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Asia Pacific - Recent


At SSI, research on the Asia Pacific currently focuses on four central issues. These are: (1) tensions on the Korean Peninsula, (2) managing a rising China, (3) reconfiguring the security architecture of the region as a whole, and (4) addressing various security challenges in South and Southeast Asia.

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Asia Pacific

(3/7/08) The North Korea MiPAL has been updated with remarks by a State Department official on trafficking of North Korean women, an article from the Brookings Institution assessing possibilities for denuclearization, a report from the Strategic Studies Institute on the North Korean ballistic missile program, and a report from the Institute for Security and Development Policy analyzing the implications of the February 13 agreement. Please see the Recently Added Documents section for the latest on this country - the newest updates are in bold. (View it at NDU)

Asia Pacific

(3/3/08) The China MiPAL has been updated with the 2008 Military Power of the People's Republic of China report from the Department of Defense, and an article on the PLA's evolving operational doctrine from the Jamestown Foundation. Please see the Recently Added Documents section for the latest on this country - the newest updates are in bold. (View it at NDU)

Asia Pacific

(2/29/08) The China MiPAL has been updated to include a joint press availability between Secretary of State Rice and the Chinese foreign minister, a report on the U.S.-Taiwan partnership from the American Enterprise Institute, remarks on China's relations with Africa by the Chinese government representative on Darfur, an article from the Council on Foreign Relations on China's internet firewalls, articles from the Jamestown Foundation on Taiwan and on military education in China, a Congressional Research Service report on China's economy, and an article from Foreign Affairs on democracy in China. Please see the Recently Added Documents section for the latest on this country - the newest updates are in bold. (View it at NDU)

Asia Pacific

(2/15/08) The China MiPAL has been updated with the transcript of a Brookings Institution program on the global implications of China's economic growth, and a report on U.S. military exports to China from the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control. Please see the Recently Added Documents section for the latest on this country - the newest updates are in bold. (View it at NDU)

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    Added November 20, 2014

    Central Asia's Shrinking Connectivity Gap: Implications for U.S. Strategy

    Authored by Roman Muzalevsky.
    View the Executive Summary

    The U.S. global and regional role and capabilities will depend on how well it adjusts its grand strategy in response to current and projected trends in the era of rising powers. In this context, the rise of China, India, and the resurgence of Russia—all capable of challenging regional orders—calls for an engaged, long-term, and concerted U.S. global and regional strategy in Central Asia—the area that figures increasingly prominent in the grand strategies of the rising powers.

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    Added September 05, 2014

    The U.S.-India Relationship: Cross-Sector Collaboration To Promote Sustainable Development

    Edited by Dr. Michael J. Fratantuono, Dr. David M. Sarcone, John D. Colwell, Jr.
    View the Executive Summary

    Within the context of the U.S.-India Strategic Relationship and in light of the vital national interests shared by both countries, what factors will contribute to the success of cross-sector collaborative initiatives intended to address challenges associated with sustainable development? What implications do those insights have for strategic leaders in different sectors?

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    Added September 03, 2014

    A New Type of Great Power Relationship between the United States and China: The Military Dimension

    Authored by Professor Geoffrey Till.
    View the Executive Summary

    President Xi Jinping's recent suggestion that a newly empowered China and the United States adopt a relationship that is new and different from previous relations between the great powers provides an ideal opportunity for the United States to consider its strategic options in the region.

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    Added August 06, 2014

    Strategic Implications of the Evolving Shanghai Cooperation Organization

    Authored by Henry Plater-Zyberk, Dr. Andrew Monaghan.
    View the Executive Summary

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has the potential to obstruct U.S. policy aims in Central Asia, but also to facilitate them. However, both of these potentials are imperfectly understood. This monograph explains the SCO, and its real implications for U.S. policy toward both Central Asia and the SCO’s dominant partners, Russia and China.

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    Added June 24, 2014

    The Paracel Islands and U.S. Interests and Approaches in the South China Sea

    Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
    View the Executive Summary

    Learn how the Paracel Islands disputes act as a primer about the South China Sea conflicts and U.S., Vietnamese, and Chinese relations in the region. This analysis may help the reader better understand these disputes, and how the United States may address them.

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    Added June 13, 2014

    The Growing Complexity of Sino-Indian Ties

    Authored by Dr. Harsh V. Pant.
    View the Executive Summary

    This monograph examines the evolution on Sino-India ties over the last few decades and the constraints that continue to inhibit this relationship from achieving its full potential before delineating the implications of this for the United States and the wider international system.

