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Category: Books

Aug. 14, 2022

Crossing the Strait: China’s Military Prepares for War with Taiwan

Both the U.S. and Chinese militaries are increasingly focused on a possible confrontation over Taiwan. China regards the island as an integral part of its territory and is building military capabilities to deter Taiwan independence and compel Taiwan to accept unification. Based on original research by leading international experts, Crossing the Strait: China’s Military Prepares for War with Taiwan explores the political and military context of cross-strait relations, with a focus on understanding the Chinese decision calculus about when and how to use force, the capabilities the People’s Liberation Army would bring to the fight, and what Taiwan can do to defend itself.

June 8, 2021

The PLA Beyond Borders: Chinese Military Operations in Regional and Global Context

No longer confined to China’s land territory or its near abroad, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is conducting increasingly complex operations farther and farther from China’s continental borders. Within Asia, the PLA now regularly operates into the far reaches of the South China Sea and deep into the Western Pacific, enforcing China’s territorial claims and preparing to counter U.S. intervention in a regional conflict. Beyond Asia, the PLA is present on the ground, at sea, or in military exercises with foreign partners across the Indian Ocean and into the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Foreign militaries now regularly encounter the PLA, whether in tense incidents or friendly contacts, on their home turf and in the global commons.

Nov. 4, 2020

Strategic Assessment 2020: Into a New Era of Great Power Competition

In retrospect, it seems clear that the new era of Great Power competition that is the subject of the chapters in this volume began to take shape almost as soon as the last era had drawn to a close. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the sudden end of the Cold War, the United States found itself in a position of unchallenged (and seemingly unchallengeable) global preponderance.

Feb. 3, 2020

A Persistent Fire: The Strategic Ethical Impact of World War I on the Global Profession of Arms

The profession of arms in the 21st century is at significant risk of losing its status as a profession due to several salient factors. Because of the rapid development of technology in relation to warfare, for instance, there are growing questions as to how much control human beings will retain of future combat, particularly given the speed of decisionmaking required for victory on the modern battlefield. As well, with the rise of new geopolitical and military coalitions, many are concerned as to how much war will remain an act of and in accordance with the political interests, values, and histories of individual nation-states, especially considering the thornier problem of developing the same for coalitions or allied forces. Furthermore, amid an increase in value-neutral societies (and the concomitant lack of personal moral formation of individual citizens), it may rightly be asked whether values-based institutions such as professional militaries can be adequately shaped to reflect any coherent national ethical consensus.

Feb. 11, 2019

Chairman Xi Remakes the PLA: Assessing Chinese Military Reforms

China’s current military reforms are unprecedented in their ambition and in the scale and scope of the organizational changes. Virtually every part of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) now reports to different leaders, has had its mission and responsibilities changed, has lost or gained subordinate units, or has undergone a major internal reorganization.

April 21, 2017

The Armed Forces Officer

In 1950 when he commissioned the first edition of The Armed Forces Officer, Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall told its author, S.L.A. Marshall, “that American military officers, of whatever service, should share common ground ethically and morally.”

Dec. 8, 2016

Charting a Course: Strategic Choices for a New Administration

The new administration takes office in a time of great complexity. Our new President faces a national security environment shaped by strong currents: globalization; the proliferation of new, poor, and weak states, as well as nonstate actors; an enduring landscape of violent extremist organizations; slow economic growth; the rise of China and a revanchist Russia; a collapsing Middle East; and a domestic politics wracked by division and mistrust. While in absolute terms the Nation and the world are safer than in the last century, today the United States finds itself almost on a permanent war footing, engaged in military operations around the world.

Nov. 1, 2015

The People’s Liberation Army and Contingency Planning in China

How will China use its increasing military capabilities in the future? China faces a complicated security environment with a wide range of internal and external threats. Rapidly expanding international interests are creating demands for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to conduct new missions ranging from protecting Chinese shipping from Somali pirates to evacuating citizens from Libya. The most recent Chinese defense white paper states that the armed forces must “make serious preparations to cope with the most complex and difficult scenarios . . . so as to ensure proper responses . . . at any time and under any circumstances.”

Sept. 1, 2015

Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long War

Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long War began as two questions from General Martin E. Dempsey, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: What were the costs and benefits of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, and what were the strategic lessons of these campaigns? The Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University was tasked to answer these questions. The editors composed a volume that assesses the war and analyzes the costs, using the Institute’s considerable in-house talent and the dedication of the NDU Press team. The audience for this volume is senior officers, their staffs, and the students in joint professional military education courses—the future leaders of the Armed Forces. Other national security professionals should find it of great value as well.

April 1, 2015

Women on the Frontlines of Peace and Security

There is a growing body of evidence that shows how outcomes are better for whole societies when women participate in peace talks, security-sector planning, and reconstruction efforts. For example, women often raise day-to-day issues such as human rights, citizen security, employment, and health care, which make peace and security plans more relevant and more durable. They speak on behalf of marginalized groups, often crossing cultural and sectarian divides, which helps give voice to everyone seeking a peaceful future. And once consensus is reached, women can help translate peace from an agreement on paper into changes that make a real difference in people’s lives.