Competing in a Shared Order in Asia

Arguably the leading challenge for US national security strategy in the coming decade is to recalibrate the US role for a more multipolar world order. The geopolitical as well as ideological foundations of the postwar order are under increasing strain.1 States with regional or global ambitions such as Russia, China, and Iran are challenging both the rules of the order and who sets them. Along with North Korea, they have sought to develop military capabilities capable of denying US access to key regions. Meanwhile the rise of anti-globalization sentiment around the world is fueling populism and nationalism and undercutting the dominant neo-liberal ideology of the postwar era.2 At the same time, a new US administration is coming into office that could upend many assumptions about US national security strategy.

In this context, the US role—in Asia as elsewhere—has been thrown into serious question. The United States will likely have to adopt more flexible concepts of international order that recognize the more pluralistic, multipolar realities of world politics,3 and do so at a time when US military predominance is more in question that at any time in several decades. Yet in places like Korea and Europe, US military power remains the default guarantee of regional deterrence and stability. The central dilemma is now clear: Rising tensions in several regions seem to call for revalidated US deterrent missions, but a more multipolar era will not easily accept reassertions of American primacy.

To deal with this dilemma, the United States must find a way to reaffirm these regional deterrence missions in a manner that is at once credible, given others’ growing military capabilities, and non-provocative, given the deep sensitivity of states such as China and Russia to US claims of primacy and deployment of military forces in their neighborhoods. Nowhere is this challenge more important, or more daunting, than in Asia. No meaningful or lasting international order will be possible in the coming decades without stable US-China relations.4 Yet China’s ambitions are clear. Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, its sense of nationalist grievance and assertiveness can be expected to continue growing. Beijing has undertaken an accelerating military buildup designed in part to provide it with veto power on US power projection in areas of vital concern. Given these realities, the United States cannot simply spend its way back to primacy—and the attempt would only exacerbate the security dilemma that risks dragging the United States and China into a conflict neither desires but both may be powerless to avoid.

These emerging challenges highlight the importance of a somewhat obscure but critical area of policy—the regional military strategies the United States fashions to guide the employment of its more constrained military resources in sustaining Asian security. The character of these military strategies, and the capabilities it deploys to serve them, will play a decisive role in determining whether the United States can manage these dilemmas. The biggest challenge is not merely overcoming the growing Chinese challenge. It is doing so in a way that upholds, rather than upends, the chances for a renewed order. This article contends that an innovative approach to non-provocative deterrence is available that would achieve these goals and help the United States continue to support the norms of a rules-based order.

The Challenge: Reaffirming Deterrence While Avoiding a Security Spiral

Since 1945, the United States has played a leading role in deterring conflict in Asia. It has sought to confront and deter communist expansion during the Cold War, discourage Chinese aggression against Taiwan and other areas, deter North Korean aggression against South Korea, combat extremist movements throughout the region, and more.5 It has played this role through its regional deterrent posture and by serving as the region’s leading provider of security through a network of commitments, alliances, and military deployments. And it has undertaken these burdens in service of a larger objective: Sustaining the rules and norms of the postwar order,6 notably a prohibition on unprovoked territorial aggression. One of the most important forms of US support for these rules and norms has been to deploy predominant military power as a check on such aggression.

Yet, both military and political developments throughout Asia are conspiring to test the sustainability of the US role as security provider. This is true in a number of ways and places—including, for example, the Korean Peninsula, where North Korea’s burgeoning nuclear arsenal is undercutting long-standing US operational plans for supporting South Korea in a major conflict. This article focuses, however, on China’s growing power and military ambitions. Its rise is creating a two-fold test for the US role: Beijing’s military capabilities threaten the credibility of US power projection doctrines; and its sense of grievance and threat perceptions mean that it increasingly views the US regional role as unacceptable, and would consider a redoubled US deterrent posture highly provocative.7