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    Added June 03, 2014

    The Future of American Landpower: Does Forward Presence Still Matter? The Case of the Army in the Pacific

    Authored by Dr. John R. Deni.
    View the Executive Summary

    The U.S. Army's forward presence in the Pacific theater is long overdue for reconsideration and reconceptualization. Without unduly harming America's commitment to deterrence on the Korean peninsula, the Army forward presence could be reshaped and reconfigured to enable the United States to more effectively and more efficiently achieve its objectives across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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    Added April 22, 2014

    Assessing the People's Liberation Army in the Hu Jintao Era

    Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. David Lai, Mr. Travis Tanner.
    View the Executive Summary

    How has President Hu Jintao contributed to China’s military modernization?

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    Added April 16, 2014

    Augmenting Our Influence: Alliance Revitalization and Partner Development

    Edited by Dr. John R. Deni.
    View the Executive Summary

    The role of allies and partners in the future of American Landpower is discussed.

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    Added March 05, 2014

    The Chinese People's Liberation Army and Information Warfare

    Authored by Dr. Larry M. Wortzel.
    View the Executive Summary

    The Chinese government plans to establish a new air defense intercept zone which will include the Diaoyu or Senkaku Islands, sovereignty over which is disputed by Japan, China, and Taiwan. Due to complaints of cyber penetrations attributed to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and State are devising new means to protect intellectual property and secrets from the PLA’s computer network operations.

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    Added December 27, 2013

    Dangerous Ground: The Spratly Islands and U.S. Interests and Approaches

    Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
    View the Executive Summary

    The Spratly Islands disputes are the nexus of interests and clashes for U.S. partners and competitors that will draw in the United States as it involves itself more in Asia-Pacific issues. This analysis may help readers to better understand these disputes and how the United States may better address them.

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    Added November 03, 2013

    Central Asia After 2014

    Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
    View the Executive Summary

    The papers collected here offer assessments of Sino-Russian rivalry, the U.S.-Russian rivalry, and a neglected but critical topic, Chinese military capability for action in Central Asia. All of these issues are essential for any informed analysis of the future of Central Asian security, as well as relations among the great powers in Central Asia.

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    Added August 21, 2013

    2013-14 Key Strategic Issues List

    Edited by Professor John F. Troxell.
    For several years, the Strategic Studies Institute has annually published the Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL). The overall purpose of this document is to make students and other researchers aware of strategic topics that are of special interest to the U.S. Army. Part I of KSIL is entitled "Army Priorities for Strategic Analysis" (APSA) and is a list of high-priority topics submitted by Headquarters, Department of the Army. Part II is entitled "Command Sponsored Topics" and represents the high-priority command-specific topics submitted by MACOMs and ASCCs. This KSIL provides military and civilian researchers worldwide a listing of the Army's most critical national security issues.

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    Added May 28, 2013

    Asia-Pacific: A Strategic Assessment

    Authored by Dr. David Lai.
    View the Executive Summary

    The U.S.-China power transition has become a defining factor in the Asia-Pacific, conditioning the calculation of policy among the Asia-Pacific nations. A rising China brings mixed blessings—opportunities for development, but risks for conflict.

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    Added December 26, 2012

    India's Changing Afghanistan Policy: Regional and Global Implications

    Authored by Dr. Harsh V. Pant.
    View the Executive Summary

    India's perpetually reactive foreign policy ensured that India has been reacting to the actions of other actors in Afghanistan for the last decade without developing an autonomous posture. This will have serious consequences for Indian security once Western forces depart Afghanistan in 2014.

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    Added November 30, 2012

    Learning by Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad

    Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. David Lai, Mr. Travis Tanner.
    The papers presented in this latest volume in a series on the PLA are a timely and critical look at an evolving and expanding Chinese military and provide context for the changes we may see as the PLA continues to modernize.

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    Added September 17, 2012

    Hidden Dragon, Crouching Lion: How China's Advance in Africa is Underestimated and Africa's Potential Underappreciated

    Authored by David E. Brown.
    In 2010, China eclipsed the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner. Beijing has accomplished this by using a tied aid, trade, and development finance strategy to promote its commercial and political interests on the continent, and its status as a rising global power. This monograph examines the origins of China’s rapid economic advance in Africa; whether this advance will help or hurt Africa; and, the implications that this ecomomic advance will have for the United States.

