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Daniel Twining


Daniel Twining is senior fellow for Asia at GMF, where he leads a 16-member team working on the rise of Asia and its implications for the West.  He is also an associate of the U.S. National Intelligence Council.  He previously served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, where he was responsible for South Asia and regional issues in East Asia; as the foreign policy advisor to U.S. Senator John McCain, for whom he handled foreign and defense policy in the United States Senate; and as a staff member of the U.S. Trade Representative.  He has served as a senior policy advisor on several presidential campaigns. 

He has taught at Georgetown University, has testified in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Asia policy, and writes regularly on Asia and U.S. foreign policy, including for Foreign Policy magazine’s Shadow Government channel.   He is completing a book on U.S. grand strategy in Asia and holds a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, where he was the Fulbright/Oxford Scholar from 2004-07.  

News Articles

The West Needs a New Strategy for PakistanNovember 26, 2014A new report by GMF and the Swedish Defense Research Agency argues that the United States and Europe should adopt a fresh approach to Pakistan.
How the New Republican Congress Can Strengthen Obama’s Pivot to AsiaNovember 10, 2014Five things Obama can do to turn weakness into strength over this week’s series of summits with regional and world leaders in Asia.
An Asian post-election checklist for ObamaNovember 05, 2014Daniel Twining gives Obama a checklist for Asia as the president heads to a series of summits with regional and world leaders just days after U.S. midterm elections and Republican gains in Congress.
Daniel Twining: Upending the New Global OrderOctober 17, 2014The world has a new G-7. The International Monetary Fund calculates that the combined GDP of the seven biggest emerging powers exceeds that of the G-7 developed nations, on a purchasing power parity basis. Daniel Twining explores: How will American and Japanese foreign policies navigate this new era?
When Obama Meets Modi: The Superpower and the Global Swing StateSeptember 29, 2014As U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late September, in the wake of Chinese President Xi Jinping's grand tour of South Asia, the world will be watching for clues about the future strategic triangle between its three biggest nations.
The U.S. Bets on ModiSeptember 22, 2014America anticipates an Indian resurgence that could tilt Asia's power balance.
Is Japan’s Grand Security Strategy the Key to U.S. Power in Asia?September 03, 2014A quiet revolution is transforming Japanese diplomacy.
Japan’s ‘democracy diplomacy’ counterbalances ChinaSeptember 02, 2014As Japan looks to diversify its democratic partnerships, the stakes are high.
India’s New Leadership and East Asia – 3August 25, 2014As befits a leading member of the Indian prime minister’s National Security Advisory Board, Pramit Pal Chaudhuri in his rejoinder adeptly lays out the nuances of India’s China policy.
India’s New Leadership and East Asia-2August 22, 2014The history of Indian foreign policy and Sino-Indian relations suggests that India will not concede to live under Chinese dominion in a unipolar Asia.
India’s New Leadership and East Asia – 1July 02, 2014India’s election has produced a decisive majority for the political alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Asia’s Future in the Balance at Shangri-LaJune 11, 2014"We don't think China wants to rule the world. China just wants to rule us." So said a senior Southeast Asian diplomat at last weekend's Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
Daniel Twining: Is the “Chinese Dream” Asia’s nightmare?June 11, 2014Beijing's increasingly aggressive revisionism threatens the peace of Asia and the core interests of nearly every state in it.
Thailand should leave strongman rule behindMay 29, 2014The coup in Thailand reminds us that conflict in Asia is not limited to disputes between nations over history and territory.
Modi’s Challenges on the World StageMay 21, 2014India is back.
The Modi Wave: India’s Election and American InterestsMay 19, 2014India's election has produced a decisive majority for the political alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Narendra Modi.
Obama makes gains in Asia, but more work to doApril 29, 2014Barack Obama's Asia-Pacific legacy is now taking shape, but he has work to do to complete a genuine rebalancing of US power to the region that goes beyond rhetoric.
Why Obama Needs To Lean In On This Asia TripApril 21, 2014Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a wake-up call that we live in a dangerous world of great power revanchism and territorial conflict -- trends that are even more acute in Asia. Rather than "pivot" to any region, the president must make clear that the United States will not make strategic choices that leave its allies at the mercy of regional predators.
Why the World is Watching India’s ElectionsApril 09, 2014India’s election, which begins this week and rolls through May 16, will be the largest peacetime exercise in human history. It will feature 815 million voters, including 100 million new ones. It will boast 300 million more voters than in the next three biggest democracies (America, Indonesia, and Brazil) combined.
