ABSTRACT

Sino-American Strategic Restraint in an Age of Vulnerability   [open pdf - 648KB]

"For all their power, both the United States and China are increasingly vulnerable. Each faces a range of strategic dangers, from nuclear weapons to disruption of critical computer networks and space links.1 Because their relationship is at once interdependent and potentially adversarial, the United States and China are especially vulnerable to each other: interdependence exposes each to the other, while the potential for conflict impels each to improve strategic capabilities against which defenses can be futile. Strategic vulnerability cannot be eliminated, only mitigated. Of the two countries, the United States is stronger in offensive strategic capabilities, notably in nuclear, antisatellite (ASAT), and cyber weapons. Yet it is also increasingly exposed to danger in these domains, confirming that power does not necessarily reduce vulnerability. If Americans thought before the 9/11 terrorist attacks that being the only superpower made them safer, they think otherwise now. Even with a $600-billion-plus annual defense budget, the United States cannot buy its way out of strategic vulnerability."

Report Number:
Strategic Forum No. 273
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2012-01
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
National Defense University: http://www.ndu.edu/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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