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    Added August 01, 2012

    2012-13 Key Strategic Issues List

    Edited by Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria, II.
    The purpose of the Key Strategic Issues List is to provide military and civilian researchers a ready reference for issues of special interest to the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense.

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    Added December 19, 2011

    The United States and China in Power Transition

    Authored by Dr. David Lai.
    Historically, systematic power transitions were settled in war. Can China and the United States avoid a deadly contest and spare the world another catastrophe? What can we expect from China and the United States with respect to the future of international relations?

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    Added November 17, 2011

    Chinese Lessons from Other Peoples' Wars

    Edited by Dr. Andrew Scobell, Dr. David Lai, Mr. Roy Kamphausen.
    The 2010 People's Liberation Army (PLA) conference focused on the lessons learned by the PLA from the military actions and experiences of non-Chinese armed forces over the past 30 years, which the PLA can apply to its own strategic planning.

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    Added August 25, 2011

    China-Latin America Military Engagement: Good Will, Good Business, and Strategic Position

    Authored by Dr. R. Evan Ellis.
    This monograph examines Chinese military engagement with Latin America, finding that the level of such activity is higher than is generally recognized, and has expanded in important ways, with high-level trips by Latin American defense and security personnel, officer exchange programs, growing arms sales, military-relevant space, aviation, and telecommunications collaboration, and a small but important physical presence in the region.

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    Added July 18, 2011

    Understanding the North Korea Problem: Why It Has Become the "Land of Lousy Options"

    Authored by William A Boik.
    The U.S. has made little effort to meaningfully engage North Korea over the last decade. What can be done to increase the U.S. understanding of the situation in North Korea and our ability to influence the actions of the North Korean leadership?

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    Added April 08, 2011

    Other People's Wars: PLA Lessons from Foreign Conflicts

    Authored by Mr. Daniel Alderman, Mr. Joe Narus.
    The 2010 annual People's Liberation Army (PLA) Conference discussed ways to better understand how the PLA may seek to utilize its newly acquired capabilities by asking the question, “What lessons does the PLA appear to have drawn from the conflicts of others, and what might the focus and content of those lessons reveal about modern PLA tactics, doctrines, and intentions?”

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    Added March 09, 2011

    India in Africa: Implications of an Emerging Power for AFRICOM and U.S. Strategy

    Authored by Dr. J. Peter Pham.
    Little attention has been given to the fact that India is fast becoming one of Africa’s most important partners, not just in the economic realm but also in the political and security sectors. The author argues that, in the context of the broader U.S.-India strategic partnership as well as America’s specific interests in Africa, the United States should welcome India’s contributions to and engage with India on the African continent.

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    Added February 18, 2011

    A Continuation of Politics by Other Means: The "Politics" of a Peacekeeping Mission in Cambodia (1992-1993)

    Authored by Boraden Nehm.
    The author addresses the UN Cambodian peacekeeping mission of 1992-93 with a fresh look at peacekeeping theory and doctrine. He provides a unique personal perspective to this rigorous academic study having lived in Cambodia as a child through some of the worst years of fighting and subsequent implementation of peace operations.

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    Added December 08, 2010

    Russia's Prospects in Asia

    Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
    To what degree should we take Russia seriously as an important actor in Asia? The three chapters here, taken from an SSI conference in January 2010, actively debate the prospects for Russia as it makes its way in an increasingly complex Asian environment characterized by China’s rising power and multiple threats, such as proliferation in Korea and the Taiwan issue.

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    Added October 13, 2010

    The Coming of Chinese Hawks

    Authored by Dr. David Lai.
    Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the October 2010 newsletter.

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    Added August 17, 2010

    Chinese Energy Security: The Myth of the PLAN's Frontline Status

    Authored by Dr. Ryan Clarke.
    As the Chinese economy continues to expand at impressive rates, energy security strategies have assumed center stage in Beijing. Given that China relies heavily on energy imports, many are predicting the emergence of a blue water navy that seeks to engage in global power projection and secure China’s energy supply. These assessments are incorrect.

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    Added July 09, 2010

    China's Role in the Stabilization of Afghanistan

    Authored by Col Greg Kleponis.
    Critics contend that China is getting a free-ride on the coat tails of U.S.-coalition stabilization efforts. However, the author argues that any economic stimulus should be seen as a boon.

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    Added July 06, 2010

    The PLA at Home and Abroad: Assessing the Operational Capabilities of China's Military

    Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. David Lai, Dr. Andrew Scobell.
    In 2009, the People's Republic of China, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, and the PLA Air Force celebrated their 60th anniversaries. Behind China’s economic development, the PLA parades, and the spectacular celebration fireworks, the world clearly saw an ambitious China edging its way to the center stage of international economic, political, and military affairs. However, a few other major events in the last 2 years came just in time to remind the Chinese leaders, and the world as well, that China still faced a challenging future.

