ANALYTICS

26.05.2020 | U.S. Competition with China and Russia: The Crisis-Driven Need to Change U.S. Strategy
by Anthony H. Cordesman - CSIS

The focus on high levels of direct conflict with China and Russia is a fundamental misreading of the challenges the U.S. actually faces from Chinese and Russian competition as well as a misinterpretation of their strategy and capabilities. It ignores the fact that China and Russia recognize that major wars between them and the United States – and particularly any wars that escalate to the use of nuclear weapons – can end in doing so much damage to both sides that they become the equivalent of “mutual assured destruction” (MAD). They understand that the only winner in such conflicts between the great powers would be the one power that could actually find a way to stand aside from such a major nuclear exchange or from a high level of theater warfare between the other two. To quote a passage from Clausewitz’s War Games, “the only way to win is not to play.” These operations are summarized in two working chronologies covering China and Russia that support this study: One is entitled Chronology of Possible Chinese Gray Area and Hybrid Warfare Operations and is available on the CSIS website here. The second is entitled Chronology of Possible Russian Gray Area and Hybrid Warfare Operations and is available on the CSIS website here. Whether one calls the end result competition or civil-military “warfare,” the true meaning of “joint” and “multi-domain” has now become the need to integrate military and civil operations in every major region where the U.S. competes with China and Russia and in every relevant aspect of politics, technology, and trade. This report entitled, U.S. Competition with China and Russia: The Crisis-Driven Need to Change U.S. Strategy, is available for download here: https://www.csis.org/analysis/us-competition-china-and-russia-crisis-driven-need-change-us-strategy


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