For its proponents, the idea of strategic ambiguity seems to have become an end in itself that has not adapted, and logically cannot adapt to the disruptive growth in Beijing's military power. The conditions under which the policy worked seem to have evaporated with China's rise. Strategic clarity may offer a way out of this dilemma.
In 2022, the Biden administration stepped up its game in Southeast Asia by showing up in person, clarifying its approach in key strategy documents, and boosting cooperation. But one obvious problem that remains is that it still has no real economic strategy to counter China in the region.
Ukraine has demonstrated the ability of explosive uncrewed surface vessels to target ships. These weapons could play a role in preventing Chinese forces from successfully invading Taiwan in potential future scenarios.
Three years after the SARS-COV-2 virus emerged in Wuhan, China is now facing a tsunami of COVID-19 infections. The unprecedented spread of the disease appears to have been fueled by an ill-timed change in COVID-19 policy and a lack of vaccination and boosting. A rethinking of national strategy could still help.
This weekly recap focuses on how the West might respond in the case of a limited Russian attack on NATO, what China's Arctic ambitions mean to the United States, how inflation affects middle-class households, and more.
China has engaged in economic, scientific, cultural, diplomatic, and military activities in the Arctic region. The United States sees China as a potentially destabilizing force. But there are opportunities to cooperate, for example, on climate change.
It would be impossible to capture all the important work that RAND does in a year. But RAND president and CEO Jason Matheny has compiled ten times he was inspired by RAND's efforts to bring insight to some of the biggest policy stories of 2022.
Even as the Russian military continues to struggle in Ukraine, Air Force leaders and top national security experts at the 2022 West Coast Aerospace Forum warned not to expect similar outcomes in a potential conflict with China. The 7th annual event focused on applying lessons learned from Russia's invasion of Ukraine to the security challenges in the Indo-Pacific.
China may be using arms sales to strengthen alliances around the South China Sea and counter the United States' regional alliances. Beijing's security relationships around the South China Sea could be a harbinger of what it might replicate in Africa and possibly Latin America.