In February 2018, the Trump administration released the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which seeks to ensure that the United States will continue to maintain a safe, secure, and effective deterrent that protects the U.S. homeland, assures allies, and above all, deters adversaries. The NPR devotes significant attention to extended deterrence and recommends several specific actions to enhance U.S. and allied capabilities. However, in the current security environment, serious questions have emerged about the continued credibility of the U.S. extended deterrent.
On April 24, the Foreign Policy program at Brookings hosted an event featuring a keynote address by Deputy Undersecretary of Defense David Trachtenberg, followed by a panel discussion involving experts and former government officials, to explore the issue in greater detail.
U.S.-China relations have entered perhaps their most trying period since normalization in 1979. As both countries rethink the trajectory of their relationship, the last 40 years of diplomacy are invaluable to informing new ideas on a way forward. With this notion in mind, Georgetown University recently launched the “U.S.-China Dialogue Podcast,” a series of interviews with former U.S. cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, and other senior officials who helped sculpt U.S.-China relations over much of the past four decades. These edited recordings, now being released individually, trace the negotiating history of major periods of conflict and cooperation between the two countries, including anti-Soviet coordination, the Tiananmen crackdown, nonproliferation, cyber theft, China’s WTO accession, its role in G-20 summits, and much more. In gleaning the lessons of the past, policymakers and the public may gain a clearer perspective on the road ahead for U.S.-China relations.
On April 22, the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings welcomed James Green, the host of “U.S.-China Dialogue Podcast.” Green moderated a conversation with three highly esteemed experts who have shaped U.S.-China relations through their extensive careers in government—Amy Celico, David Shear, and Dennis Wilder—two of whom have been guests of the podcast. The group weighed the insights and oversights gathered through four decades of interacting with the Chinese government. Questions from the audience followed the discussion.
“Great power competition” has returned to the terminology of U.S. strategists, but its implications for defense policy are still not fully understood. While America’s technological edge and willingness to use force in defense of allies deter conflict in Eastern Europe and the Western Pacific, Russia and China seek to erode U.S. advantages, particularly close to their territory, making the prospect of employing force against great powers an increasingly risky proposition. How could a conflict with either Russia or China play out in this evolving security environment—and crucially, will the United States be ready for such a scenario?
On June 3, Brookings hosted a panel discussion exploring possible conflict scenarios with Russia and China, what tools the United States will need to offset Russian and Chinese strategy and capabilities, and how worried policymakers should be about America’s ability to stand by its vital alliance commitments.
“The free traders lied to us that China’s export subsidies was not sustainable and they will eventually liberalize. We accepted this arrangement hoping that our magnimity will be repaid in time instead of being exploited.”
An episode by The John Batchelor Show