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  • Competing with China Today

    As the national security apparatus continues to shift toward great-power competition, there is still a significant lack of understanding about the nature of the current competition and how the armed forces can engage within the strategic reality. This article outlines the road to competition with China, as well as the nature of the struggle, to provide clarity on the challenge such competition poses. Within that context, this article provides recommendations for how the military can translate the strategic concepts found within the National Defense Strategy into more tangible actions.

     
     
  • Legitimizing and Operationalizing US Lawfare: The Successful Pursuit of Decisive Legal Combat in the South China Sea

    This article provides a recommended definition of lawfare, contrasts the United States’ and China’s use of lawfare in the South China Sea, and discusses potential options for the United States’ strategic legitimization and operationalization of lawfare.

  • The Day after the Battle

    This article focuses not on the how we arrive at armed conflict between mainland China and Taiwan, nor how the battle is fought, but rather seeks to provoke thought and discussion about the aftermath, in any number of war-termination scenarios. For arguments sake, we posit there is armed conflict, likely involving the full myriad of forces from the United States, Taiwan, and the People's Republic of China, and may or may not include allies, partners, or other third nations.

     
     
  • The Economics of Repression: The Belt and Road Initiative, COVID-19, and the Repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang

    To gain a comprehensive understanding of the developments in Xinjiang, it is vital to track and identify the effects of the Belt and Road Initiative and COVID-19 on Beijing's repression of China's Uyghur minority.

  • Indo-Pacific Perspectives (December 2020)

    Dr. Peter Harris, et al 
    December 2020 Full Edition

     

  • North Korea: Nuclear Threat or Security Problem?

    The negotiation process on North Korean nuclearization is stalemated and no change seems likely anytime soon. This stalemate demonstrates the failure of the US policy, a very dangerous situation particularly in view of the absence of any viable American strategic approach to the issue, the ensuing divisions among allies, and lack of a coherent approach to North Korea. Continuing the policy of strategic patience, which would be Washington’s default position if no further progress occurs, is doomed to fail. Therefore, the United States must simultaneously enhance alliance cohesion while pursuing a credible negotiating proposal. This article lays out the reasons why that stance is needed now and is becoming more urgent. Such strategic approach can lead to better negotiated outcomes that would not only bring about denuclearization and North Korean security but also promote a new, more stable, equilibrium in Northeast Asia.

     
  • India and the Quadrilateral Forum as a Means of US Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific

    In the Indo-Pacific, China is waging a well-orchestrated campaign to displace US hegemony and secure a favorable balance of power. Driven by ardent nationalistic goals, the Chinese Communist Party is silencing political outliers and challenging the boundaries of international sovereignty. The first half of this article outlines Chinese political ambitions and domestic civil rights violations levied in pursuit of the government’s agenda. It then addresses how Chinese territorialism in the South China Sea has undermined the utility of bilateral US strategic partnerships. The second half of the article describes the threat China poses to India’s national security and why the Indian Air Force is particularly unprepared to meet this challenge. The article concludes by suggesting a quadrilateral treaty alliance between the United States, India, Japan, and Australia is needed to prevent further Chinese adventurism and preserve regional stability.
  • Indonesia: Lessons for the US–China Geo-economic Competition

    The United States reasserted itself as a viable Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) alternative with the creation of the US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in October 2018 and announcement to double the US government’s Indonesian investment portfolio by 2024. To offset the BRI’s financial advantages, the US launched initiatives to coordinate its infrastructure financing decisions with Japan and Australia and to create the Blue Dot Network to promote adherence to international norms in infrastructure development. However, to compete with the BRI most effectively, Washington will need to continue rebranding FOIP to emphasize its responsiveness in helping Indonesia meet its economic goals. Over the long term, the United States will also need to accelerate industrial policies that close the technology gap with China in 5G, a key infrastructure area where Jakarta remains uncommitted.
  • Sticks and Stones: Nuclear Deterrence and Conventional Conflict

    This article examines the background of the disputed Sino–Indian border, then explores the connection between conventional and nuclear conflict in the context of this case. It then considers why the conventional-nuclear escalation ladder is becoming more—not less—critical as we move farther away from the Cold War. Finally, the article considers the implications for other nuclear-armed states.
  • Penetrating Artificial Intelligence–enhanced Antiaccess/Area Denial: A Challenge for Tomorrow’s Pacific Air Forces

    To ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific, the United States Air Force (USAF) must maintain its ability to freely operate in international airspace and project force forward to deter aggression. Future improvements to antiaccess/area-denial (A2/AD) systems will certainly include artificial intelligence (AI). AI is a strategic priority of our adversaries, as it can provide significant benefits for national defense. The USAF must be prepared to tackle these technical challenges to uphold our regional commitments and protect international interests in the Indo-Pacific. Three specific applications relevant to A2/AD are (1) target recognition from multiple fused data sources, (2) improved war gaming with agent-based models, and (3) blockchain-enabled autonomous systems. This article will introduce how these technologies might be integrated into future A2/AD systems and recommend some strategies for addressing and overcoming these challenges.
  • Space Entanglements: The India–Pakistan Rivalry and a US–China Security Dilemma

    The proliferation of space technologies to middle and regional powers raises new questions concerning contemporary international politics and the likelihood of war. Since China launched its infamous 2007 antisatellite missile test, the United States has grown increasingly concerned about the number of actors able to access these capabilities and their potential to complicate the situation on the ground during times of political and military tension. The following classroom activity was designed as a part of the Space Education Working Group at Air University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. It ponders one potential future in which a spark in the India–Pakistan rivalry over Kashmir, accompanied by the potential use of space weaponry, might generate contagion for a US–China conflict. After reading the fictional case, students are provided with roles and questions to assist them in better understanding the international political impacts of space militarization.
  • Path to Nuclear Weapons: Balancing Deterrence, Preemption, and Defense for South Korea

    The US–Republic of Korea alliance has been crucial to South Korean security policy calculations, especially the component of extended nuclear deterrence. Recent Special Measures Agreement negotiations on sharing military cost suggests that the price for US extended deterrence is likely to increase in the years to come. In addition to the cost of the US–ROK alliance being put in the spotlight, North Korea’s insatiable appetite for nuclear weapons, including missiles of all ranges, arguments for South Korea’s nuclear weapons development and armament are surfacing in Seoul as they did in 2016 when North Korea conducted nuclear tests. This article examines policy options for South Korea by examining costs and benefits of the extended nuclear deterrence and nuclear weapons armament. Unless there is a crisis situation shocking enough to completely change the game and lead to disruption of the alliance relationship and its structure, or a change in North Korea’s level of violence and animosity, the shared values and goals between South Korea and the United States will make the nuclear path cost-prohibitive for South Korea.
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The views and opinions expressed or implied in JIPA are those of the authors and should not be construed as carrying the official sanction of the Department of Defense, Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Air University, or other agencies or departments of the US government or their international equivalents.