China’s Burgeoning Capabilities

China has made enormous progress in the technological sophistication of key elements of its land, sea, and air forces. “In the long term,” the official Defense Department report on China’s military capabilities concludes, “Chinese leaders are focused on developing the capabilities they deem necessary to deter or defeat adversary power projection and counter third-party—including US—intervention during a crisis or conflict.”8 As a signal of this commitment, China’s military budget grew almost 10 percent per year between 2006 and 2015. Beijing is actively developing a suite of advanced weapons systems in areas such as long-range missiles, electronic warfare, cyber warfare, stealth aircraft, and unmanned vehicles. A number of unclassified studies have concluded that these growing capabilities now mean that the US military would have difficulty fulfilling assigned missions in the region.9

None of these analyses suggest that China will have general military superiority over the United States, even two decades from now. Gradually, however, China is gaining a potent “anti-access, area denial” (A2/AD) capability—a capacity to decisively interdict the US ability to project power and dominate the domains of conflict in key regions in Asia.10 This is most true in the areas closest to mainland China, such as the Taiwan Strait,11 but Beijing clearly has the ambition of extending its A2/AD umbrella well into the South China Sea, to cover the areas over which it claims sovereignty. From a military standpoint, the United States will be hard-pressed to counter these efforts, in part because local A2/AD approaches have inherent advantages over power projection: they only aim to deny control, not seize territory; denial technologies tend to be cheaper; and they are typically deployed from home territories and thus offer a defender interior lines and easy reinforcement. The resources required for power projection versus A2/AD technologies means that the cost curves favor the anti-access side of the equation.12

These military trends feed into larger questions about the credibility and viability of US commitments in Asia. Recent polls suggest that publics throughout the region have come to believe—rightly or not—that US power is ebbing relative to China, and that the United States may not be credible in its regional commitments.13 Attitudes are not uniform: public opinion in China, South Korea, and Australia tends to see China overtaking the United States in the region, whereas Japanese are more skeptical. Overall, however, evidence from public opinion polls, expert dialogues, and the impressions of US and international government officials all suggests a growing unease about the sustainability and efficacy of the US regional role.

The Growing Risk of a Security Dilemma

To respond to these Chinese gains, the United States could, in theory, boost its military spending and add both capacity (numbers of units and systems) and capability (new technologies and weapons), with the goal of reclaiming an unquestioned power projection capability. Apart from whether such a venture is even militarily feasible, it would likely exacerbate a dangerous trend already underway in US-China relations: the rise of a classic security dilemma, in which actions by one side to reinforce its position are viewed by the other as inherently threatening.

The US-China strategic competition is explosive in part because it reflects another classic historical pattern—a transition of power. The realist concept of “hegemonic stability theory” has long argued that periods when a rising power begins to challenge an established system leader are some of the most dangerous in world politics.14 Graham Allison has recently referred to this as the “Thucydides trap,” referring to the Greek historian’s famous line about the cause of the Peloponnesian War residing in the changing balance of power between Sparta and Athens. Allison’s research suggests that in 12 out of 16 cases of power transition in the modern era the result has been war—and he sees this cycle very much underway in US-China relations today.15

Especially in such a context, a competition in military capabilities can produce a classic security dilemma, in which actions taken by one side will be viewed as inherently threatening by the other, and lead to mutual buildups with a heightened risk of war.16 Measures taken to reinforce the US deterrent posture in Asia can easily backfire by worsening threat perceptions in Beijing and speeding the dynamics within a security dilemma that can lead to war.17

There is abundant evidence today that China views many US military actions, intended for deterrent purposes, as threatening.18 These fears stem from a larger, conspiratorial Chinese belief that the entire postwar order has been designed, in some measure, to threaten the rule of communist and other non-capitalist regimes around the world, and to maximize US power. (There is, of course, some truth to this claim: the American architects of the postwar order designed it to promote liberal values, and the dominant ideology associated with the order has been neo-liberal capitalist economics.) Many officials and experts in China have come to the conclusion that the United States aims at a version of regime change in China and is unalterably opposed to the growth of Chinese power.

