This article contends that US policy makers should understand the growing problem of suspicious Chinese and Russian actions in the polar regions. The dangers of an uncontested China and Russia may lead to a strategic imbalance in evolving regions of geostrategic and geopolitical relevance. Thus, there should be focused policy solutions and military capabilities dedicated toward ensuring that China and Russia do not further challenge the status quo at the North Pole and South Pole.
Volume 04 Issue 5 - Fall 2021
As national security practitioners, we ask: What are the imperatives to enable this kind of competition within the gray zone? Specific to air, space, and cyber power, the United States must apply new ideas, innovate new technology, and reorganize its forces to meet the imperatives of the gray zone. Each of these imperatives is best understood through I. B. Holley’s classic framework on the evolution of warfare as relating to either ideas, tools, or groups. This article interprets the framework as application (ideas), technology (tools), and organization (groups). First, the United States and its allies must leverage the full range of air, space, and cyber power in proactive ways to create dilemmas and uncertainty for the Chinese government and, if necessary, impose costs. Next, they must develop airpower technology focused on dispelling ambiguity, increasing attribution, and illuminating malign activity. And finally, the United States must orient a portion of its air, space, and cyber forces toward frustrating China’s coercive gradualism.
Dispersed operational maneuver and sustainment enabled by bases, places, and faces ensures People's Republic of China (PRC) decision makers can have little confidence in being able to completely, or even sufficiently, prevent US, ally, and partner forces from remaining viable even during a PRC onslaught.
While national and regional leadership shifts, strategic competition between the United States and the PRC will remain the defining feature of the global geopolitical environment for decades to come.
Serious competition requires serious planning and identification of how one intends to change minds and then the follow up to honestly assess how we are doing. We should have done this work years ago, but the second-best time is now.
Integrating Taiwan more formally into regional deliberations and processes would make countries more aware about the shared risks of a cross-Strait conflict.
This article examines why the US commitment to Taiwan is “rock-solid” and why it must remain so.
Any future confluence of views on the status quo regarding Taiwan is becoming increasingly unlikely—and with it, any common baseline for cross-Strait discourse between the two sides. This is an overlooked, yet fundamentally important, aspect of cross-Strait relations.
March 2021 Full Issue
As Beijing continues to assert itself through malign operations, activities, and investments in the economic, political, and military realms to undermine the international rules-based order—ironically the very rules-based order that has enabled China’s rise and which has rescued tens of millions from tyranny and lifted billions out of poverty—the United States must retain a robust, interoperable, and forward-present force that assures America’s vast array of allies and partners and deters China from undermining the free and open Indo-Pacific.
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