- NBR - The National Bureau of Asian Research

Strategic Asia Program

The Strategic Asia Program aims to strengthen and inform strategic and policy decisions by providing innovative research on challenges and opportunities for U.S. national interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Strategic Asia Program:

Upcoming Event

Washington, D.C. | November 15, 2017

Managing Strategic Competition in Asia

NBR invites you to join us for a discussion on developing U.S. national security strategies for the Asia Pacific to mark the release of the seventeenth volume in the Strategic Asia series: Strategic Asia 2017-18: Power, Ideas, and Military Strategy in the Asia-Pacific.

Learn more and RSVP

  • Offers an authoritative assessment of Asia’s evolving strategic environment
  • Looks forward five years, and in some cases beyond, to contemplate the future of the region
  • Maintains a record of data and analysis on trends in Asia’s changing strategic landscape

Guided by Research Director Ashley J. Tellis (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), this major ongoing research initiative publishes an annual edited volume, executive brief, and special reports.

The Strategic Asia Program serves as the umbrella for private, tailored briefings for a broad range of U.S. government agencies and policymakers, as well as for leaders of the private sector—including several Fortune 500 companies. Topics cover a broad range of economic, political, security, energy, demographic, and other issues vital to understanding dynamics within the Asia-Pacific. For details on these briefings, please contact the Strategic Asia Team.


For further information, please contact:

Alison Szalwinski
Assistant Director, Political and Security Affairs

Research Director

Ashley J. Tellis
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Research Team

Jiun Bang
University of Michigan

Alexis Dudden
University of Connecticut

Colin Dueck
George Mason University

Isabelle Facon
Fondation pour la recherche Stratégique

Christopher A. Ford
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Ian Hall
Griffith University

David C. Kang
University of Southern California

Yohanes Sulaiman
Universitas Jenderal Achmad Yani in Cimahi

Strategic Asia 2017–18

Strategic Asia 2017–18: Power, Ideas, and Military Strategy in the Asia-Pacific identifies how Asia’s major powers have developed military strategies to address their most significant challenges. Purchase the PDF or pre-order the paperback now.

On the Eve of Trump’s Visit to China: Examining Beijing's Strategic Priorities

Oriana Skylar Mastro (Georgetown University) argues that China is pursuing a military strategy of “regional power projection” to protect its national interests and shape both the regional security architecture and the decision-making of other actors.

Strategic Asia 2016-17: Understanding Strategic Cultures in the Asia-Pacific

Strategic Asia 2016-17: Understanding Strategic Cultures in the Asia-Pacific examines how the region's major powers view international politics and the use of military force. Now available for purchase in PDF and paperback.

Asia’s Orphan: Taiwan's Strategic Culture in Context

Steven M. Goldstein (Harvard University) explains how Taiwan’s perception of its "orphan" status in the international system shapes the island's strategic culture and approach to its relationships with China and the United States.

U.S. Strategic Priorities in the Asia-Pacific

On November 16, 2016, NBR convened a discussion marking the release of Strategic Asia 2016–17. The event featured a panel of Strategic Asia authors and a timely discussion on implications for U.S. policy with Robert M. Scher, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities, NBR President Richard J. Ellings, and Ashley J. Tellis, Strategic Asia Program research director. Listen to the audio and read a summary of the discussions.

NBR Special Report on Australia's Strategic Culture

In "Australia's Strategic Culture and Asia's Changing Regional Order," Nick Bisley (La Trobe University) analyzes the major elements of Australian strategic culture and argues that emerging trends suggest a growing rift between Australia's strategic elite and the public that could pose future challenges for the U.S.-Australia relationship.

NBR Special Report on Taiwan's Strategic Culture

In "Taiwan: Asia's Orphan," Steven M. Goldstein (Harvard University) analyzes Taiwan’s strategic culture and argues that the island’s perception of its own orphan status is central to how Taiwan defines its place in the international system

NBR Special Report on Pakistan's Strategic Culture

In "Pakistan's Strategic Culture: Implications for How Pakistan Perceives and Counters Threats," C. Christine Fair (Georgetown University) analyzes four key concepts undergirding the Pakistan Army’s strategic culture and considers the implications for U.S. and Indian efforts to manage the threat from Pakistan.