In this context, aggressive, forward-leaning US deterrent strategies in Asia are almost inherently provocative, and risk intensifying the strategic competition. The concept known as AirSea Battle posed such dangers, reportedly calling for preemptive attacks deep into the Chinese mainland in the event of conflict.19 As RAND analysts Terrence Kelly, David Gompert, and Duncan Long have concluded, such deep-strike, offensive, and preemptive approaches would “increase risks of crisis instability, preemption, and escalation.”20 AirSea Battle was eventually folded into other planning concepts, but some analysts have more recently gone further to suggest an all-out effort for the United States to reclaim regional preeminence and reestablish the basis for power projection.21

In sum, emerging Chinese perceptions, grounded in deeply-held views of victimization at the hands of the West, are worsening perceptions that the United States is an imminent threat to Chinese security. Efforts to restore US power projection abilities in the region, and even more generally to shore up its deterrent posture, are likely to be viewed as highly dangerous. The resulting dynamic will make it less possible for the United States and China to participate in any meaningful form of shared order.

Toward a New Approach to the US Security Role

The implication of these trends is that the United States must rethink some elements of the ways by which it provides security in Asia. A number of analysts have offered variants of defensively-oriented, non-provocative deterrent strategies that could meet this need. These strategies are predicated on the basic idea that, in Asia as in most regions, the United States is a status quo power—its primary goal is to prevent others from taking aggressive action, not to create the ability to do so itself. An overarching military strategy for the region that takes this fact seriously could have two leading components: a forward defensive shield based around autonomous systems, “swarming” technologies, precision missiles, and stealthy maritime assets, backed by a second layer of long-range precision weapons fired from well outside the immediate battle area. Taken together, they would create an area dominated by a dense cloud of precision fire in which large-scale offensive warfare ceases to be an option—but in a way that limits the direct threat posed to China, and broadcasts a clearly defensive intent.

Criteria for a Revised Approach

Any new approach to US military strategy in Asia must meet a number of criteria. It should, first of all, continue to broadcast a powerful deterrent message, adopting concepts and capabilities designed to convince Beijing that large-scale aggression—against Taiwan, the South China Sea, or other regional targets—would likely fail. The goal is not to permanently constrain Chinese ambitions but to channel them into non-military avenues, to make clear that the option of abandoning diplomacy in favor of military aggression simply does not exist. This is the essential US security role in the region—to help preserve the peace by demonstrating that large-scale conflict will be self-defeating.

Second, a revised approach should remain as non-provocative as possible. It should be clearly defensive. The foundation of a security dilemma is an inability to distinguish offensive from defensive capabilities. A revised approach should find ways to make clear the defensive intentions of the presence.

Third, a new approach to the US regional role must be relatively cheap. Even if the US defense budget were to grow in the coming years, it is not going to rise so dramatically as to allow unconstrained military planning. A new approach to regional deterrence cannot assume massive new resources to purchase additional force structure or large numbers of weapons.

Fourth, a new approach will both benefit from and likely require a more multilateral character. One of the greatest comparative advantages for the United States in Asia relative to China is Washington’s network of friends and allies. A revised security posture in Asia ought to take significant advantage of the fact that the United States has a broad network of allies and partners with which to work, while China has virtually none.

Toward a Defensive Regional Posture

The broadest concept that would meet these criteria would be a non-provocative or “defensive defense” doctrine that aimed to create a veto power on major territorial aggression—but doing so through identifiably non-aggressive concepts and capabilities.22 Any such approach is likely to have to modify two of the central conceits of current US military doctrine—dominance across all domains of conflict, and the ability to project large conventional forces deep into contested regions. One approach would do so by seeking dominance only in a handful of areas, and aim to project mostly fires (i.e., warheads and weapons) rather than mass (military forces themselves—divisions, naval battle groups, air wings) to the scene of the fight. The goal would be to create a situation in which an aggressor would confront a set of short-range fires defending regional targets from dispersed and survivable locations, which promise to break up and defeat any attack, backed by longer-range precision weapons fired from beyond the reach of any A2/AD umbrella.

