, 2021

PLA Overseas Operations in 2035: Inching Toward a Global Combat Capability

Over the past decade, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has followed two general development trajectories. The primary focus has been on deterring adversaries and building the capability to fight high-intensity, short-duration wars around China’s periphery—what the PLA often refers to as “informationized local wars.” A secondary focus has been on nontraditional security operations, such as peacekeeping, maritime law enforcement, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR).

Nov. 12, 2020

China – Next Steps

If we are to compete successfully with China for influence in Asia and across the globe, where to begin? In short, back to basics – our alliances.

Oct. 1, 2020

How Will Russia Respond to the U.S.-China Cold War?

Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff examines the dynamics of the Russia-China entente and what this means for the competition between the United States and China.

July 28, 2020

Beyond Borders: PLA Command and Control of Overseas Operations

China’s latest round of military reforms is driven primarily by Xi Jinping’s ambition to reshape the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to improve its ability to win informationized wars and to ensure that it remains loyal to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The reforms are unprecedented in their ambition and in the scale and scope of the organizational changes.