The Legacy of Nehruvianism and the Implications for Strategic Culture

Ian Hall (Griffith University) explains why India remains restrained in its international behavior even as its economic and military power continue to grow. His chapter "The Persistence of Nehruvianism in India’s Strategic Culture" appears in Strategic Asia 2016–17.

Interview with Strategic Asia Program Research Director Ashley Tellis

Ahead of the release of Strategic Asia 2016–17 in November, NBR spoke with Ashley J. Tellis (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), who explains the importance of strategic culture for understanding international relations, discusses the volume’s main findings, and assesses some of the implications for U.S. policy in Asia.

China’s Strategic Culture in Perspective

Christopher A. Ford (U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee) discusses the idiosyncratic characteristics of Chinese strategic culture. His chapter "Realpolitik with Chinese Characteristics: Chinese Strategic Culture and the Modern Communist Party-State" appears in Strategic Asia 2016–17.

Strategic Asia 2015-16 Book Launch

At a November 18 launch event for Strategic Asia 2015–16: Foundations of National Power in the Asia Pacific members of this year's Strategic Asia Research Team presented findings on how the region's major powers are building their national power as geopolitical competition intensifies.

Unpacking National Power

Ashley J. Tellis (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) explains how the conception of national power can be usefully broken down and analyzed in terms of national resources and national performance and how the interaction of these two dimensions generates military capabilities.

Strategic Asia 2015-16

Strategic Asia 2015–16: Foundations of National Power in the Asia-Pacific examines how the region's major powers are building their national power as geopolitical competition intensifies. Now available for purchase in PDF and paperback.

Taiwan's Strong but Stifled Foundations of National Power

Against the background of upcoming elections, David Gitter (Defense Group Inc.) and Robert Sutter (George Washington University) examine the strengths and weaknesses that will determine Taiwan’s ability to achieve its national objectives in this report from the Strategic Asia Program.

Strategic Asia 2014-15 Book Launch

On December 2, NBR hosted a public launch for the 2014–15 Strategic Asia volume, U.S. Alliances and Partnerships at the Center of Global Power, featuring a keynote address by Dr. Evan S. Medeiros (Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asian Affairs National Security Council). Learn more and view video of the address.

Trends and Indicators in the Asia-Pacific

China's strategic investments in Asia, India's foreign policy, the challenges of climate policy, and maritime disputes in the South China Sea are among the topics examined in this series from the Strategic Asia Program.

Strategic Asia 2014–15

Strategic Asia 1014-15: U.S. Alliances and Partnerships at the Center of Global Power examines the trajectories of U.S. alliance and partner relationships in the Indo-Pacific in light of the region’s shifting strategic landscape.

In from the Cold: U.S.-New Zealand Ties Returning to Normal

Murray Hiebert, Benjamin Schaare, and Christopher Doyle examine the dramatic thaw in U.S.–New Zealand relations in recent years and explore ways that the two countries can cooperate to boost security in the Asia-Pacific and strengthen trade and investment ties with other Pacific nations.

Rival Regionalisms and Regional Order: A Slow Crisis of Legitimacy

Ellen L. Frost analyzes the emergence of rival regionalisms in Asia and argues that recent economic and security developments threaten to undermine Asian confidence in the legitimacy of the institutions and values underpinning the existing liberal economic order.

U.S. Alliances and Partnerships in the Pacific Century

Ashley J. Tellis (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) discusses some of the main research findings from NBR’s forthcoming volume, Strategic Asia 2014-2015: U.S. Alliances and Partnerships at the Center of Global Power.

Strategic Asia 2013-14 Volume Launch

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) delivered the keynote address at the October 2013 launch of the thirteenth volume in the Strategic Asia series in Washington, D.C. Select volume contributors presented research findings on Asia's established and latent nuclear powers and the future of U.S. extended deterrence. Learn more and listen to event audio.

Strategic Asia 2013-14: Asia in the Second Nuclear Age

Part of NBR’s two-year initiative “Approaching Critical Mass,” Strategic Asia 2013-14: Asia in the Second Nuclear Age examines the role of nuclear weapons in the grand strategies of key Asian states and the impact of these capabilities—both established and latent—on regional and international stability.