The idea of non-provocative defense gained some currency during the Cold War. The essential idea of many of the concepts was to find entirely defensive means of credibly threatening to degrade and eventually grind down attacking Soviet units.23 These doctrines led to great interest in man-portable, anti-armor weapons and other systems that would stiffen the defense offered by militias. Eventually the concepts were found wanting, in large measure because part-time militias armed with handfuls of such anti-tank rockets could not be expected to hold off professional tank armies. Today, however, new technologies (operated by active-duty forces) offer a potential to achieve the result hoped for in the 1980s: A dispersed, resilient, defensive deployment of weapons that would cause devastating attrition on maritime or ground forces in an attacking mode. They offer, as one expert argued with regard to Asian security in 2008, a “less radical and more practical adaptation of that doctrine.”24

The centerpiece of such an approach for security provision in Asia would be a renewed and accelerated technology development and procurement program to acquire an expanded suite of ground- or sea-based, massed-fire systems.25 Some of these already exist. The. Multiple Launch Rocket System is an example: it is capable of firing multiple independently-targeted missiles onto targets dozens of miles away. Large numbers of such systems, deployed under concealment or in underground bunkers, would confront an attacker with a massive volley of highly accurate warheads.26 The US Army is developing a new system, the Long Range Precision Fires Missile (LRPF), with even more impressive capabilities.27

But the most important advances in these areas are yet to be made, with emerging technologies in the area of unmanned systems, robotics, and swarming techniques involving large numbers of small, independently-controlled platforms.28 Dispersed, concealed swarming is the best answer to elements of the growing A2/AD threat such as the ballistic missile threat to US bases: an attacker would need thousands of missiles to strike all the presumed US and allied weapons-launching platforms.

Such a strategy would be especially useful because it would allow allies to acquire similar technologies and work with the United States to create an integrated defensive net to deter aggression. The United States would provide certain high-end capabilities—perhaps the command and control systems, anti-submarine warfare, logistics, and longer-range fire—beyond what regional partners could offer, but both could deploy significant numbers of precision, swarming and autonomous fire systems. A greater use of newer, off-the-shelf capabilities in these areas, moreover, could solve a significant challenge for US security relationships: the constraints on what Washington can provide to allies because of technology transfer regulations. Meantime allies could contribute something that the United States cannot: very long-range anti-ship missiles, barred to Washington by the IMF Treaty.29

This forward-leaning defensive network would include significant maritime assets as well as ground-based missile and drone bases. Submarines would constitute the dominant naval component of the local presence, because of their continued ability to operate even in denied areas. They could interdict enemy shipping with missiles and increasingly become platforms for deploying large number of autonomous drones. Unmanned submersibles or more radical systems such as sea-bed missile platforms could offer additional options. The United States and its allies could also deploy significant numbers of smaller combat vessels, from small frigates down to tiny autonomous speedboats, that would confront an attacker with a mass of fast-moving targets.

These local, multiple-launch missile and swarming drone systems could then be integrated with another set of emerging capabilities, a second layer of the defensive architecture: stand-off “magazines” of precision weapons that can be fired from outside the range of adversary A2/AD umbrellas. One solution to the A2/AD problem is to sidestep its implications by allowing major platforms (ships and aircraft) to stand outside the denied zone and fire precision weapons from great range. The United States has begun to consider, for example, how an un-stealthy bomber could bring two dozen or more air-launched cruise missiles of significantly extended range to within several hundred miles of the target area—but not so close that they would have to penetrate an enemy’s denial areas.30 The planned Long-Range Stand-Off Missile could play a role in this layer, providing that its deployment posture made clear that it would not be brought forward enough to pose a threat to the Chinese mainland.31

Taken together, these short-range and stand-off systems would create a zone of massed, autonomous, resilient systems that could blanket any aggressor with a storm of precision fire. The idea, as some have suggested, is to create a “Blue (or allied) A2AD” capability that turns the concept of denied areas back on an aggressor. The United States, one RAND study has concluded, can “turn the tables on regional aggressors” by using such emerging technologies “to develop its own A2AD capabilities to prevent adversaries’ projection of force. Such Blue A2AD would imply a more defensive but still forward and influential US role in contested regions.”32 In some variants, the resulting strategy could be an updated, turbocharged version of non-provocative defense: its goal is not necessarily to win the resulting exchange of fire, but only to create a situation of mutual assured conventional destruction so that an aggressor could not achieve its goals.

