Cambria Press Publication Review – A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia

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Cambria Press Publication Review for A New Strategy for Complex Warfare

Congratulations to Colonel Thomas Drohan (PhD, Princeton University), Head of the Department of Military & Strategic Studies at the United States Air Force (USAF) Academy, on the outstanding review by the journal Parameters of his book, A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia.

This book, which is part of the new Cambria Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security Studies (RCSS) Series (general editor: Dr. Geoffrey R. H. Burn), was published by Cambria Press in 2016 and launched at the ISA and AAS conferences.

The review notes that “in placing weapons-centric strategic changes front and center, policymakers are putting the cart before the horse. Thankfully Drohan, a scholar with a doctorate from Princeton who now heads the Department of Military and Strategic Studies at the US Air Force Academy after years of his own military service, is in a unique position to bridge this gap between academic theorists and policy practitioners, a task he successfully accomplishes.”

It commends the book because it “does much of the heavy lifting required for acquiring a proper understanding of Asian security cultures. Few works have succeeded as much as this one at succinctly explaining centuries of Asian cultural history and contextualizing that history to current security issues in the region. Members of the security community will greatly benefit from this unique perspective.”

The review also emphasizes how “Drohan does not simply provide policymakers with pages of historical detail and no guidelines for determining its relevance. He excels in explaining the implications cultural histories have for US security strategy and prescribes both philosophical and pragmatic changes practitioners should make.”

Buy A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia for only $29.95 today on Amazon.

China’s Response to Territorial Disputes

The Economist recently reported that “the Permanent Court of Arbitration, an international tribunal in The Hague, has declared China’s “historic claims” in the South China Sea invalid. It was an unexpectedly wide-ranging and clear-cut ruling, and it has enraged China.” As the region and the United States anxiously await China’s response, Colonel Thomas Drohan’s new book, A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia, provides useful insights in gauging China’s possible reactions.

East Asia Warfare Strategy

The book’s concept of combined effects warfare shows how Chinese strategy in East Asia is so effective against the combined arms-heavy approach of the US such as in recent “rebalancing,” relative weaknesses in the key US-Japan alliance and mounting Chinese capabilities account for the timing of Chinese actions; and Chinese security culture explains why China pursues a strategy of blending confrontation with cooperation. It explains contemporary China’s combined-effects approach to complex warfare, specifically which includes the kind of persistent reexpansion we are seeing in the South China Sea:

“Current operations seek to fragment rivals on China’s borders and occupy China-claimed territories with complex invasions…Party operations play an existential role in constructing and justifying both an intuitive moral order and a central authority. Major combined-effects offensives include:

  1. a) Military, economic, and political operations to reorient Taiwan toward the mainland
  2. b) Diplomatic partnering with the Soviet Union, then conducting ideological warfare against it
  3. c) Support of Vietnam, and then warfare against it to ensure cliental loyalty to China
  4. d) Seizure of disputed Southeast Asian territory while expanding ties with claimants
  5. e) Incursions in Japan-claimed territory while increasing ties with Japan and the U.S.
  6. f) Maritime reclamation (dredging) operations create, occupy, and militarize new territory.

China’s leaders value holistic, sustainable operations, consistent with the assumption that threats are permanent and any elimination of them are temporary…”

The book also explains how how the limitations of of the US-Japan alliance empower China’s combined-effect strategy in the South China Sea.

“However, the limits of the US-Japan alliance–such as restricting Japanese defense to its own territory– facilitate China’s desired combined effect. Thus, China does not have to integrate its problematic effects of masking its predatory intent while increasing its military-economic strength, stirring anti-Japanese nationalism that does not empower Chinese democracy, and isolating Japan from US intervention, as long as Japan and the United States are complying with these effects anyway.”

In addition, the book helpfully explains why China’s strategy emphasizes military and economic confrontation (in the South China Sea)– while at the same time claiming to be all about harmony and peace as China follows up the UN Tribunals ruling again them with threats to establish an ADIZ and use all of that to “negotiate” its expanding new normal.