India’s watershed moment will have global ripplesApril 07, 2014Indian voters have lived through a decade of lackluster Congress party rule, blighted by corruption and eight straight quarters of comparatively weak economic growth.
Ukraine’s implications for AsiaMarch 06, 2014There are nine lessons Asians will be looking to learn from the biggest security crisis in Europe since the end of the Cold War.
Ukraine Drama Brings Out Leading Actors’ True ColorsMarch 03, 2014The world's response to Ukraine's 2014 revolution is a useful snapshot of the dominant international trends of our time -- including the erosion of the vigor of the West and the determination of our adversaries to secure advantage amidst transatlantic tepidness.
The Strategic Implications of Japan’s ResurgenceJanuary 17, 2014Japan's strategic and economic resurgence is a game-changer for the Pacific century.
The Indo-Japanese Strategic Partnership: Asia’s Response to China’s RiseDecember 06, 2013For all the focus on China’s ascendancy, the developing strategic and economic entente between Japan and India may eventually prove to be as important in shaping Asia’s future.
Memo to Ben Rhodes: The Bush Administration Ended 5 Years AgoNovember 26, 2013White House officials suggest that the president always planned to arrive at this moment, and that everything that came before it -- from the troop surge in Afghanistan to the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden -- was cleaning up after his predecessor.
The Failure of India’s IsolationismOctober 24, 2013"When India and China shake hands, the world notices," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said following his Oct. 22 summit meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
An ‘Asian Tiger’ Agenda for Today’s U.S.-Pakistan SummitOctober 23, 2013Yesterday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that member companies should invest in Pakistan, where global giants like Colgate-Palmolive and Nestlé have made substantial profits.
Leverage the Shale Revolution to Fuel American PrimacyOctober 04, 2013A dozen bold suggestions for the Obama administration to recover its mojo -- fast.
A U.S.-India Prosperity Agenda for Singh’s Visit With ObamaSeptember 26, 2013Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday comes at an awkward time. Both India and the United States suffer from unsteady leadership.
Obama’s Syria Policy Started with a Bang and Ends with a WhimperSeptember 11, 2013Could the administration's Syria strategy be any more astrategic? The events of the past few weeks would constitute a comedy of errors were it not for the fact that civilians being gassed with impunity is anything but funny. Nor is the prospect of a chaotic world in which American retreat creates a vacuum no other power can fill.
Pakistan and the Nuclear NightmareSeptember 04, 2013American analysts are worried about the risk of terrorist attacks against nuclear facilities in Pakistan as well as the risk of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of non-state actors.
The Future of US-China Relations: From Conflict to ConcertJuly 15, 2013China and the United States have just experienced political transitions that allow the leaders of both countries to focus on bilateral relations free from the pressures of domestic political campaigns.
Hold the Mao-tais: the Risks of Sino-American Summit ChumminessJune 06, 2013As Obama prepares for his private retreat with Xi Jinping, the stated aspirations of officials on both sides risk undermining regional and global security rather than dampening Sino-American conflict.
Pakistan’s turbulent elections present an opportunityMay 15, 2013Pakistan has just held a historic election with the highest voter turnout in four decades.
A Pakistani Election PrimerMay 09, 2013Pakistan's election is in fact taking place amid a low-grade civil war in which domestic terrorists are successfully targeting the political parties with the most liberal vision for the country's future. These parties are effectively unable to campaign, with the result that turnout of their supporters will be dramatically suppressed.
The Dangerous Domestic Politics of U.S.-ChinaMay 03, 2013The domestic political frictions produced by the bilateral relationship are, like the tensions between the established power and its rising challenger, intensifying.
Whose Pacific Century? The 113th Congress and AsiaApril 22, 2013This report examines the issues in Asia that the 113th Congress will confront—from the pace and scale of military drawdown in Afghanistan to an increasingly dangerous North Korea.
Rogue State Rollback on the Korean Peninsula?April 02, 2013North Korea's recent saber-rattling raises troubling new questions about the bipartisan failure of American policy to limit Pyongyang's armed recklessness and the threat to the U.S. and our allies.
U.S. Trade Can Help India ReformMarch 26, 2013Delhi will be quicker to liberalize if it knows that cheap U.S. gas exports are waiting on the other side.
A world without the West? Not yet — and maybe not everMarch 22, 2013The BRICS countries may posture, but their strategic interests by and large lie in working more closely with the West rather than forming an alternative block that seeks to overthrow the existing world order.
Daniel Twining’s Testimony Before the House Ways and Means Committee’s Trade Subcommittee About Indian Trade ProtectionismMarch 13, 2013

Daniel Twining's Testimony Before the House Ways and Means Committee’s Trade Subcommittee About Indian Trade Protectionism

