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Oct 12, 2022

How the US can prepare to deter China and defend Taiwan in the 2020s

By Atlantic Council

Michèle Flournoy discussed how the United States can maintain a credible deterrent against China in the next decade and beyond as part of the Atlantic Council’s Forward Defense Forum.

China Conflict

Please join the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security for our latest Forward Defense Forum, designed for defense visionaries to put forth creative ideas about the future of US and allied security.

This event, “How Can We Deter China in the 2020s? A Conversation with Michèle Flournoy,” will take place on Thursday, October 6, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT via Zoom. Register by clicking the button above.

While the United States has long planned to prevent a Sino-Taiwanese war, President Xi Jinping has made abundantly clear that “reunifying” Taiwan with China is a legacy goal. As Beijing rapidly modernizes its military, China may seize a potential opportunity to invade Taiwan on a truncated timeline. The United States is developing new capabilities and approaches to deter China in the long run, but are US and allied militaries capable of defending Taipei in the near term?

To deter Chinese attack, the United States must anticipate the doctrinal shifts and capability mix required to contend on the modern battlefield—not least because President Xi is watching Russia’s war in Ukraine and is likely adapting accordingly. Ukraine’s use of asymmetric tactics, coupled with strong international assistance, demonstrates the ability of a small power to contest a superior military foe. This discussion will consider the technological investments the United States must make to meet the urgency of the China challenge, delving into the novel capabilities key to any future fight and reflecting on lessons from today’s conflict.

On October 6, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy will join Forward Defense Deputy Director Clementine G. Starling to explore the capabilities and warfighting concepts needed to deter Chinese aggression in the 2020s and beyond.

We hope you can join us for what promises to be an important and timely discussion. To receive the virtual Zoom link, please register by completing the registration form below.

The Forward Defense Forum, generously supported by Lockheed Martin, is designed for defense visionaries to put forth novel ideas for how the United States and its allies and partners can adapt, innovate, and win on the future battlefield.

A fireside chat featuring

The Hon. Michèle Flournoy

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, WestExec Advisors; Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Moderated by

Introduced by

Tim Cahill

Senior Vice President, Global Business Development and Strategy, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Forward Defense, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, generates ideas and connects stakeholders in the defense ecosystem to promote an enduring military advantage for the United States, its allies, and partners. Our work identifies the defense strategies, capabilities, and resources the United States needs to deter and, if necessary, prevail in future conflict.