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.
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.
Current ally and partner capabilities are especially appropriate within the umbrella of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms and processes. While ISR is integral to war fighting, it is also the capability that is absolutely critical during competition as well as Phase 0 and Phase I shaping and deterring operations. While America needs strong ally and partner war-fighting capability, the ISR realm allows for close work in areas that prevent and predict conflict or provocation.
The United States should adopt a strategy of a shared governance based on international law in the Macro Arctic Region (MAR) (future combined areas of the Arctic and Indo-Pacific regions) as a foundation to employ a targeted coercive strategy to influence Beijing to abandon China’s expansionist goals in Taiwan. This article first frames how the United States can rebuild global trust. After providing reasons why Washington needs to rebuild trust, particularly in the MAR, the concepts of international law and shared governance are applied to show how the United States should lead the consensus decision making with key MAR players. Next, the article extends the previous arguments for a strategically stronger alliance in the MAR. An Indo-Pacific Alliance is needed to influence expansionist countries and to employ a progressive coercive strategy aimed to control China’s expansion into Taiwan.
This special issue brings together different national and scholarly perspectives to analyze the potential of the Quad Plus from varied national and regional connotations. The volume considers whether the Quad Plus framework can emerge as a central focus of the emerging Indo-Pacific synergies or approaches of various regions and nation states. Accordingly, the special issue is divided into three parts. The first, “Beijing, Quad, and the Quad Plus,” discusses the grouping from the viewpoints of the core Quad 2.0 states—the United States, India, Japan, and Australia, beginning with a special article on the Chinese perspective on the Quad process. The second part, titled “The ‘Plus’ Perspectives,” seeks to consider the prospects that the grouping holds for middle powers and previously included parties such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, United Kingdom, South Korea, Israel, France, Canada, and Brazil. The third and last section expands the scope to discuss perspectives of countries like Russia, the Indian Ocean island states, the Middle East, Pakistan–Afghanistan–Iran, and of course, with a focus on history and politics that the region delves upon pertaining to connectivity and infrastructure. Together, these articles aim to discuss not only the present approaches of the nations/regions in question toward the Quad Plus but also assess how their policies may evolve in the future amid a more hotly contested Indo-Pacific region and an intensifying US–China rivalry. (Note: An updated version of this issue will post in early 2021.)
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