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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 July 14, 2016

    Taking the Fight to the Enemy: Chinese Thinking about Long-Distance and Expeditionary Operations

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

    This Letort Paper examines a genre of military publications inside the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that advocates the development of the capacity to hold a distant enemy’s population and homeland at risk in a conflict. This Paper also assesses a series of military exercises and changes in force posture that would make the PLA more capable of expeditionary operations.

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    Added June 22, 2016

    India's Evolving Nuclear Force and Implications for U.S. Strategy in the Asia-Pacific

    Authored by Yogesh Joshi, Dr. Frank O'Donnell, Dr. Harsh V. Pant.
    View the Executive Summary

    This Letort Paper investigates the present status and contours of Indian nuclear force development, nuclear doctrinal views, and nonproliferation policy, before illustrating the effects of these emerging developments for Asian security and U.S. regional interests.

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    Added October 29, 2015

    Unlocking India’s Strategic Potential in Central Asia

    Authored by Roman Muzalevsky.
    View the Executive Summary

    Select elements of India’s strategic culture and geopolitical constraints account for its limited presence in Central Asia compared to great and middle-ranked powers alike. While Delhi could rely on its own resources to advance its position in Central Asia, it is far better off partnering with Washington. Without such partnership, its positioning in Central Asia and the world will be slower, while its efforts to turn its regional aspirations into influence – severely constrained.

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    Added October 26, 2015

    The Real Rebalancing: American Diplomacy and the Tragedy of President Obama’s Foreign Policy

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

    The Obama administration’s concerted efforts to rebalance American foreign policy away from defense and toward diplomacy and development unfortunately have failed. The continuing militarization of U.S. foreign policy means the Defense Department will remain the preferred means of both legislators and the executive branch for dealing with the greatest challenges facing American national security.

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    Added October 14, 2015

    The Army War College Review Vol. 1 No. 3

    Edited by Dr. Larry D Miller.
    The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms.

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    Added August 11, 2015

    Duffer’s Shoal: A Strategic Dream of the Pacific Command Area of Responsibility

    Authored by Colonel Russell N. Bailey, Colonel (NZ) Christopher J. Parsons, Colonel Elizabeth R. Smith, Lieutenant Colonel Derek J. O'Malley, Lieutenant Colonel Bob Dixon, Ms. Laura McAleer.
    View the Executive Summary

    This monograph is a powerful primer for strategic and operational thinking. The successful defense of Duffer’s Drift required the nuanced application of hard-earned knowledge; ignoring even one tactical lesson guaranteed certain defeat.

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    Added July 29, 2015

    China’s Rise and Reconfiguration of Central Asia’s Geopolitics: A Case for U.S. "Pivot" to Eurasia

    Authored by Roman Muzalevsky.
    View the Executive Summary

    China’s emergence as a global actor has questioned the position of the United States as the strongest power and the future of the Washington-led global order. To achieve the status of a truly global player wielding influence in all dimensions of power would require China to leverage its regional influence in Central Asia.

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    Added July 28, 2015

    The Chinese People's Liberation Army in 2025

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

    The Chinese People’s Liberation Army of 2025 is the 2014 edition of an ongoing series on the People’s Liberation Army co-published by the Strategic Studies Institute, the National Bureau of Asian Research, and the United States Pacific Command. This volume builds on previous volumes and identifies potential trajectories for PLA force modernization and mission focus, and how these potential changes could impact external actors.

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    Added April 15, 2015

    Parsing Chinese-Russian Military Exercises

    Authored by Dr. Richard Weitz.
    View the Executive Summary

    During the past decade, China and Russia have deepened their defense cooperation to include a range of bilateral and multilateral military exercises. These have multiple purposes and the potential to evolve into a more significant security development in coming years.

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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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