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    Added July 06, 2010

    Arms Sales to Taiwan: Enjoy the Business While It Lasts

    Authored by Dr. David Lai.
    From our "Of Interest" occasional paper series, the author examines recent threats from China over arms sales to Taiwan.

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    Added April 12, 2010

    Criminal Sovereignty: Understanding North Korea's Illicit International Activities

    Authored by Dr. Paul Rexton Kan, Dr. Bruce E. Bechtol, Jr., Mr. Robert M. Collins.
    North Korea’s criminal conduct—smuggling, trafficking and counterfeiting—is well known, but the portion of the government, Office Number 39, which directs it, is understudied or overlooked. This shadowy part of an already opaque government is examined to reveal how it conducts its activities and supports the longevity of the regime.

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    Added March 18, 2010

    Lashkar-I-Taiba: The Fallacy of Subservient Proxies and the Future of Islamist Terrorism in India

    Authored by Dr. Ryan Clarke.
    When it comes to the analysis of Islamist terrorism, the vast majority of attention is given to the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan while the remainder goes towards Southeast Asia, namely Indonesia, and “homegrown” terrorism in the West. This unbalanced approach has resulted in a critical deficit in knowledge regarding the growth of the phenomenon in India, a country which faces the challenge of having to tackle Islamist terrorists based in Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as in India itself. What is clear is that the Pakistan based Lashkar-i-Taiba (LeT) has taken the leading role in spreading its terrorist infrastructure well outside of its original theater, Kashmir, and throughout the whole of India. Inadequate attention has especially been given to LeT’s connections with organized criminal syndicates in India, as well as Indian terrorists themselves. This paper aims to fill this gap and to enhance American understanding of this powerful and sophisticated organization that is set to pose a major challenge to stability and American interests in South Asia and elsewhere.

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    Added March 04, 2010

    Transnational Insurgencies and the Escalation of Regional Conflict: Lessons for Iraq and Afghanistan

    Authored by Dr Idean Salehyan.
    Transnational insurgencies complicate traditional counterinsurgency operations in significant ways and can lead to conflict between states. This monograph examines several transnational militant groups, assesses the prospects for conflict and cooperation over cross-border violence, and discusses current issues facing Iraq and Afghanistan.

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    Added January 19, 2010

    Pakistan's Nuclear Future: Reining in the Risk

    Edited by Mr. Henry D. Sokolski.
    With any attempt to assess security threats, there is a natural tendency to focus first on the worst. Consider the most recent appraisals of Pakistan’s nuclear program. Normally, the risk of war between Pakistan and India, and possible nuclear escalation, would be bad enough. Now, however, most American security experts are riveted on the frightening possibility of Pakistani nuclear weapons capabilities falling into the hands of terrorists who are intent on attacking the United States. Presented with the horrific implications of such an attack, the American public and media have increasingly come to view nearly all Pakistani security issues through this lens.

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    Added January 15, 2010

    The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA)

    Authored by Mr. Daniel Alderman.
    Participants in this conference sought to understand the PLA's evolving view of its roles and responsibilities in a changing global security landscape.

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    Added November 03, 2009

    India's Strategic Defense Transformation: Expanding Global Relationships

    Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Brian K. Hedrick.
    India’s defense establishment is undergoing an unprecedented transformation as it seeks to (1) modernize its military, (2) obtain “strategic partnerships” with the United States and other nations, and (3) expand its influence in the Indian Ocean and beyond.

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    Added June 25, 2009

    2009 Key Strategic Issues List

    Edited by Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria, II.
    The purpose of the Key Strategic Issues List is to provide military and civilian researchers a ready reference for issues of special interest to the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense.

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    Added June 17, 2009

    China's Strategic Culture: A Perspective for the United States

    Authored by Colonel Kenneth D. Johnson.
    With much of the American public accepting the “China Threat” theory, it is critical that the United States recognize the role of strategic culture in shaping China’s domestic and external policies.

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    Added June 01, 2009

    China's Maritime Quest

    Authored by Dr. David Lai.
    Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the June 2009 newsletter.

