Derek Grossman

Senior Defense Analyst
Santa Monica Office

Education

B.A. in Political Science and Asian Studies, University of Michigan; M.A. in U.S. National Security Policy, Georgetown University

Overview

Derek Grossman is a senior defense analyst focused on a range of national security policy and Indo-Pacific security issues. He is particularly interested in China's relationships in the region, to include with Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Grossman has over a decade of experience in the Intelligence Community (IC), where he served as the daily intelligence briefer to the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the briefer to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian & Pacific Security Affairs at the Pentagon. Grossman leveraged this experience to write an award-winning paper for the IC's "Galileo Competition," which solicits innovative ideas to optimize IC enterprise management practices.

Prior to DIA, Grossman worked at the National Security Agency (NSA) where he pioneered a new assessment format and led a Directorate-level initiative to enhance NSA's intelligence support to policy. He has also served at the CIA and on the President's Daily Brief (PDB) staff. Prior to government service, Grossman worked at the Jamestown Foundation as the China Program Manager and Editor of China Brief. He previously supported the then-Center for Northeast Asia Policy Studies (CNAPS) at the Brookings Institution.

Grossman holds a M.A. from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in U.S. National Security Policy and received his B.A. with Honors from the University of Michigan in Political Science and Asian Studies. He has published articles for China Brief, Defense Dossier, Global Taiwan Brief, International Security, Journal of International Security Affairs, Newsweek, PacNet, Studies in Intelligence, The Diplomat, The National Interest, and War on the Rocks

Selected Publications

Derek Grossman, "Despite Promising Signs, China's North Korea Policy Unchanged," The Cipher Brief, 2017

Derek Grossman, Michael Chase, "Why Xi is Purging the Chinese Military," The National Interest, 2016

Derek Grossman, "Book Review - Asia's Next Contest," The Journal of International Security Affairs, (26), 2014

Commentary

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend a meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, June 9, 2017

    China Will Regret India's Entry Into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

    Russia first proposed India as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization likely in part to complement bilateral economic and security engagement, but mainly to constrain China's growing influence in the organization.

    Jul 24, 2017 The Diplomat

  • China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks at a Security Council meeting on the situation in North Korea at the United Nations, New York City, April 28, 2017

    How China Could Truly Rein in North Korea

    China has key pressure points at its disposal to help deter North Korea from nuclear activities. It could cut off oil supplies or limit other trade, or crack down on illicit finance networks as many of the banks laundering money for the regime are in China. It could also stop shielding Pyongyang at the UN.

    Jun 20, 2017 The Cipher Brief

  • Soldiers pose for photo during International Maritime and Defense Industry Exposition in Kaohsiung, Taiwan September 16, 2016

    Taiwan's 2017 Quadrennial Defense Review in Context

    Taiwan's 2017 Quadrennial Defense Review is consistent with past reviews on defense strategy, reform of the military service system, and defense budget constraints. It also emphasizes the importance to President Tsai of Taiwan's domestic defense industry and shows uncertainty about U.S. Asia policy.

    Jun 14, 2017 Global Taiwan Brief

  • People in the Taiwanese tourism industry take part in a march calling for the government to tackle the falling number of Chinese tourists visiting the island since Tsai Ing-wen took office, in Taipei, September 12, 2016

    Correspondence: Stability or Volatility Across the Taiwan Strait?

    Prolonged tensions — even possibly amounting to a cross-strait cold peace — are likely if China's President Xi Jinping and Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen cannot reach basic agreement on Taiwan's sovereignty.

    May 10, 2017 International Security

  • Locals read promotional boards about planned economic zones along the China-North Korea border in Nanping, China, March 27, 2017

    Despite Promising Signs, China's North Korea Policy Unchanged

    Official statements and public discussions on China's willingness to punish or otherwise influence North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a direction favorable to U.S. interests have been optimistic lately. But China's continued support of the North should temper expectations.

