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China's Rise in American Military Strategy

China's Rise in American Military Strategy

Conference Paper, Preventive Defense Project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

October 16, 2006

Authors: Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities, Dr. William J. Perry, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security; Preventive Defense Project


Neither side can say where destiny will carry the U.S.-China relationship in the decades ahead.  China’s future “intentions” are not a secret they keep from us, but a mystery that only the future will reveal.  In that circumstance, the U.S. has no choice but to have a two-pronged strategy towards China: one prong of engagement to encourage China to be a “responsible stakeholder” and another prong of hedging against the prospect of a downturn in relations.
But how to hedge responsibly?  How much should the Pentagon spend on a hypothesized threat from China?  And how can hedging be done prudently, without creating a self-fulfilling prophesy where treating China as an enemy contributes to making them an enemy?

Please see the pdf below for the full text of this document:


For more information about this publication please contact the PDP Associate Director at 617-495-1412.

For Academic Citation:

Carter, Ashton B. and William J. Perry. "China's Rise in American Military Strategy." October 16, 2006.

Document Length: 12 pp.

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