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Retooling for the Future

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China is undeniably a rising power on the world stage according to Dr. Francisco Wong-Diaz, whether or not China will become a peer competitor to the United States is not as important as its strategic culture. China s military spending is on the rise, its economy is now half as large as the U.S. economy, and its territorial ambitions in the region are worrying to Chinas immediate neighbors yet it is far from parity. Many see an inevitable strategic conflict of interests between China and the United States. Others see the rise of China as an opportunity for the U.S. to collaborate on international security. Businesses see potential for both new markets and competition from cheap labor. The perceptions of China vary dramatically however, it is clear China cannot be ignored. As Dr. Wong Diaz points out, President Obama has articulated that the United States will remain a Pacific power and needs to focus on the Far East. While the challenges and efforts of the last decade will only be ignored at our peril, a shift of focus to the Asia Pacific area will present profound and unique challenges to U.S. strategic thought. Yet, the lessons learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may be very useful as the defense establishment starts to ponder U.S. efforts in the Pacific region and the unique Chinese strategic perspective. Dr. Wong-Diaz emphasizes the Chinese concept of unrestricted warfare URW in this thought-provoking monograph. Whether the Chinese approach economic and military parity with the United States is of secondary concern to the strategic vehicle they will use to influence regional and global behavior. URW will fundamentally challenge the United States capability to engage China with a coherent strategy. However, the asymmetrical approach of the Chinese is not as foreign as it once may have been. Counterinsurgency and asymmetrical threats are now within the paradigm of U.S. thinkers more than at any time in the last 30 years. This foundation presents an

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  • Government and Political Science

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