A Blueprint for Restoring American ExceptionalismMarch 07, 2013The Obama administration's minimalist foreign policy can lead observers to forget what a more traditionally engaged foreign policy even looks like.
The ‘Obama Doctrine': An Unsentimental AppraisalFebruary 04, 2013Whereas George W. Bush's foreign policy was maximalist, Obama's is minimalist.
The Taiwan LinchpinFebruary 01, 2013An old ally is key to the U.S. position in Asia
Asia’s Pivotal PowerDecember 28, 2012Japan has world-class capabilities that make it a serious player in the global balance of power.
Has Pakistan’s Afghan Policy Really Shifted?December 21, 2012There are reasons to believe that any shift in Pakistan's Afghanistan policy is short-term and tactical.
Global Trends 2030: Scenarios for Asia’s strategic futureDecember 11, 2012What kind of role Asia will play in the world, and how it will relate to the United States and other Western powers, in turn will be determined by what form of regional order is operative in 2030.
Global Trends 2030: Pathways for Asia’s Strategic FutureDecember 10, 2012Today the U.S. National Intelligence Council releases its Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worldsreport, authored by the NIC's resident thought leader and global futurist par excellence, Mat Burrows. Several of us in the Shadow Government stable contributed to the report in various ways over the past few years of its development .
China’s Overreach, America’s OpportunityNovember 21, 2012Growing wariness of Chinese power and penetration now being evidenced in Southeast Asian states has created considerable possibilities for American policy.
Return of the WarlordsNovember 15, 2012Afghanistan's disintegration after 2014 would negate a national security record under President Obama that Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden might wish to run on in 2016.
A Great Game Of Spear And ShieldNovember 08, 2012A strengthening of America's ties with India will trigger shifts in the power paradigm in the age of China.
Democracy can Make China a Great PowerOctober 29, 2012As China undergoes its once-a-decade political transition, Chinese and westerners alike wonder whether its new leaders will put the country on a path to openness and transparency. This is morally desirable.
Don’t give up on IndiaSeptember 21, 2012India has represented Washington’s major strategic bet in Asia. Was this bet misguided?
Moving Too Fast on Burma: Obama Breaks with Aung San Suu KyiJuly 16, 2012

The Obama administration's decision to lift the U.S. investment ban on Burma is the first time Washington has publicly broken with the country's democratic opposition since Burma's fragile but consequential political opening began several years ago.

U.S. Is Moving Too Fast on BurmaJuly 15, 2012

Lifting elements of the Burma investment ban is a sensible part of U.S. strategy, but it must create greater economic and political space outside the regime's control. 

Were U.S.- India relations oversold? Part IIJune 13, 2012

Critics of the  civilian-nuclear deal between the United States and India -- proposed in 2005 and ratified in 2008 -- have more recently charged that its supporters oversold the broader benefits of Indo-U.S. strategic partnership.

Were U.S.- India relations oversold? Part IIJune 12, 2012Critics of the civilian-nuclear deal between the United States and India -- proposed in 2005 and ratified in 2008 -- have more recently charged that its supporters oversold the broader benefits of Indo-U.S. strategic partnership.
China’s Challenge to the Liberal Order, India’s Attraction to It, and the Possibilities for Western Revitalization in Light of the Global Embrace of Democratic NormsMay 29, 2012

The growing role of China is clearly the most significant challenge to the liberal international order to emerge since the shaping of the Bretton Woods institutions. 

What Fate for Liberal Order in a Post-Western World?May 27, 2012

Over the next two decades, the relative power of major international actors will shift markedly.  The NIC's draft Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds maps out three broad scenarios for how will the rise of the rest impact the international system. 

Was the U.S.-India relationship oversold?April 26, 2012

Today's Financial Times charges that U.S.-India relations are "wilting" in light of various policy spats between the two countries that belie the mutual optimism of 2008. These claims need to be put in perspective.

Was the U.S.-India relationship oversold?April 26, 2012A growing chorus in Washington seems convinced that those of us who served in the George W. Bush administration oversold the benefits of the U.S.-India strategic partnership forged from 2005 to 2008.
U.S.-Europe-Asia: The New Strategic TriangleApril 16, 2012

Despite claims that the U.S. "pivot" to Asia means a move away from Europe, there are enormous opportunities for the Atlantic allies to work together in a structured, systematic way in rising Asia on key issues like Burma, China, institution building and security.

The Chinese Military’s Great Leap ForwardMarch 07, 2012

China’s announcement of a more than 11 percent increase in declared military spending — following two full decades of double-digit increases — raises several uncomfortable questions for Asia and the West.

A China policy primer for Xi Jinping’s visitFebruary 14, 2012

In Washington's internal debates over China policy, several schools of thought are vying for primacy. America's Sinologists should have a little more confidence that the United States can compete with China, not only in the contest for power but in the contest of ideas.

