The U.S. Army in Asia, 2030–2040

The U.S. Army in Asia, 2030–2040

Terrence K. Kelly
James Dobbins
David A. Shlapak
David C. Gompert
Eric Heginbotham
Peter Chalk
Lloyd Thrall
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
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  • Book Info
    The U.S. Army in Asia, 2030–2040
    Book Description:

    Looking to the 2030–2040 time frame, U.S. policy and military strategy will need to strike a balance among maintaining a cooperative relationship with China, deterring Chinese aggression in regional disputes, and preparing for the possibility that China could become more assertive. The U.S. Army will have an important role to play in preparing for these developments and for protecting and furthering U.S. interests in the region.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8679-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xxiv)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    This research looks at the U.S. Army’s role in Asia at a point far enough in the future to permit current Army leaders to develop a force that supports U.S. interests, national strategy, and military strategy in Asia. For the purposes of this analysis, we defineAsiaas U.S. Pacific Command’s area of responsibility.

    While Asia as a whole is of great importance to the United States, the focus of U.S. military strategy will be China: how to facilitate a security framework that allows the United States and China to pursue common and national goals peacefully if not cooperatively, how...

  9. CHAPTER TWO The Evolving Strategic Environment
    (pp. 3-10)

    East Asia is and for several decades has been at peace. Most of its states have strong, capable governments that have been able to maintain consistent economic growth, establish reasonably cooperative relations with their neighbors, control their territories, and maintain domestic stability. Significant and, to some degree, predictable shifts in demography, climate, technology, and economics are at work in ways that could alter this hitherto stable and prosperous environment.

    Populations in Northeast Asia are declining.¹ China’s workforce will begin to shrink in the current decade, and its overall population will fall in the next. Japan will be 10-percent less populous...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Chinese Interests and Strategy
    (pp. 11-46)

    In recent years, China’s national interest has become more openly discussed and explicitly defined. The discussion of “core national interests,” a phrase that has gained currency since roughly 2004, provides the highest-level formulation of the interests underpinning Chinese strategic thought.¹ These core interests have been variously defined by different Chinese leaders, but all include some variation of the following three goals:

    1. preserving China’s basic state system and national security (i.e., maintaining CCP rule)

    2. the protection of national sovereignty and territorial integrity

    3. the continued stable development of the Chinese economy and society.

    The second of these points—protecting...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR U.S. Interests and Policies
    (pp. 47-60)

    The United States has security, economic, and normative interests in Asia, as it does elsewhere. In addition to securing the peace and increasing national prosperity, the United States has also sought to advance human rights and representative government around the world, though these latter interests have not enjoyed quite the same priority as the first two. The United States took the lead in creating and fostering an international system that advances these interests by promoting mutual security and open markets after World War II. This system is buttressed by numerous international institutions, including NATO, the UN, the International Monetary Fund,...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE U.S. Military Strategy and Posture
    (pp. 61-84)

    Three key asymmetries favor China in any Western Pacific military competition. The first and most obvious is that of distance. Except for a handful of regional bases—which China can increasingly threaten with its growing offensive might—U.S. power resides hundreds or thousands of miles away from the likely axes of confrontation in the Taiwan Strait, Northeast Asia, and the South China Sea. China’s A2AD capabilities are designed to defend China and enable it to press its external claims. These capabilities could allow China to neutralize forces that are in the vicinity of a conflict and keep reinforcing units at...

  13. CHAPTER SIX The U.S. Army in Asia
    (pp. 85-102)

    The U.S. Army’s future role in Asia will be a mix of continuity and change. It will almost certainly continue to station a sizable ground combat force on the Korean Peninsula for the foreseeable future, or at least until the divide or tensions between the two countries disappears. As circumstances on the peninsula change, however, the Army’s main purpose there will also evolve. While the continuing deterioration of North Korea’s conventional forces makes an invasion of the South less likely, the expansion of Pyongyang’s WMD activities—especially its nuclear program—will increase the criticality of the WMD elimination mission.¹ As...

  14. CHAPTER SEVEN Conclusions
    (pp. 103-114)

    U.S. goals in the Asia-Pacific region are to preserve regional equilibrium, peace, access, and influence, despite the dynamism of Chinese power: Asia’s importance to U.S. interests leaves no choice. Achieving these aims is complicated by the need to forge U.S.-China partnerships on such important global economic and security matters as free trade, steady economic growth, effective institutions, energy security, and countering nuclear proliferation and violent extremism.

    The tension between furthering such cooperation globally and responding to China’s growing power regionally will constrain U.S. military strategy in Asia. While the United States has strong allies (including Japan and South Korea) and...

  15. APPENDIX Differentiating Between a “Systemic Continuity” and a “Hegemonic” China
    (pp. 115-136)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 137-146)