Such a concept would also point to areas where the United States could scale back its efforts. Because it would not be seeking to dominate the battlespace close to China or in deeply denied areas, the premium on large numbers of systems able to operate in such areas—such as fifth-generation aircraft—would decline. Moderate numbers of F-22, F-35, and future generation systems might suffice as part of a mixed force. Nor would such an approach require large numbers of traditional aircraft carriers, which are increasingly vulnerable out to major distances from actual combat; it would allow for a more varied mix of full-size and smaller naval air platforms. In doctrinal terms, it would reject provocative concepts that threatened to project power into the Chinese homeland.


The United States confronts a specific dilemma as it seeks to continue to play its deterrent role in Asia, in service of the rules and norms of a shared order. Under the shadow of rising Chinese A2/AD capabilities, and in the context of growing doubts about US staying power, it will likely have to find ways to reaffirm its military role in the region. But at a time of growing, and frankly understandable, Chinese demands for a greater voice in the operation of the international order—as well as rising concern in Beijing about hostile US intentions—the risk of a security dilemma is more real than at any time in decades. Bolstering US military power in Asia could exacerbate Chinese paranoia, lead to new arms races, and undermine the opportunity for constructive collaboration on issues of shared concern.

A challenged international order demands two contradictory things from the United States. It must revalidate its ability to deter major conflict, while projecting a willingness to live amicably in a more multipolar context. The Asian variant of this dilemma is, thus, symptomatic of a larger challenge as the United States accommodates itself to a more shared order.

To resolve the dilemma the United States, in Asia as elsewhere, needs innovative military operational concepts and regional strategies that focus on non-provocative defense rather than preemptive approaches that threaten to project power into mainland China. Such an approach would offer a means for the United States to protect its interests and those of its treaty allies while avoiding a new security dilemma.

1. For analyses of these trends see Peter Harris, “Losing the International Order: Westphalia, Liberalism and Current World Crises,” The National Interest, November 2015; Richard N. Haass, “The Unraveling: How to Respond to a Disordered World,” Foreign Affairs, November-December 2014; Chester A. Crocker, “The Strategic Dilemma of a World Adrift,” Survival 57, no. 1 (February-March 2015); and Thomas Hale, David Held and Kevin Young, Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation is Failing When We Need It Most (London: Polity Press, 2013).

2. Ronald F. Inglehart and Pippa Norris, “Trump, Brexit, and the Rise of Populism: Economic Have-Nots and Cultural Backlash,” Harvard Kennedy School Faculty Research Working Paper Series, August 2016; Josh Lowe, Owen Matthews, and Matt McAllester, “Why Europe’s Populist Revolt is Spreading,” Newsweek, November 23, 2016; and “Global Politics: League of Nationalists,” The Economist, November 19, 2016.

3. Michael J. Mazarr, ”The Once and Future Order,” Foreign Affairs, January-February 2017.

4. Jeffrey Goldberg, “World Chaos and World Order: Conversations with Henry Kissinger,” The Atlantic, November 10, 2016.

5. See Richard C. Bush, “The U.S. Policy of Extended Deterrence in East Asia: History, Current Views, and Implications,” The Brookings Institution Arms Control Series, Paper 5, February 2011.

6. Michael J. Mazarr, Miranda Priebe, Andrew Radin, and Astrid Stuth Cevallos, Understanding the Current International Order (Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation, November 2016).

7. One possible answer to this dilemma, of course, is to abandon the current concept of the US deterrent role vis-a-vis China. US leaders could determine that the security of Taiwan is not a vital interest, that China’s ambitions in the South China Sea do not fundamentally threaten the United States (and are likely to be somewhat bounded in any case), that regional states can begin to spend more in their own defense, and that, ultimately, China does not have global ambitions on the scale of the former Soviet Union. For the time being, at least, such a policy does not appear to be in the cards, even under a Trump administration. Several Trump appointees in their confirmation hearings declared an intention to sustain US regional deterrent policies, and, specifically, to continue and even intensify the so-called “pivot to Asia.” Powerful voices in Congress would strongly oppose such a reversal and have spoken strongly in favor of an even more assertive US regional role. While a far more constrained strategy is possible, the United States is likely, for some time, to be in the market for approaches that allow it to continue to play its regional deterrent roles.