“Chinese security culture can help us understand continuity in Chinese strategies and why elites cannot afford to fold in the face of foreign pressure if they are to retain domestic influence. Confrontational sovereignty claims trump tangible benefits of cooperative interdependence. Moral order, central authority, and territorial integrity persist as highly valued interests, particularly among China’s single-Party leadership. So while modernization has strengthened national capabilities, it has also increased national willpower. When China has had the capability to engage other powers as an equal or more, it has done so. We can infer that military equality is the PLA’s precondition for expanding military-to-military relations with the U.S. The loss of ideological sovereignty in the past has become the consensus threat to national security. Ideological sovereignty is closely connected to economic nationalism.”

A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia is part of the  Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security (RCCS) Series, headed by Dr. Geoffrey R. H. Burn.

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AAS 2016 Cambria Press Sinophone World Series Event

The AAS 2016 conference was one of our best conferences yet. It was great being right in the front of the exhibit hall and across from the AAS booth. We appreciated the compliments on our 8 ft long banners from both attendees and other exhibitors. Thanks to all who stopped by!

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Cambria Press AAS 2016 Book Exhibit Hall Banner 1

The Cambria booth had two banners–one for our Cambria Sinophone World Series Event and series, and the other for our latest books.

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Cambria Press AAS 2016 Book Exhibit Hall Banner 2

Thanks also to all who attended the Cambria Sinophone World Series Event! Speakers were:

Christopher Lupke Toni Tan Victor Mair Sinophone Asian Studies
Christopher Lupke (Washington State University; author of The Sinophone World Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien) with Toni Tan (Cambria Press director) and Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania; general editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series)
Christopher Lupke Victor Mair Sinophone Asian Studies Toni Tan Cambria
Christopher Lupke (Washington State University; author of The Sinophone World Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien) with Toni Tan (Cambria Press director), Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania; general editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series), and Minghui Hu (University of California Santa Cruz; coeditor, with Johan Elverskog of SMU, of Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600-1950)

 

Victor Mair Sinophone Christopher Lupke Hou Hsiao-hsien Toni Tan Cambria Press
AAS 2016 Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania; general editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series), Christopher Lupke (Washington State University; author of The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien) and Toni Tan (Cambria Press director)

 

Buddhist Baodingshan Karil Kucera
Karil Kucera (St. Olaf College; author of Ritual and Representation in Chinese Buddhism)

Download the Asian Studies catalog and browse our titles. Enjoy 30% off all hardcover titles. Use coupon code ASIA30. Libraries can use this code too.

Asian Studies
Essential Books in Asian Studies

AAS 2016 Seattle: Cambria Sinophone World Series Event

Cambria Press will be holding its annual Cambria Sinophone World Series event at the AAS conference on Satuday (April 2, 2016) at 7:30 p.m. in the Jefferson Room (4th floor in the Union Street Tower) at the Sheraton Seattle. All are welcome to this event.

AAS 2016 Asian Studies

Dr. Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania) will be discussing the series and introducing the new books.

Sinophone

Dr. Mair will speak on behalf of Dr. Wilt Idema (Harvard University) and Dr. Chia-rong Wu (Rhodes College) about their books, The Immortal Maiden Equal to Heaven and Other Precious Scrolls from Western Gansu and Supernatural Sinophone and Beyond respectively.

Wilt Idema author Cambria Press book publication baojuan precious scrolls China SinologistSupernatural Sinophone Taiwan

Dr. Christopher Lupke (Washington State University) will be present to discuss his book, The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien, which will make its highly anticipated debut at the conference.

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Another long-awaited book that will be released at the conference is Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600-1950 by Minghui Hu and Johan Elverskog. Both will be present to talk about their book.

Cosmopolitanism China

In addition, Dr. Karil Kucera (St. Olaf College) will be there to speak about her book (also being released at the AAS), Ritual and Representation in Chinese Buddhism: Visualizing Enlightenment at Baodingshan from the 12th to 21st Centuries. Her book features 159 color images as well as an innovative online component that takes readers through Baodingshan.

baodingshan

Finally, it is a great honor to have Colonel Thomas Drohan who will discuss his book, A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia.

East Asia Warfare Strategy

This is the first book in the new series, Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security (RCCS), headed by general editor Dr. Geoffrey R. H. Burn.

Conflict and Security

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For more information, please visit www.cambriapress.com

 

United States Engagement in the Asia Pacific: Perspectives from Asia

Professors Yoichiro Sato and Tan See Seng’s recent book, United States Engagement in the Asia Pacific: Perspectives from Asia, has been praised by Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large at Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Rector of Tembusu College, National University of Singapore, as being “an important book about an important subject.”