Taiwan’s Election and the Future of the U.S.-Taiwan Relationship: No End to the AffairJanuary 23, 2012

Despite fears of a strategic crisis in Asia,  Taiwan’s presidential elections exemplified the normalcy of its democratic process.

(Why) Should America Abandon Taiwan?January 10, 2012

A gathering debate is underway in Washington over whether Taiwan is a spoiler, rather than a partner, in America's Asia strategy as President Obama continues the efforts of Presidents Bush and Clinton to "pivot" towards the region.

Burma’s Opening and the Balance of Values in AsiaDecember 02, 2011One of the best things U.S. policy in Asia can do is encourage democratic transition and consolidation in the region, creating political bulwarks against threats to the existing balance of power - which is also, in important respects, a balance of values.
Dizzy yet? The pros and cons of the Asia ‘pivot’November 22, 2011

The President has finished up a grueling trip to the Asia-Pacific region and can generally feel good about what he accomplished. Like everything this President does, however, the trip was very heavy on political spin.

Is the Obama administration willing to back up Clinton’s talk with action?October 14, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deserves credit for laying out a comprehensive vision for U.S. engagement in the coming Indo-Pacific century. The harder question is whether the Obama administration is committed to maintaining a favorable balance of power in the Asia-Pacific—without which Clinton's many laudable objectives will be impossible to meet.

Debating Australia’s strategic futureSeptember 01, 2011

For the first time in its history, Australia's primary economic partner is not its closest ally but its closest ally's emerging challenger. The days when Australia faced easy strategic choices and a benign external security environment are ending.

India’s Arab Spring OpportunityAugust 24, 2011

In recognition of its growing global role and its status as the world’s largest democracy, India can play a unique role in supporting the democratic forces that have produced the Arab Spring. As demands for democratic change swell from Benghazi to Beijing, India’s liberal system gives it a unique strategic advantage that New Delhi should seize.

Why aren’t we working with Japan and India?July 18, 2011

The Obama administration needs to consider what has shifted in our pivotal relationships with India and Japan and where it bears responsibility for the listlessness in our two biggest strategic partnerships in Asia.

UN Climate Talks and Power Politics: It’s Not about the TemperatureMay 25, 2011

Must U.S. climate diplomacy be a wedge rather than a bridge between the United States and key international partners? GMF Senior Fellow for Asia, Daniel Twining's testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on climate diplomacy.

Why isn’t India buying American fighter jets?April 29, 2011

India has decided not to buy American F-16's or F/A-18's for the biggest defense tender in its history -- a pending $10 billion-plus contract for 126 multi-role combat aircraft. Following field trials, it has instead shortlisted the Rafale, made by France's Dassault, and the Typhoon, produced by a European consortium.

Not a Chinese Century, An Indo-American OneApril 04, 2011

China’s three decades of explosive growth and increasing influence on the global stage have often led to talk of the country dominating the 21st century. But democratic values and strategic interests shared by India and the US could upend this expectation as the two countries pull closer together.

What we learned from the Security Council debate over LibyaMarch 18, 2011

The United Nations Security Council voted to authorize military intervention to protect the Libyan people from the depredations of Colonel Qaddafi's rule. What have we learned from the debate over the resolution and its outcome?

The 112th Congress and Post-Crisis AsiaMarch 11, 2011

An appreciation of America's enduring strengths should be a source of confidence for the 112th Congress. With the right choices, the U.S. will meet the challenges in Asia, draw benefits from Asian growth and peace, and continue to shape the future.

The Pakistan ParallelFebruary 21, 2011

Why has the Obama administration been so tepid in its support for the biggest popular revolution in the modern Arab world? The short answer is Washington’s fear that a vacuum left by President Mubarak’s departure will be filled by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.

Political reform: China’s next modernization?January 13, 2011

China boasts the world's second-largest economy, delivering double-digit economic growth on a seemingly permanent basis. As President Hu Jintao prepares to visit Washington next week, his country's model of authoritarian development looks unstoppable - with troubling implications for American primacy in world affairs.

Six challenges Obama faces in Asia in 2011, and six ways to overcome themJanuary 05, 2011

President Obama had a good year in Asia in 2010. It featured a more realistic China policy, a breakthrough visit to India, and the shelving of an irritating base dispute with Japan, but challenges loom.

Herald a new orderDecember 21, 2010

United States President Barack Obama accomplished three important things during his visit to India last month. He put to bed a notion that held sway earlier in his administration that a US-China 'G2' could jointly manage Asia and the world.

Are U.S.-India relations oversold?November 12, 2010

The biggest disappointment of President Barack Obama's Asia trip was his failure to strike an agreement on the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement in Seoul. His biggest success was his embrace of a transformative partnership with India. The president can now claim ownership of a relationship that has been on the rocks since he took office.

