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The "Asia Rebalance" in U.S. Strategy : Geopolitical Challenges

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Technical Report

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Air Command and Staff College Maxwell AFB United States

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The 2018 National Defense Strategy NDS states that China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea. Also, the National Security Strategy NSS asserts, China seeks to displace the United States in the Indo-Pacific region, expand the reaches of its state-driven economic model, and reorder the region in its favor. Both the NDS and NSS maintain that China is a competitor in the economic realm that wishes to supplement the United States as a leading global power. In order to mitigate the threat from the Peoples Republic of China PRC, one must understand their motivations through the pressures that they face and exploit them, preventing a PRC hegemony. John Mearsheimer, in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, references Waltzs definition of a defensive realist as a nation-state trying to obtain security. The concerns of the defensive realist country are focused on the balance of power in the region and globally. Waltz also addresses the scenario where a nation-state that acquires power to quickly risks other nation states banding together against them to subvert their power or foreign policy maneuvers.Nathan and Scobell developed a four-ring threat structure that this paper will explore, as well asa discussion on its civilian-military situation, to frame what drives PRC international relations and how the United States should mitigate the PRC rise to power.

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  • Government and Political Science

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