On December 12, the Atlantic Council’s International Security Program held its second installment of the Cross-Strait Series, a continuing discussion on the state of US-China-Taiwan relations.

The program, entitled, “Rebalanced and Refocused?: US Regional Security Strategy in Asia Facing a Rising China” featured Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, Abraham Denmark of the Center for Naval Analyses, and Roger Cliff of the 2049 Institute. It was moderated by Robert Sutter, Professor of Practice of International Affairs at the Elliott School of The George Washington University. 

The panelists offered their thoughts on the reemerging US commitment and “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region under the Obama administration. The new US-Australia defense agreement to base 2,500 US Marines in Darwin marked a crucial step in the administration’s effort to assure its allies of its intentions to reduce conflict in the region in the face of a rising China. Dr. O’Hanlon, Mr. Denmark, and Dr. Cliff provided valuable insight into the political, economic, and military aspects of US-China relations, and concluded the event with thoughts for the prospects of a meaningful dialogue among the United States and Asian partners.

Michael O’Hanlon is the director of research and a senior fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. He specializes in national security, defense policy, military strategy and technology, and Northeast Asia. Before joining Brookings, Michael O’Hanlon worked as a national security analyst at the Congressional Budget Office.

Abraham Denmark, senior advisor for the Center for Naval Analyses, has authored and edited many reports on China and Taiwan. Mr. Denmark previously worked as a fellow at the Center for a New American Security and served in the Pentagon as Country Director for China Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Roger Cliff is a nonresident senior fellow at the Project 2049 Institute. His areas of research include China’s military doctrine, China’s future military capabilities, China’s defense industries, and their implication for US Policy. Dr. Cliff previously worked for the RAND Corporation and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Robert Sutter is a professor of Practice of International Affairs at the Elliott School of George Washington University. His extensive government career of over 30 years involved work on Asian and Pacific Affairs and US foreign policy for the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 


This discussion is part of  the International Security Program’s Cross-Strait Series.