#ISA2016

The following is an interview with Dr. Sato and Dr. Tan on some key questions which they cover in their book.

Why is it important for the US to consider these Asian perspectives on the pivot to Asia?
Sato & Tan: The Obama administration’s “Rebalance to Asia” strategy is more multilateral than any previous Asia strategy by the U.S. government. Not only U.S. relations with key allies, such as Japan, Australia, and South Korea, call for close consultations, but also the growing U.S. partnerships with new regional partners must be framed within the comfort zones of these partners.

Similarly, why is it important for China to do the same?
Sato & Tan: Asian countries are carefully observing progression of the U.S.-China relations. As the Obama administration carefully crafts a mix of economic and diplomatic engagement of and military deterrence against China, China’s reactions to this U.S. strategy shape Asian countries’ perceptions of China and their positioning of themselves in the emerging regional order.

Your book compares Cold War and post‐Cold War containment policies. Please tell us briefly what this comparative analysis revealed.
Sato & Tan: Geopolitical instincts of the United States as a major maritime power do play a role in the U.S. strategy through the two periods. At the same time, much closer U.S. economic interdependence with the whole of East Asia including China today necessitates that the United States balances its military security interests with economic interests for its own sake and for the sake of its regional allies and partners.

The book also discussed changes in China’s foreign policy. Could you please elaborate?
Sato & Tan:
China today is much more confident than two decades ago when its reformed economy was in an early stage of integration with East Asia and the United States. Deng Xiaoping’s strategy of keeping low foreign policy profile while focusing on export-led economic growth through continuous access to the U.S. market has been replaced by more assertive foreign policy as seen in the ongoing confrontations in the South China Sea.

Could you please tell us briefly what are some important points that we should take away from each of the country’s perspectives? Let’s start with Japan.
Sato & Tan: Japan, as the prime military ally of the United States and a major historical rival of China, is capable of asserting most influence upon the emerging U.S. strategy. Assuring U.S. commitment to the bilateral alliance is clearly Japan’s motivation for upgrading its own growing sharing of collective defense responsibilities.

What about Taiwan?
Sato & Tan:Taiwan’s satisfaction with its de facto (not de jure) independence needs symbolic U.S. commitment. “Balancing” of China’s threats with more tangible U.S. commitment may inadvertently trigger a more classical security dilemma for Taiwan, inviting aggressive PRC reactions.

Now what about Korea and DPRK?
Sato & Tan:
North Korean threat is an opportunity for the United States to enhance trilateral cooperation with Japan and South Korea, while not pointing a finger at China as a common enemy. China also sees the North Korean problem as an opportunity to win a diplomatic credit as a “responsible stakeholder” in regional security management. However, North Korea with its own internal difficulties at the time of leadership transition has not responded to the U.S. “Rebalance.” South Korea with its historical grievances against Japan has also been extremely cautious to sign up to the U.S.-proposed trilateralization.

Let’s move to the southeast now. What about Singapore?
Sato & Tan: The chapter on Singapore argues that Singapore has long viewed and continues to view the US as the “indispensable power” whose post-World War II role as the strategic guarantor and balancer in the Asia-Pacific remains as crucial, not least in the face of China’s rising power and influence. To that end, Singapore has pursued robust relations with the US short of a formal alliance. That said, the rebalancing strategy adopted the Obama administration, which Singapore welcomes, has complicated the latter’s ties with China.

 

And Vietnam?
Sato & Tan:
As the Vietnam chapter has detailed, Vietnam’s vexing dispute with China in the South China Sea (SCS) is complicating their long and complex ties. While the positive direction Vietnam-US ties is taking has its own logic and imperative, there is no question Hanoi’s SCS dispute with Beijing has driven Hanoi and Washington closer together. But this doesn’t necessarily mean Vietnam has chosen the US over China.

Now please tell us about Vietnam’s neighbor, Myanmar.
Sato & Tan: Under President Thein Sein, Myanmar, in the eyes of many, has evolved from a pariah state to a country seeking to liberalize, albeit fitfully. Its relations with the US have vastly improved. Like its CLV counterparts, Myanmar remains highly reliant on China economically, but of late has shown an incipient willingness to diversify. Its future ties with the US will be defined by how Myanmar handles its domestic political transition, its intra-ethnic conflicts, and its relations with China.