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    Added April 30, 2009

    Beyond the Strait: PLA Missions other than Taiwan

    Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. David Lai, Dr. Andrew Scobell.
    On September 26, 2008, over 70 leading experts from academia, government, the military and policy thinktanks assembled at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, to look beyond the Chinese People's Liberation Army's (PLA) primary focus on Taiwan and to the evolving new roles of the PLA. The conference could not have been timelier, given the PLA’s active involvement in events during 2008, including earthquake relief, counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance, space activities, and blue water naval operations.

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    Added February 09, 2009

    Japan's Decision for War in 1941: Some Enduring Lessons

    Authored by Dr. Jeffrey Record.
    Japan’s decision to attack the United States in 1941 is widely regarded as irrational to the point of suicidal. How could Japan hope to survive a war with, much less defeat, an enemy possessing an invulnerable homeland and an industrial base 10 times that of Japan? The Pacific War was a war that Japan was always going to lose, so how does one explain Tokyo’s decision for war? Did the Japanese recognize the odds against them? Did they have a concept of victory, or at least of avoiding defeat? Or did the Japanese prefer a lost war to an unacceptable peace?

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    Added October 27, 2008

    PLA Missions Beyond Taiwan

    Authored by Marc Miller.
    Analysis of China’s armed forces tends to focus on its role in a potential Taiwan scenario, given that the PLA retains a central mission in the reunification of Taiwan or prevention of its independence. However, it is also becoming clear that China’s interests and foreign policy objectives are growing with its increasing power and international stature. As a result, it is reasonable to expect the PLA to be asked to perform a wider variety of missions in support of Chinese interests and objectives, from disaster and humanitarian relief and United Nations peacekeeping operations; to counterterrorism and border defense; to outer space and cyber space security; and extending to the protection of ethnic Chinese abroad.

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    Added September 17, 2008

    The "People" in the PLA: Recruitment, Training, and Education in China's Military

    Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. Andrew Scobell, Mr. Travis Tanner.
    On September 28, 2007, under the joint leadership of the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute and NBR’s Pyle Center for Northeast Asian Studies, approximately 70 leading experts on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) convened at Carlisle Barracks, PA, for a 2-day discussion on the Chinese military’s human infrastructure. Presentations and discussions focused on identifying trends in PLA recruitment, education, training, personnel management, and demographics.

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    Added August 06, 2008

    China-Russia Security Relations: Strategic Parallelism without Partnership or Passion?

    Authored by Dr. Richard Weitz.
    This report maintains that, although Chinese-Russian relations have improved along several important dimensions, security cooperation between Beijing and Moscow has remained limited, episodic, and tenuous. Nevertheless, U.S. national security planners should prepare for possible major discontinuities in Sino-Russian relations. American officials should pursue a mixture of “shaping and hedging” policies that aim to avert a hostile Chinese-Russian alignment while preparing the United States to better counter one, should it nevertheless arise.

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    Added July 16, 2008

    Key Strategic Issues List, July 2008

    Edited by Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria, II.
    The Key Strategic Issues List gives researchers, whether military professionals or civilian scholars, a ready reference of those issues of particular interest to the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense. Its focus is strategic, rather than operational or tactical. Every year, the KSIL helps guide research efforts to the mutual benefit of the defense community and individual researchers.

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    Added April 28, 2008

    Prospects from Korean Unification

    Authored by Colonel, Australian Army David Coghlan.
    For a number of reasons, many of which are self-induced, the United States is in danger of losing, or may have already lost, the strategic initiative in Korea to the People's Republic of China. Given time, the ramifications of ceding the initiative to China may result in a unified Korea tilted toward Beijing.

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    Added March 24, 2008

    Projecting Pyongyang: The Future of North Korea's Kim Jong Il Regime

    Authored by Dr. Andrew Scobell.
    The author explores the future of the regime of Kim Jong Il, constructs a number of scenarios, and then identifies the most plausible one.

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    Added March 21, 2008

    Building for the Future: China's Progress in Space Technology during the Tenth 5-Year Plan and the U.S. Response

    Authored by Mr. Kevin Pollpeter.
    This report assesses the progress of China’s space program during the Tenth 5-year Plan (2001-05), examines the implications of this rise, and proposes a course of action for managing the effects of increased competition on the U.S. space program.

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    Added February 25, 2008

    The North Korean Ballistic Missile Program

    Authored by Dr. Daniel A. Pinkston.
    North Korea has never officially abandoned its objective of “completing the revolution in the south” and has continued an alarming military buildup. The ballistic missile inventory now totals about 800 road-mobile missiles, including about 200 Nodong missiles that could strike Japan.

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