Thucydides’ Other “Traps”: The United States, China, and the Prospect of “Inevitable” War

The notion of a “Thucydides Trap” that will ensnare China and the United States in a 21st century conflict—much as the rising power of Athens alarmed Sparta and made war “inevitable” between the Aegean superpowers of the 5th century BCE—has received global attention since entering the international relations lexicon 6 years ago. Scholars, journalists, bloggers,… Continue Reading Thucydides’ Other “Traps”: The United States, China, and the Prospect of “Inevitable” War

Inside the Sea Dragon: The Generations Within the Current People’s Liberation Army Navy Officer Corps

The author uses Karl Mannheim’s social generation theory to analyze the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and argue that the current generation of rising leaders differs markedly from that of the past. Due to historical events and policy decisions, such as the end of the Cultural Revolution, the one-child policy, an expansionist foreign policy,… Continue Reading Inside the Sea Dragon: The Generations Within the Current People’s Liberation Army Navy Officer Corps

China’s Other Army: The People’s Armed Police in an Era of Reform

China’s premier paramilitary force—the People’s Armed Police (PAP)—is undergoing its most profound restructuring since its establishment in 1982.Previously under dual civilian and military command, the PAP has been placed firmly under China’s military. As chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xi Jinping now has direct control over all of China’s primary instruments of coercive power.… Continue Reading China’s Other Army: The People’s Armed Police in an Era of Reform

El Salvador’s Recognition of the People’s Republic of China: A Regional Context

In January 2016, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) abandoned an 8-year truce in its war with the Republic of China (ROC) over diplomatic recognition around the world and subsequently moved to aggressively woo traditional Taipei allies. This paper centers on the PRC’s recent successful push into Latin America, and particularly in Central America—historically a… Continue Reading El Salvador’s Recognition of the People’s Republic of China: A Regional Context

Chairman Xi Remakes the PLA: Assessing Chinese Military Reforms

China’s current military reforms are unprecedented in their ambition and in the scale and scope of the organizational changes. Virtually every part of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) now reports to different leaders, has had its mission and responsibilities changed, has lost or gained subordinate units, or has undergone a major internal reorganization. Drawing on… Continue Reading Chairman Xi Remakes the PLA: Assessing Chinese Military Reforms

China’s Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress

China’s actions in recent years in the South China Sea (SCS)—particularly its island-building and base-construction activities at sites that it occupies in the Spratly Islands—have heightened concerns among U.S. observers that China is rapidly gaining effective control of the SCS, an area of strategic, political, and economic importance to the United States and its allies… Continue Reading China’s Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress

China’s Strategic Support Force: A Force for a New Era

In late 2015, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) initiated reforms that have brought dramatic changes to its structure, model of warfighting, and organizational culture, including the creation of a Strategic Support Force (SSF) that centralizes most PLA space, cyber, electronic, and psychological warfare capabilities. The reforms come at an inflection point as the PLA seeks… Continue Reading China’s Strategic Support Force: A Force for a New Era

Impacts of Anti-Access/Area Denial Measures on Space Systems

The 2018 National Defense Strategy and National Space Strategy both reaffirm the vital interests that the United States has in the domain of space. However, space remains an inherently hostile environment that has become congested, contested, and competitive among the nations. What are ways for the U.S. Army to assure the success of its space-dependent… Continue Reading Impacts of Anti-Access/Area Denial Measures on Space Systems