8. See US Department of Defense, “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2016” (Washington, DC: US DoD, 2016), i. Not all analysts agree that the US understanding of A2/AD actually informs Chinese strategy; see for example Taylor M. Fravel and Christopher P. Twomey, “The Myth of Chinese Counter-Intervention,” The Washington Quarterly 37, no. 4 (Winter 2015). If the effect of the Chinese advances is to deny US power projection, however, the distinction may not mean much.

9. For surveys of Chinese advances, see Timothy R. Heath, Kristen Gunness, and Cortez A. Cooper, The PLA and China’s Rejuvenation (Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation, 2016); Ian E. Rinehart, “The Chinese Military: Overview and Issues for Congress,” Congressional Research Service, March 24, 2016,; Eric Heginbotham et al., The U.S.-China Military Scorecard: Forces, Geography, and the Evolving Balance of Power, 1996-2017 (Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation, 2015); Reginald O’Rourke, “China’s Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities,” Congressional Research Service, June 17, 2016; and Kristien Bergerson, “China’s Efforts to Counter U.S. Forward Presence in the Asia Pacific,” US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, March 15, 2015.

10. Terrence Kelly, David C. Gompert, and Duncan Long, Smarter Power, Stronger Partners, Vol. 1: Exploiting U.S. Advantages to Prevent Aggression (Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation, 2016), xiii-xiv, 7-8.

11. Stephen Biddle and Ivan Oelrich, “Future Warfare in the Western Pacific: Chinese Antiaccess/Area Denial, U.S. AirSea Battle, and Command of the Commons in East Asia,” International Security 41, no. 1 (Summer 2016), contend that limitations to A2/AD technologies mean that China’s capabilities in this sphere will be limited to the Taiwan Strait and parts of the East China Sea, perhaps including the Senkakus, but not beyond. The result will be to replace US dominance (12) “not with Chinese hegemony but with a more differentiated pattern of control,” with the South and East China seas becoming “contested battlespace.”

12. Kelly, Gompert, and Long, Smarter Power, Stronger Partners, Vol. 1, xiii, xv. Even Biddle and Oelrich, “Future Warfare in the Western Pacific,” who take a somewhat sanguine view of China’s actual capabilities, agree that where the reach of A2/AD is feasible, it “cannot be averted at a sustainable cost” (p. 41). Not everyone agrees that these shifting realities need have decisive results. The Chief of Naval Operations, John Richardson, recently offered a partial dissent from the consensus over growing limits to US power projection capabilities. The United States should not become mesmerized by the concept of A2/AD, he contended. Rising capabilities to interdict US forces constitute a challenge to be overcome rather than a reason to abandon power projection. The United States has various technologies at its disposal to help neutralize the A2/AD threat: stealthy submarines, improved operational concepts, and more; John Richardson, “Deconstructing A2AD,” The National Interest, October 3, 2016,

13. See, for example, Richard Wike, Bruce Stokes, and Jacob Poushter, “Views of China and the Global Balance of Power,” Pew Research Center, June 23, 2015,; and Stokes, “How Asian-Pacific Publics See Each Other and Their National Leaders,” Pew Research Center, September 2, 2015, See also CSIS, “The State of U.S. Power: Perceptions Across the Globe,” April 8, 2014,

14. See, for example, Robert Gilpin, “The Theory of Hegemonic War,” The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 18, no. 4 (Spring 1988).

15. Graham Allison, “The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?” The Atlantic, September 24, 2015. See also Lam Peng Er, “China, the United States, Alliances, and War: Avoiding the Thucydides Trap?” Asian Affairs 43, no. 2 (April 2016).

