Book Highlight: North Korea Demystified

If the world is to effectively deal with the reality of North Korea, reliable information is critical. This book seeks to demystify the “intelligence black hole” that is North Korea. In so doing, it supplies the reader with much needed factual information garnered through firsthand experience by those who have actually visited and done research in North Korea. Each chapter consists of original research by prominent experts in the field.This is a timely read, given the current escalation of political tensions between North Korea and the United States. Whereas other studies of North Korea most often rely merely on available secondary resources (e.g., texts, films etc.) rather than firsthand experience or interviews in supporting central claims, this edited volume, led by foremost North Korean expert Dr. Han S. Park, has the unprecedented advantage of all its contributors having actually spent a considerable amount of time “on the ground” in North Korea gathering information for their research. North Korea Demystified is available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

North Korea Demystified

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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.

Cambria Press Publication Review: Digital Media in East Asia

Congratulations to Dr. Carin Holroyd (Associate Professor Political Studies and the Chair of the International Studies Program at the University of Saskatchewan) and Dr. Kenneth Coates (Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan) on another excellent review of their book Digital Media in East Asia: National Innovation and the Transformation of a Region in the journal Asiascape: Digital Asia.

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The review commends the book because it “provides a wide-ranging introduction to the various issues raised and presented by the digital revolution, with a focus on East Asia.” The review also notes that “the book is definitely one to recommend to interested students of East Asian Studies and New Media Studies” and that “the book is of great current value.”

Read more reviews of Digital Media in East Asia: National Innovation and the Transformation of a Region.

Buy this book on Amazon today and get free shipping.

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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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“United States Engagement in the Asia Pacific is an important book about an important subject.” – Tommy Koh

Asia Pacific US Asian politics Cambria Press US Foreign Policy Tommy Koj

Cambria Press forthcoming book: United States Engagement in the Asia Pacific: Perspectives from Asia edited by Yoichiro Sato and Tan See Seng

Cambria Press forthcoming book: United States Engagement in the Asia Pacific

United States Engagement in the Asia Pacific is an important book about an important subject.  Will the U.S. continue to maintain its engagement with the Asia Pacific?  Is Obama’s Asia policy intended to contain the rise of China?  What role will Japan, India, and the middle powers play in the emerging regional order?”

– Professor Tommy Koh,
Ambassador-at-Large at Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Rector of Tembusu College,
National University of Singapore

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See the Cambria Press website for more books.