    Apr 24, 2017 The Cipher Brief

  • China's President Xi Jinping and Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong shake hands at the Central Communist Party Office in Hanoi, Vietnam, November 5, 2015

    China Tolerating Vietnam's South China Sea Activities, for Now

    China has probably tolerated Vietnam's South China Sea construction activities because it feels confident in its military position in the region. Chinese leaders might change their stance if they believe Vietnam is trying to enlist the support of the U.S. or other partners to settle bilateral disputes.

    Mar 3, 2017 Jamestown Foundation's China Brief

  • Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen waves during National Day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan, October 10, 2016

    Why China Should Feel Good About Taiwan

    Chinese leaders should seek to engage in good-faith discussions with Taiwanese counterparts. Beijing should also recognize that Tsai's tentativeness about the new U.S. administration could change if cross-Strait military tensions escalate.

    Feb 22, 2017 Global Taiwan Brief

  • At a public event at the LBJ Presidential Library, the CIA released over 2,500 previously classified President's Daily Briefs from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, September 16, 2015

    Adapting the President's Daily Brief to Trump

    President-elect Trump is receiving President Obama's version of the daily briefing; it has yet to be tailored to his preferences, to which every president is entitled. The intelligence community should seek to adapt the briefing to maximize its interest and relevance to the president-elect.

    Jan 6, 2017 War on the Rocks

  • A woman rides a bike past Taiwan and China national flags during a rally held by a group of pro-China supporters calling for peaceful reunification, Taiwan May 14, 2016.

    Walking Away from One-China Policy Imperils Taiwan

    The U.S. One-China policy has helped keep the peace for decades. Abandoning it now could result in stiffer Chinese resolve. Such a strategy may even backfire by triggering an otherwise avoidable crisis.

    Dec 22, 2016 The National Interest

  • U.S. President Barack Obama (right) stands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during an arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington, September 25, 2015

    China's Actions Are Causing U.S. 'Militarization' of the Pacific

    Beijing's aggression in the Asia-Pacific is threatening key U.S. allies, causing America to respond. Any change in U.S. policy must be based on changes in Chinese behavior.

    Nov 3, 2016 The National Interest

  • Magnifying glass and keyhole

    Giving Intelligence Analysts Their Voices Back: The Case for Analyst Perspectives

    The intelligence community should give analysts a channel to convey their individual insights. This would give policymakers well-reasoned alternative views.

    Oct 20, 2016 War on the Rocks

  • Young Chinese faithful shelter from the sun as Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, May 22, 2016

    Taiwan Should Not Worry About the Vatican

    Concerns are growing in Taipei over whether the Holy See intends to switch its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. Beijing could be entertaining Vatican requests not out of genuine interest in reestablishing relations, but to put Taiwan on edge.

    Oct 5, 2016 PacNet, CSIS

  • Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen waves during her inauguration ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan, May 20, 2016

    A Bumpy Road Ahead for China-Taiwan Relations

    Taiwanese President Tsai has issued numerous political overtures to Beijing, yet Chinese President Xi has demonstrated a clear reluctance to accept her as a credible partner. Instead, he has turned up the heat on Tsai in an attempt to undermine her administration.

    Sep 22, 2016 Defense Dossier

  • Massive unclassified paper shred and uniform drop-off bins help prevent OPSEC violations

    Keeping Up with the Policymakers: The Unclassified Tearline

    Unclassified tearlines could convey the bottom line and potential implications of a classified story in unclassified terms, while obscuring sensitive sources and methods. There are good reasons to build them into the business process and culture of intelligence agencies.

    Jul 28, 2016 War on the Rocks

  • China's President Xi Jinping reviews an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, April 12, 2016

    Xi's Purge of the Military Prepares the Chinese Army for Confrontation

    Xi Jinping is relying on an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign, echoing Mao Zedong's dictum that “the party commands the gun,” and implementing a sweeping reorganization of the PLA to ensure his personal dominance over the military and to strengthen its ability to deter or win future wars.

    Apr 21, 2016 Newsweek