Developing a U.S. Strategy for Dealing with China - Now and into the Future
RAND ARROYO CENTER SANTA MONICA CA
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Whatever military strategy the United States pursues now should account for changes that will reshape the security environment in Asia down the road. In the future, for example, China and the region as a whole will face demographic, environmental, technological, and economic changes. China s strong economy and sustained investment in military modernization will be the most powerful disruptive influences in the future security environment in the Western Pacific. While the United States will continue to spend more on defense than China, the gap will close. Importantly, China s focus on security concerns in Asia as opposed to the worldwide commitments of the United States will bring the two powers into something like military parity in the region and, perhaps, give China superiority in its immediate vicinity. Thus, although Beijing is unlikely to compete with the United States in other parts of the world, it will be increasingly able to challenge America s ability to directly defend its allies and interests on China s periphery. The People s Liberation Army s PLA s growing array of anti-access and area-denial A2AD capabilities will make the future involvement of U.S. forces in Asian conflicts more challenging.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics