In this third installment of Indo-Pacific Perspectives, Dr. Peter Harris and his assembled scholars tackle the issue of Sino-Indian border conflicts.
Dr. Harris introduces this issue of Indo-Pacific Perspectives, in which six scholars—some based in the region, the rest longtime analysts of Sino-Indian relations—put the recent border Sino-Indian border clashes in context.
This article compares the roots and perspectives of civilizational thinking in three cases (China, Russia, and India) to chart the complex interplay between the rise of domestic “civilizational factions” among a state’s intelligentsia and non-Western elites and the subsequent effects of this thinking on each state’s behavior and strategic posture in the realm of its external affairs. Through rigorous cross-comparative examination and process-tracing along the defined parameters, this case study seeks to contribute to the nascent scholarly literature on the emerging civilization-state phenomena, offering some conclusions on how the emic repackaging of ancient historical epistemologies under hypermodern frameworks may go on to redefine plurilateral order throughout the dynamic twenty-first century and beyond.
Under Xi Jinping’s leadership, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), directed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is pursuing a grand strategy to achieve national rejuvenation. Its strategy incorporates various malign influence methods to control, persuade, intimidate, and manipulate foreign entities and citizens to support this vision. In its insidious infiltration, the CCP is leveraging economic coercion and interference in domestic affairs in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States to implement its national grand strategy of rejuvenation that, if left unchallenged, could have detrimental consequences. The United States should prepare now and implement a united, interagency cooperative posture that also extends across applicable institutions and national governmental echelons to prevent an imbalance in favor of the PRC. Diplomacy is encouraged, but it requires transparency resulting in an overt, legitimate display of intentions and behavior that also includes reciprocity between participating nations. Open, free democracies should not be at a disadvantage because they implement soft power in alignment with their enduring principles, values, and international standards. While this article will not attempt to cover all aspects of the grand strategy pursued by the CCP, it will attempt to explain that its seemingly innocuous and insidious use of malign influence and interference needs to be recognized and countered by the United States and its allies.
The US Coast Guard possesses a unique set of authorities and operational capabilities that make it particularly effective in gray-zone operations, which could allow the United States to exert a less escalatory military presence that bridges gaps between the high-intensity warfighting capabilities of other armed services and the diplomatic arm of the Department of State. Consequently, the US Coast Guard should be employed as a key cog for aligning US efforts with other armed services and partner nations in the region to provide more flexibility and capability in the gray zone of great-power competition.
This article investigates capabilities Taiwan should prioritize to repel such an invasion. Based on an analysis of three stages of a hypothetical PRC invasion (blockade and bombing, amphibious invasion, and island combat operations), Taiwan should maximize its ability to withstand and repel the amphibious invasion phase of any operation by prioritizing mines and minelayers, antiship missiles, and mobile long-range artillery systems.
This article examines the political, military, and economic dynamics of the great-power competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China in the Indo-Pacific and how it has impacted the American alliance structure since the beginning of the Cold War. The author reviews the rise of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) following the demise of the American-sponsored Southeast Asian Treaty Organization, and the challenges facing the United States in establishing a new multilateral defense treaty organization to confront growing Chinese military assertiveness in the region. The author then compares three potential alliances structures to advance American interests in the region with an eye toward current and emerging strategic landscapes.
In this article, the author argues that not only is al-Qaeda far from dead, but that the main factors contributing to the organization’s continued global success are decentralization, effective narratives and propaganda, and the specific targeting of locations with a preexisting history of instability and violence.
South Korea’s perception of China’s role in both the denuclearization and peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula has in part shaped the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) current unwillingness to align itself with the US’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, especially due to the significant effects Sino-US tensions have on Beijing’s strategy toward the Korean Peninsula. In particular, Seoul remains concerned that outright alignment with the United States against China could exacerbate the Korean Peninsula’s position in Sino-US strategic competition. For South Korea, this carries the risk of both Seoul’s diminished influence in the pursuit of Korean denuclearization amid Sino-US tensions as well as a reduction of Beijing’s prospective support for Korean unification under the ROK’s lead.
This article analyzes the emerging engagement and paradigm shift in the US grand strategy in the Indo-Pacific. Its primary thesis is that the current geopolitical and strategic importance of the region has led the United States to redesign and refocus its grand strategy toward the Indo-Pacific, primarily as a method to establish a rules-based order with other like-minded nations, especially democracies, to counterbalance the rise of an increasingly aggressive China.
This article examines the need for redesigned force presentation packages within the Air Force Civil Engineer community due to the return to Great Power Competition and the implementation of Agile Combat Employment (ACE). The author initiates the discussion by proposing a standardized lexicon for these emerging concepts, particularly concerning contingency basing. A recent RAND study proposed a base archetype model for classifying installations within the ACE construct. This paper discusses the advantages of this model and proposes a few modifications. The model, in turn, suggests how to redesign force presentation packages for modern operations. Finally, the author conducts a brief review of current progress toward implementing these redesigned force modules within the Civil Engineer community.
This article attempts to explain what makes India behave the way it does in its approach to the Indo-Pacific, a behavior that one Indian analyst prefers to call “evasive balancing.” The answer to such a behavior, this article contends, is found in the balance of power or, more specifically, in India’s considerable power asymmetry relative to the United States and China in addition to the decreasing power gap between the United States and China. India’s economic and military growth puts it below the United States and China in the hierarchy of differing capabilities, and China has been reducing its power gap with the United States.
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