 

You also discuss India and Australia. Let’s talk about India first.
Sato & Tan: As the India chapter shows, Delhi’s positive relationship with Washington, underscored by their nuclear deal, should not be taken to mean India is bandwagoning with the US against China. Despite Mr. Modi’s radical credentials, he has surprised many with his deft diplomacy including strong engagement with the US. While India makes no bones about regarding China as a peer competitor, it nonetheless prefers to maintain strategic autonomy.

Now what about Australia?
Sato & Tan:
The Australia chapter reviewed the ongoing debate within Australian strategic circles regarding Canberra’s longstanding strategic dependence on the US, on one hand, and its economic cum diplomatic engagement with Asia on the other. Although Australia remains a key security ally of the US, the emergence of China as Australia’s top trading partner has led many to question the wisdom of continued reliance on the US, which could potentially lead Australia into an “entrapment trap.”

What are some general points you hope your readers take away?
Sato & Tan: Despite questions over the ability, resolve and even ethical behavior of the US as a global power, its importance to the Asia-Pacific cannot be denied.  China’s power and influence have elicited mixed reactions from its regional neighbors over its strategic ambition and assertive behavior. While US balancing has complicated things for Asian countries especially their relations with China, they’ve largely welcomed it, whether as a way to politically balance against China or to hedge against the big powers.

 

What words of advice would you give to the new president of the United States in 2016 regarding the US strategy towards Asia?
Sato & Tan: The US should continue to engage Asia in ways that contribute to the region’s stability, prosperity and security. It will likely have to accomplish this through accommodating China’s ambition and interests whilst encouraging the latter, with the aid of a strong normative and institutional framework, to behave responsibly.

* * * * *

Yoichiro Sato is a professor at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University and is the director of the Democracy Promotion Center.

Tan See Seng is the deputy director of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, the founding head of the Centre for Multilateralism Studies, and Professor of International Relations at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.

* * * * *

United States Engagement in the Asia Pacific: Perspectives from Asia
Yoichiro Sato and See Seng Tan
9781604979046 · 410pp. · Buy this book from Amazon
Recommend it to your library for purchase.

This book will be on display at the 2016 ISA conference in Atlanta and the AAS conference in Seattle.

 

 

The Necessary Evil of Preventive Detention in the War on Terror

The Chronicle of Higher Education just published an online article “My Student, the ‘Terrorist'” by Jeanne Theoharis, professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and co-founder of the group Educators for Civil Liberties. As seen, there are still many questions surrounding the preventive detention in the War on Terror.

Security Studies Cambria Press publication author review book

In her book The Necessary Evil of Preventive Detention in the War on Terror, praised by Professor Alan M. Dershowitz, Harvard University as “compelling and informative,” Dr. Stephanie Cooper Blum explores the underlying rationales for preventive detention as a tool in this war on terror; analyzes the legal obstacles to creating a preventive detention regime; discusses how Israel and Britain have dealt with incapacitation and interrogation of terrorists; and compares several alternative ideas to the administration’s enemy combatant policy under a methodology that looks at questions of lawfulness, the balance between liberty and security, and institutional efficiency.

Dr. Blum noted that:

“The United States was completely unprepared on 9/11, and the resulting enemy combatant policy seems to be an ad hoc response to insecurity. In comparing other countries’ approaches to preventive detention, the question should not be how does the United States create a perfect regime—because that cannot happen—the question is how does the United States create a regime that can at least provide some meaningful judicial review, some access to counsel, some congressional oversight, and some balance to unilateral executive discretion. While Britain’s and Israel’s approaches to preventive detention are not perfect—and frequently lambasted by their own human-rights groups—they do demonstrate that democracies facing serious and long-term terrorist threats can provide more overall due process and substantive rights to detainees than America’s years of incommunicado and indefinite executive detention. Israel and Britain had the advantage (if it can be called that) of decades of dealing with terrorism before 9/11. It only makes sense that the United States should look to their experiences to see if any of their principles can be applied to the United States’ unique kind of government.”

About the author: Stephanie Cooper Blum holds a JD from The University of Chicago Law School, a BA from Yale College, and will be receiving a MA in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security in December 2008. She has worked in the private sector and served as a law clerk to three federal judges. She is an attorney for the Transportation Security Administration.

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