16. Charles Glaser, “The Security Dilemma Revisited,” World Politics 50, no. 1 (October 1997). For an application of the problem to the China relationship see Thomas J. Christensen, “The Contemporary Security Dilemma: Deterring a Taiwan Conflict,” The Washington Quarterly 25, no. 4 (Autumn 2002); and Adam P. Liff and John G. Ikenberry, “Racing Toward Tragedy? China’s Rise, Military Competition in the Asia-Pacific, and the Security Dilemma,” International Security 39, no. 2 (Fall 2014).

17. Richard Ned Lebow, “The Deterrence Deadlock: Is There a Way Out?” Political Psychology 4, no. 2 (1983); Lebow, “Thucydides and Deterrence,” Security Studies 16, no. 2 (April-June 2007); and Lebow, “Deterrence Failure Revisited,” International Security 12, no. 1 (Summer 1987).

18. These views have been reflected in recent opinion polls in China. See, for example, Pew Research Center, “Chinese Public Sees More Powerful Role in World, Names U.S. as Top Threat,” October 5, 2016,

19. For a critique of AirSea Battle in the context of concerns over security dilemmas, see Amitai Etzioni, Foreign Policy: Thinking Outside the Box (London: Chatham House, 2016), 46-47.

20. Kelly, Gompert, and Long, Smarter Power, Stronger Partners, Vol. 1, xv.

21. Robert D. Blackwill and Ashley J. Tellis, “Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China,” Council on Foreign Relations, April 2015. Aaron Friedberg recommends some elements of that strategy but as part of a mixed approach that recognizes more dangers of a security dilemma; see Friedberg, Beyond Air-Sea Battle: The Debate Over U.S. Military Strategy in Asia (London: IISS Adelphi Papers, April 2014).

22. For general treatments of non-provocative and defensive security doctrines, see Geoffrey Wiseman, Concepts of Non-Provocative Defense (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002); Alvin M. Sapterstein, “Provoking a Discussion of Non-Provocative Defense,” Journal of Peace Research, 25, no. 1 (1988); Andrew Mack, “The Theory of Non-Provocative Defense: How Relevant for Korea?” Korean Journal of Defense Analysis 3 (1991); and Barry Buzan, “Common Security, Non-Provocative Defense, and the Future of Western Europe,” Review of International Studies 13, no. 4 (October 1987).

23. Alvin M. Sapterstein, “An Enhanced Non-Provocative Defense in Europe: Attrition of Aggressive Armored Forces by Local Militias,” Journal of Peace Research 24, no. 1 (1987).

24. Sam Roggeveen, “A Non-Provocative Defense Posture for Australia,” Lowy Institute Perspectives, December 2008.

25. Kelly, Gompert, and Long, Smarter Power, Stronger Partners, Vol. 1, xvi.

26. As an example of a new guided version of the MLRS system, see Kris Osborne, “The U.S. Army’s Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System is Getting a New Warhead,” The National Interest, September 20, 2016.

27. Kris Osborne, “The U.S. Army’s New Super Missile Could Dominate the Land Wars of the Future,” The National Interest, January 17, 2017.

28. Kyle Mizokami, “The Pentagon’s Autonomous, Swarming Drones Are the Most Unsettling Things You’ll See Today,” Popular Mechanics, January 9, 2017; Patrick Tucker, “The Navy is Preparing to Launch Swarm Bots Out of Cannons,” DefenseOne, April 14, 2015; and the War on the Rocks series, “The Coming Swarm,” a six-part set of articles beginning with Paul Scharre, “Between Roomba and a Terminator: What is Autonomy?” War on the Rocks, February 18, 2015.

29. James R. Holmes, “Defeating China’s Fortress Fleet and A2AD Strategy,” The Diplomat, June 20, 2016.

30. Dave Majumdar, “Pentagon Hints at Stuffing B-52s with Lethal High-Tech Weapons,” The National Interest, February 4, 2016.

31. On the LRSO missile, see Adam Lowther and Adam Agnes, “Long-Range Stand-Off Missile: The Indispensable Weapon,” The National Interest, July 10, 2016.

32. Kelly, Gompert, and Long, Smarter Power, Stronger Partners, Vol. 1, 139.