For an Indo-American CenturyNovember 06, 2010

President Obama’s trip to New Delhi and Mumbai should solidify a partnership that could shape the 21st century the way the Atlantic alliance shaped the 20th.

A Roadmap for Revitalizing the U.S. Partnership With IndiaOctober 19, 2010
Following a recent drift in U.S. - India relations, a new report by The Center for a New American Security seeks to lay out a concrete vision and action agenda for the future of relations between Washington and New Delhi.
Democratic Partnership in AsiaOctober 18, 2010Should the liberal West brace itself for the global projection of Beijing’s model of authoritarian modernity in preparation for the time, as the title of Martin Jacques’s latest book foresees, “when China rules the world”?
China’s maritime agression should be wake-up call to JapanSeptember 20, 2010

The Sino-Japanese standoff over Japan's detention of a Chinese trawler captain who acted aggressively towards the Japanese coast guard in waters near the disputed Senkaku islands is part of a larger pattern of Chinese assertiveness towards its neighbors over the past few years.

Why India has mixed emotions about ObamaAugust 06, 2010

If this is truly to be a partnership of equals between the world's predominant power and its next democratic superpower, both New Delhi and Washington share a responsibility to propel it forward. If Obama's commitment to that process is less robust than that of his predecessors, all the more reason for India's leaders to step up theirs.

Assessing Japan’s Election: Is the Sun Setting or Rising on Reform?July 19, 2010

Domestic constitutional and market reforms would strengthen Japan’s hand abroad, reinforcing Japanese competitiveness in a globalized world.  At the same time, its leaders may find that expanding Japan’s economic, diplomatic, and strategic horizons can help catalyze domestic renewal.

‘A lack of fire in the belly,’ concludes Pakistan on Obama’s war strategyJune 25, 2010

No matter how talented General David Petraeus proves to be commanding American and NATO forces, it is hard to see how our Afghan strategy can be successful absent a strategic reorientation by the Obama administration that creates a different calculus for leaders in Kabul and Rawalpindi (headquarters of the Pakistani armed forces) with regard to the Afghan endgame.

The implications of Hatoyama’s downfall for the U.S.-Japan allianceJune 02, 2010

A new year, another new Japanese prime minister. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's resignation makes him the fourth Japanese leader in four years to fall from power. What are the implications for the U.S.-Japan alliance?

Diplomatic NegligenceMay 10, 2010

Despite the many affinities between the United States and India, the Obama administration risks putting India back into its subcontinental box, treating it as little more than a regional power, while it elevates China, through both rhetoric and policy, to the level of a global superpower on par with the United States.

Getting Asia right means getting India rightApril 27, 2010

President Obama's Asia policy remains a work in progress with some real possibilities to advance key relationships. But losing India may do more to weaken the U.S. position in Asia than any number of accomplishments in relations with Japan, South Korea, and other partners.

The BRICs: Building blocks of a new world order that diminishes the West?April 23, 2010

China is a manufacturing superpower; India is the world's largest democracy and "knowledge power"; Russia is a potential "energy superpower," according to the U.S. National Intelligence Council; and Brazil dominates a region lacking any great power competitor. An alliance among these behemoths could change history in ways that diminish the West.

Strengthening the U.S.-Korea Alliance for the 21st Century: The Role of Korean-American Partnership in Shaping Asia’s Emerging OrderApril 01, 2010

While the United States' other relationships in Asia have transformed as the region has re-emerged, the relationship with South Korea remains stuck in the past, frozen by the continuing conflict on the Korean peninsula. South Korea and the United States will both benefit from a strengthened alliance, positioning both countries in a space where they can adapt and thrive in an Asian century.

On this Asia trip, Obama could take a cue from BushMarch 16, 2010

When it comes to Asia, perhaps serving administration officials should spend less time slamming their predecessors' record and more time studying up on it.

