President Trump's new National Security Strategy rightly focuses on competition between countries:
"China has mounted a rapid military modernization campaign designed to limit U.S. access to the region and provide China a freer hand there. China presents its ambitions as mutually beneficial, but Chinese dominance risks diminishing the sovereignty of many states in the Indo-Pacific. States throughout the region are calling for sustained U.S. leadership in a collective response that upholds a regional order respectful of sovereignty and independence."
Since the last war between great powers—the Second World War—strategies for security, prosperity, and influence have changed dramatically.
Mutual nuclear deterrence, stealth, the precision revolution, cyber espionage and related threats, space operations, distributed design and 3-D printing, autonomous vehicles, social media, anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) systems, and more are combining to relentlessly force military tactics and strategies to adapt.
They also affect the costs and benefits of higher-level foreign policy choices, especially in America's relationship with a rising China.
What are America's security and prosperity interests in the region, and what is the best way to advance them? In particular, can America promote a balance of power that empowers our partners and allies to take more responsibility for their sovereignty? What is the most effective way for the United States to prevent a hostile power from dominating the region?