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An emerging U.S. grand strategy--the promotion of democracy and freedom abroad--will certainly involve the U.S. armed forces. Although they must change to meet changes in emphasis and demand, they cannot risk their historic strengths. Some areas of interest are the organization and employment of forces, planning for future conflicts, developing information resources, and fostering partnerships among the services and with allies.
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.
A RAND study analyzed Chinese and U. S. military capabilities in two scenarios (Taiwan and the Spratly Islands) from 1996 to 2017, finding that trends in most, but not all, areas run strongly against the United States. While U. S. aggregate power remains greater than China s, distance and geography affect outcomes. China is capable of challenging U. S. military dominance on its immediate periphery and its reach is likely to grow in the years ahead. "
Although the question of Taiwan's status may not be resolved soon, considering various outcomes and their possible effects on U.S.-China relations is useful. Ten trajectories for the resolution of Taiwan's status are given, with effects on U.S.-China relations ranging from close cooperation to cold war. As China's military capabilities grow, it will become more difficult but more important to prevent Beijing from trying to use force against Taiwan.
The republics of Central Asia became more important to United States when U.S. forces were deployed there in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The authors examine U.S. interests in the region, identify three main components of a successful military strategy there; and conclude that the U.S. military should have a relatively minor, but important, role in U.S. policy toward this part of the world.
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