Strategic Asia 2012-13 Book Launch Video

Ashton B. Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense, delivered the keynote address at the October 3, 2012, launch event for Strategic Asia 2012-13 in Washington, D.C. Select volume contributors presented research findings that assess China’s growing military capabilities and regional responses, as well as the resulting challenges and opportunities facing the United States. Watch the event video.

Strategic Asia 2012-13

In Strategic Asia 2012-13: China’s Military Challenge, leading experts assess and forecast the impact of China’s growing military capabilities. What are China’s strategic aims? What are the challenges and opportunities facing the United States? How is the region responding to China’s military power and to the U.S. policy of “strategic rebalancing”? Purchase the volume in print, Kindle, and PDF formats.

Strategic Asia 2011-12

Strategic Asia 2011-12: Asia Responds to its Rising Powers—China and India explores how Asian states are responding to the rise of China and India and the strategies these states are pursuing to preserve their national interests. Read the free Executive Summary for each chapter.

Strategic Asia 2011-12 Book Launch Audio and Video

The September launch event for Strategic Asia 2011–12: Asia Responds to Its Rising Powers—China and India featured a keynote address by Assistant Secretary Robert O. Blake with panel presentations by Ashley J. Tellis and three other volume authors. Access event audio and video.

Understanding Xi Jinping and China’s New Generation of Leaders

In advance of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's February 2012 meeting with President Obama and senior administration officials in Washington, D.C., Cheng Li discussed the importance of the visit, the challenges that Xi and a new generation of leaders face, and how the U.S.-China relationship might evolve in coming years.

Coping with Change on the Korean Peninsula

Chung Min Lee, Strategic Asia contributing author and Dean of the Graduate School of International Studies and the Underwood International College at Yonsei University, assesses the North Korean leadership transition and its implications for regional security and diplomacy.

China’s Response to a Rising India

How does China view its fellow rising giant? NBR spoke with M. Taylor Fravel, Strategic Asia contributing author and associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who argues that China views India’s rise as a largely positive development that promotes China’s own interests and objectives more than it threatens or challenges them.

India's Response to a Rising China

In an interview with NBR, India expert Harsh V. Pant argues that there is a growing realization among Indian policymakers that China poses a significant challenge to their nation’s global rise, but India will have to settle its own domestic issues before taking up the reins as a global and regional power.

Asia's Rise and U.S. Grand Strategy

Strategic Asia Program Research Director Ashley J. Tellis maintains that Asia continues to encounter challenges in many areas despite economic advancement. He argues that an effective U.S. grand strategy is necessary to face the complex international environment in a time of globalization. Read the full Q&A.

Praise for NBR’s Strategic Asia Series

"Every year NBR's Strategic Asia assembles leading scholars and experts to analyze key aspects of international relations in the world's most dynamic and important region. It has proven year in and year out to be the model for practical and timely analysis that still meets high scholarly standards for depth and rigor. This year's excellent lineup takes on the important and often controversial issues of whether and how strategic culture affects the foreign relations of important regional actors, including the United States. This is must reading for anyone seriously interested in international relations in the 21st century."

—THOMAS J. CHRISTENSEN, Boswell Professor of World Politics, Princeton University and author of The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power

"Strategic Asia's annual analysis of Asian geopolitics is a valuable guide to the key players in regional security and economics. This year's volume on strategic culture is essential as a new administration works with senior policymakers to craft security strategies for the Indo-Asia-Pacific."

—JONATHAN W. GREENERT, Former U.S. Chief of Naval Operations

“Every year this volume, like a fine wine, is more mature and wiser. When I was running the Asia office in the NSC, we would read this book, and several of the directors literally read it cover to cover.”

—MICHAEL J. GREEN, Former Senior Director for Asian Affairs, National Security Council; Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Professor, Georgetown University

“I don’t know how often I’ve heard people quote from these volumes, and that doesn’t happen often in Washington.”

KEVIN G. NEALER, Principal and Partner, The Scowcroft Group