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Nov. 18, 2020

American Businesses and Great Power Competition

On November 18, 2020, the US Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) program hosted a speaker session as a part of its SMA INDOPACOM/AFRICOM Speaker Series. The speaker was GEN (Ret.) Joseph Votel (Former Commander, USSOCOM and USCENTCOM; President and CEO, Business Executives for National Security (BENS)).

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.

Nov. 4, 2020

List of Contributors

List of contributors.

Nov. 4, 2020

Appendix A. Selected Bibliography

Appendix A | Selected Bibliography

Nov. 4, 2020

15. Conclusion: Realities, Imperatives, and Principles in a New Era of Great Power Competition

This chapter summarizes the major features of the new era of Great Power competition (GPC). It then provides an assessment of the novel 2019–2020 coronavirus pandemic implications, concluding that the virus’s impact is likely to accelerate ongoing geopolitical trends rather than generate new ones. The chapter analyzes three main imperatives for American success in GPC by observing that the Sino-American dyad is not a new Cold War, successful competition with China must feature a wise choice of U.S. allies, and the United States can succeed only if the national government smartly intervenes in the economy to fortify American competitive advantage. It offers historically based analysis demonstrating that four competitive principles are most critical to U.S. success in a long-term competition with China: firmness with flexibility, durable partnerships and alliances, the peril of reciprocal societal denigration, and playing for time.

Nov. 4, 2020

14. U.S. Strategies for Competing Against China

This chapter lays out a range of potential strategies, drawn largely from academic literature and security studies, to address approaches for a competitive U.S. response to its main Great Power strategic rival: China. Described are the general outlines of five distinct strategies employing the five elements of strategic interaction defined in chapter 2 of this volume. The strategies are then assessed in general terms for their suitability, feasibility, and sustainability. Each example varies in how it leverages the relative strengths and weaknesses of the protagonists, and how international and domestic support might impact implementation. The author contends that a strategy of enhanced balancing is an appropriate approach.

Nov. 4, 2020

12. Whither Europe in a New Era of Great Power Competition? Resilient but Troubled

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Nov. 4, 2020

13. Competing Visions and Actions by China, Russia, and the United States in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Arctic

This chapter reviews the contours of Great Power competition across Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Arctic; it traces the motivation and scale as well as receptivity to, and potential repercussions of, Chinese and Russian activities across these regions. It finds the challenge of these two competitors to be distinct, the risks to U.S. interests to be uneven across and within each region, and, ultimately, regional states’ cooperation with China and Russia to rarely be grounded in an ideological commitment to Beijing’s global vision or Moscow’s cynicism. This points to the need for parallel strategies that appreciate the diverse challenges China and Russia pose, a broader recalibration of U.S. regional interests that moves beyond the post-9/11 focus on counterterrorism, and a discerning strategic approach that avoids pulling U.S. regional partners into an unrestricted, zero-sum competition.

Nov. 4, 2020

11. Counterterrorism and the United States in a New Era of Great Power Competition

This chapter addresses the likely impact of Great Power competition on future counterterrorism missions by the U.S. military; it argues that the military should prioritize preventing external operations, directed or virtually planned by foreign violent extremist organizations (VEOs), against the U.S. homeland and minimizing the ability of foreign VEOs to inspire attacks by sympathizers in the West, commonly referred to as homegrown violent extremists. Yet the chapter also observes that, over the next 3 to 5 years, Great Power competition will likely constrain the ability of U.S. military forces to achieve even these more limited counterterrorism objectives. The U.S. Government, therefore, will need to cooperate closely with allies and partners to manage global terrorist threats. The military also will need to preserve its ability to conduct unilateral operations to protect the U.S. homeland. Given these requirements, this chapter recommends that the U.S. military revisit its risk threshold for small-footprint deployments, especially force protection requirements. It also should reconsider counterterrorism authorities, technologies, and other tools in light of the new realities created by Great Power competition. And, in this context, the U.S. Government should explore more ways to deter actions by surrogates and proxies against U.S. forces engaged in counterterrorism and to hold sponsors accountable.

Nov. 4, 2020

10. Rogues, Disrupters, and Spoilers in an Era of Great Power Competition

This chapter reviews the interests and behavior of Russia, Iran, and North Korea, so-called rogue, disrupter, and spoiler states. Motivated by goals ranging from a desire for regime survival to aspirations for regional dominance and even global relevance, these countries threaten to divert U.S. attention and resources away from the imperatives of Great Power competition and draw the United States into escalating and destructive crises. At first glance, then, there might appear to be strong incentives for China to form enduring, fully cooperative relationships with each of these countries. Yet this chapter also finds that Russian, Iranian, and North Korean provocative behavior is not uniformly beneficial for China, and the prospect of a robust and fully cooperative anti-U.S. axis in 2020 remains remote. U.S. policymakers should anticipate the threat from each of these states to persist, but not necessarily to become more pronounced, as U.S.-Chinese competition intensifies.