What the capture of Mullah Baradar says about Pakistan’s intentionsFebruary 16, 2010The capture of Taliban commander Mullah Baradar in a combined Pakistani-American intelligence operation in Karachi is a major development in the war on terror. This is true not only, and obviously, with reference to the military campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Perhaps more profoundly, it is also true with reference to the future of U.S.-Pakistan relations.
Quitting Isn’t An OptionFebruary 09, 2010World leaders meeting in London recently to discuss Afghanistan's future have dealt themselves a weak hand. The principal obstacles to success in Afghanistan have not been the adversary's strength or any lack of support for the international mission by the Afghan public. Rather, the primary obstacles to victory have been western temporising, irresolution and planned force reductions on a timeline that better suits the Taliban's strategic objectives than our own.
Getting Afghanistan right in LondonJanuary 29, 2010If there is one thing the allies can accomplish in London, it is to signal to the Afghan Taliban - and to all Afghans and neighboring powers sitting on the fence, waiting to cast their lot with the winning side - that NATO is in this fight to win it.
Get China right by getting Asia rightJanuary 21, 2010In 2010, President Obama would be well-advised to shift from an "inside-out" to an "outside-in" Asia policy. Rather than taking an approach to this dynamic region that starts with Beijing, raising fears of a Sino-American condominium, he could follow former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's maxim that "getting China right means getting Asia right."
Eine deutsche PakistanstrategieJanuary 09, 2010In this German-language op-ed (full text in original language here), Kleine-Brockhoff and Twining argue that ignoring Pakistan is dangerous for a country that has troops in Afghanistan -- even if it is only a midsize country and has no historical ties to Pakistan or interests there. But if Germany wants to be successful in Afghanistan and eventually withdraw, it will have to engage more actively in Pakistan, and make more resources and attention available.
Cheer up America: You’re still on top of the world.January 05, 2010The United States need not be so pessimistic about its future. Its position in the world continues to grow in significance, and there is little indication that it is entering a period of decline - even in the face of Asia's rise.
Strengthening the U.S.-Korea Alliance for the 21st Century: The Role of Korean-American Partnership in Shaping Asia’s Emerging OrderDecember 31, 2009Northeast Asia is a region where the interests of several great powers are in constant flux between competition and cooperation. Such a peculiar strategic environment is reflected in the dynamics of the Korean Peninsula.
What is Obama’s real ‘Exit Strategy’ for Afghanistan? And why it matters to IndiaDecember 04, 2009

One way to judge President Obama's speech announcing (another) new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan is by how it fares among those on the front lines. As one senior official in Kabul puts it in today's Wall Street Journal Asia, "We couldn't solve the Afghanistan problem in eight years, but now the U.S. wants to solve it in 18 months? I don't see how it could be done."

Why Obama needs to play his cards right with IndiaNovember 24, 2009As Obama sits down with Prime Minister Singh, he should consider India as the key ally of the U.S. in Asia, both in terms of practical cooperation on global issues and in terms of ensuring that India continues to rise as an alternative to China, sharing the values of the West.
Afghanistan and Pakistan: Time for the Hatoyama Administration to Show Japan’s Latent PowerNovember 18, 2009In a day where Japan's importance in the world seems to be diminishing, 'AfPak' is a valuable opportunity for Japan to demonstrate that it is still an important player in both Asia and the world at large, as well as to support its transatlantic allies.
A crib sheet for President Obama’s upcoming Asian summitryNovember 10, 2009The United States is at the center of the international system in Asia, and desirably so. During his visit to Asia, President Obama should show that he has a strategic vision for sustaining American leadership in the region.
Is China a new ideological superpower? Don’t bet on it.October 29, 2009China's political system makes it an outlier in a democratic Asia, rather than an example of a new model.
The stakes in Afghanistan go well beyond AfghanistanSeptember 30, 2009The problem with the current debate over Afghanistan is that it is too focused on Afghanistan. There is no question that the intrinsic importance of winning wars our country chooses to fight -- to secure objectives that remain as compelling today as they were on September 12, 2001 -- is itself reason for President Obama to put in place a strategy for victory in Afghanistan.
Our Pakistan ProblemSeptember 14, 2009

What national interest does the United States have in Afghanistan? According to recent polls, more and more Americans doubt there is any. This flagging support partly reflects the job the Obama administration has done explaining its goals and strategy in Afghanistan to a skeptical public. But it also reflects the underappreciated fact that succeeding in Afghanistan and defeating America's enemies there, as important as that is in its own right, is even more so for its effects in shaping Pakistan's future.

How Tiananmen Changed China — And Still CouldJune 04, 2009

Absent from almost all Chinese education curricula, the Tiananmen Square massacre of June 4, 1989 marks a pivotal point in Chinese economic and socio- political history. That day, thousands of innocent lives were lost and the rising desire for political liberalization and democratic reform crushed. Over the past 20 years, however, the repercussions of Six-four have deeply affected China's political, social and economic agenda. As the country is rapidly growing from a low-cost manufacturing into a developed, consumer-based society, Chinas find itself confronted with a very different set of problems. GMF Fellow Dan Twining reflects on the sweeping changes in Chinese society and closely examines their economic, social and political impact and what they can tell us about China's future.

De-Hyphenate Af-PakMay 05, 2009

As President Obama hosts the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan in Washington tomorrow and calls on Congress to increase assistance to both countries, his administration can claim credit for regionalizing America's strategy for victory in Afghanistan.

Questions that Obama’s Af-Pak strategy doesn’t answerMarch 30, 2009Fellow Republicans have hailed President Obama's new strategy for Pakistan and Afghanistan. The new administration's strategy is welcome, both for its substance and, as importantly, for the profile it has given to the urgency of defeating the Taliban's resurgence in Afghanistan and its growing strength in Pakistan. But as with every strategy, it contains trade-offs and shortcomings that, after the warm glow that has accompanied the Washington establishment's reception of the president's plan has worn off, may become more apparent.
What we learned from Pakistan’s recent political crisisMarch 17, 2009

Pakistan's political crisis of last weekend was precipitated by opposition leader Nawaz Sharif's pledge to march on Islamabad in support of freedom of the judiciary after both Nawaz and his brother Shahbaz, who had been chief minister of Punjab province, were disqualified by Musharraf-era Supreme Court justices from holding elected office.

Could China and India go to war over Tibet?March 10, 2009Today is the 50th anniversary of the Lhasa uprising. Much of the associated commentary suggests that Tibet is, at most, an internal human rights issue in China, albeit one that impacts China's foreign relations with Western democracies who care about the plight of the Tibetan people. Indeed, the Dalai Lama's admission that Tibet is part of China, and that he seeks true autonomy rather than actual independence for his people, reaffirm this view. There is also, however, an external dimension to the Tibetan crisis, one that implicates core national security interests of nuclear-armed great powers.
Five Reasons Why This North Korean Crisis is No Groundhog DayMarch 05, 2009North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests, new threats of war against its declared enemies, and the predictable results of these developments -– expressions of concern at the UN Security Council, U.S. offers of more unconditional talks, China’s ambivalent response –- suggest that we remain in the “Groundhog Day” cycle of crisis and response that has characterized U.S. policy towards Pyongyang since 1994
Don’t Dumb Down AfghanistanFebruary 23, 2009Reading tea leaves is a dangerous business when it comes to a new administration. There is always a fair amount of floundering around that comes from having too few senior people in place, unsettled -policymaking processes, and indecision over which campaign promises to keep and which to toss overboard. Take, for example, the Obama administration's policy toward Afghanistan. While running for president, Barack Obama promised that help was on its way in the form of thousands of additional troops; now President Obama appears to have put his own promised surge on hold.
India needs a lot more love from ObamaFebruary 20, 2009In 1998, President Clinton flew over Japan without stopping to spend nine days in China. This led to acute concern in Tokyo over "Japan passing" -- the belief that Washington was neglecting a key Asian ally in favor of the region's rising star, China. Is the same thing happening today -- not with Japan, destination of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first overseas trip, but with India?
A U.S. Asia strategy for Hillary Clinton’s tripFebruary 15, 2009Hillary Clinton deserves kudos for making Asia her first trip as secretary of state. Generations of senior U.S. officials were trained and socialized as Atlanticists, a legacy of the centrality of Europe during the Cold War. However, it does not diminish our European allies to acknowledge that if the 20th century was an Atlantic century, the 21st century looks likely to be a Pacific one.
Don’t move the goalposts on AfghanistanJanuary 28, 2009If Iraq was "Bush's War," Afghanistan may well become "Obama's War." But as the New York Times reports today, the Obama administration is attempting to shift the goalposts in Afghanistan away from building a functioning democracy and toward the limited objective of denying terrorists sanctuary on Afghan soil.
You were at the Inauguration; China was planning for warJanuary 22, 2009While everyone here in the United States and beyond was focused on Barack Obama's Inauguration on Tuesday, China chose that day to slip this little item under the door -- China's National Defense in 2008, their annual white paper detailing plans for increased defense spending and military modernization.
India’s relations with Iran and Myanmar: “Rogue state” or responsible democratic stakeholder?April 10, 2008What kind of great power will India become as it rises in the twenty-first century? Indian foreign policy today embodies the contradictions and ambiguities stemming from India's ongoing evolution from a nonaligned, developing nation into one of the world's most powerful democracies.

Democracy and American grand strategy in Asia: The realist principles behind an enduring idealismMarch 31, 2008

Has democracy promotion been discredited as a central theme of American foreign policy after the US experience in Iraq? Many American critics and friends overseas appear to believe so. It would be wrong, however, to believe that the ideational approach of American foreign policy will diminish, particularly in Asia.

Our Pakistan ChallengeNovember 19, 2007Pakistan is the swing state in the worldwide struggle against Islamic terrorists. Its decisive position makes Pervez Musharraf's imposition of martial law on November 3 a hard test for American foreign policy.
Playing the America CardOctober 01, 2007

China's rise in Asia and the world is one of the big stories of our time. Goldman Sachs predicts that China's economy will be bigger than America's in two decades. From Shanghai to Singapore, one hears whispers of a "new Chinese century" recalling the Sino-centric hierarchy of traditional Asia. Yet China's geopolitical ascent is creating what Mao Zedong would have termed a "contradiction": China's rising power makes the United States increasingly important to nearly every Asian nation, including China itself.

Asia’s challenge to ChinaSeptember 25, 2007

American economic weakness, Europe's uncertain political and demographic future, turmoil in the Middle East and challengers to western leadership from Moscow to Tehran may signal a new moment in world politics. It is characterised by the decline of free nations whose power and principles have shaped international society for centuries and the emergence of an autocratic Chinese superpower whose seemingly unstoppable economic ascent shatters the comfortable belief that capitalist development leads to democracy. Should the liberal west brace itself for a new global "Beijing consensus" of authoritarian modernity?

America’s Grand Design in AsiaMay 31, 2007In a dynamic Asian order featuring new centers of power, China's rise will naturally challenge Washington's ability to protect its interests in the region. In 2000, presidential candidate George W. Bush labeled China as the United States' leading strategic and military competitor. In September 2005, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick explicitly warned Beijing not to "maneuver toward a predominance of power" in Asia, suggesting that it was doing exactly that.
The New Great Game: Why the Bush administration has embraced IndiaDecember 20, 2006Three recent events illuminate the contours and fault lines of Asia's emerging strategic landscape, amid the lengthening shadows cast by China's growing power.
America is pursuing a grand design in AsiaSeptember 25, 2006Asia’s strong states will shape the future of international politics more than the weak states and terrorists of Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon.
Russia’s Shadow EmpireMay 11, 2006Since 2003, democratic revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia have dealt strategic blows to the ambition of Russia's leaders to reconstitute the former Soviet empire by retaining political and military suzerainty over their weaker neighbors. But Russia's imperial pretensions along its periphery linger.
Putin’s Power PoliticsJanuary 16, 2006IN A WORLD OF AMERICAN preponderance, European integration, and Asian ascent, it is sometimes hard to take Russia seriously as a great power.
China’s Rise Threatens to Divide Asia, Not Unite ItAugust 22, 2005

Not since modern Japan moved on to the world stage a century ago has a non-western power emerged with such potential to transform the global order as China today. The Pentagon sees a budding rival military power; the US Congress views Chinese acquisitions of US companies as a national security threat; and Mario Monti, the former European commissioner, laments that Europe could one day be little more than "a suburb of Shanghai".

Publications

A Transatlantic Pakistan PolicyNovember 20, 2014

This policy paper identifies ways in which the United States and Europe can better work together to address the complex challenges related to Pakistan.

Periphery as the New King: Lessons from the Current Global Disorder for the Transatlantic AlliesOctober 17, 2014

This policy brief offers ten “lessons” drawing from a number of on-going conflicts.

Japan’s Democracy DiplomacyJuly 11, 2014

This policy paper examines Japan’s deepening democratic partnerships and the implications for the U.S.-Japan alliance.

As Asia RisesMarch 22, 2010

The West has a chance to shape emerging Asia in ways that enlarge its community of values and interests as well as strengthen pluralism in the world’s most dynamic region, the Indo-Pacific.

 

Power and Norms in U.S. Asia StrategyOctober 23, 2009

China's rise is one of the most significant geopolitical events in modern history, with important ramifications for U.S. interests, regional power balances, and the international order. As the Obama administration confronts a broad set of worldwide challenges, questions remain as to how the United States should engage China amidst uncertainty about its long-term intentions and how to balance this important relationship against concerns regarding China's behavior in the international community.

“Af-Pak,” Obama’s Strategy For Afghanistan and PakistanJuly 01, 2009

State weakness that enables terrorists to find sanctuary in Pakistan and Afghanistan poses a direct danger to Europeans and Americans. The strategic challenge for the U.S. and its European allies is sustaining a common commitment to helping the Afghan and Pakistani governments develop the institutional capability to secure their territories. It would be dangerous to walk away from our commitment to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The only viable exit strategy for the West is a victory strategy.

Talking Transatlantic, Turning Toward Asia?April 01, 2009

President Obama makes his first trip to Europe amid growing signs that European leaders may resist his calls for help on resolving the economic crisis, contributing to Afghanistan, and managing detainees from Guantanamo. Europeans quietly wonder about the depth of President Obama's commitment to Europe.

Shock of the New: Congress in Asia in 2009March 06, 2009

The 111th Congress must develop a long-term agenda to manage rapid change in Asia. This will require conceptual adjustment, energetic and creative U.S. leadership, and international commitment. Congress can play a critical role in promoting policies that allow the U.S. to shape and lead an emerging Pacific century, including strengthening relations with core allies, reshaping international institutions to ensure that China and India assume major-power obligations as well as rights, and intensifying engagement in Southeast Asia with stern commitment to open markets, alliances with democracies, and multilateralism.