Deborah T. Cooper
Director, Administration
Executive Assistant to the President

[email protected]

The Context for Power in Asia

Foreign Military Strategies and U.S. Responses

On January 24, 2018, the National Bureau of Asian Research in conjunction with the Senate Armed Services Committee presented a Senate staff briefing on “The Context for Power in Asia: Foreign Military Strategies and U.S. Responses.” This briefing marked the launch of Strategic Asia 2017–18: Power, Ideas, and Military Strategy in the Asia-Pacific, the latest volume in NBR’s annual Strategic Asia series. The 2017–18 volume, complimentary copies of which were available, identifies what the major states in the Asia-Pacific region view as their most important security problems and examines how their material capabilities and intangible worldviews combine to shape the specific military strategies they employ. Experts discussed grand and national military strategies, providing country-specific insights on strategic reasoning, durability, adequacy, and impact on regional and global stability. This briefing provided staffers the backdrop against which the United States must craft military policies to preserve a favorable balance of power and renew U.S. strength.



    Ashley Tellis, Research Director, Strategic Asia Program, The National Bureau of Asian Research; Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs and Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

    John Gill, Adjunct Professor, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies


    Michael Wills, Executive Vice President, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Speaker Bios

Ashley Tellis holds the Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs and is a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, specializing in international security, defense, and Asian strategic issues. He is also Research Director of NBR’s the Strategic Asia Program and co-editor of fourteen volumes in the annual series. While on assignment to the U.S. Department of State as Senior Adviser to the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (2005-08), Dr. Tellis was intimately involved in negotiating the civil nuclear agreement with India. Previously, he was commissioned into the Foreign Service and served as Senior Adviser to the Ambassador at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi. He also served on the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Planning and Southwest Asia. Prior to his government service, Dr. Tellis was a Senior Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation and Professor of Policy Analysis at the RAND Graduate School. He is the author of India’s Emerging Nuclear Posture (2001) and co-author of Interpreting China’s Grand Strategy: Past, Present, and Future (2000). Dr. Tellis holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago.

John (Jack) Gill is an Associate Professor on the faculty of the Department of Defense’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies and author of “Challenges for India’s Military Strategy: Matching Capabilities to Ambitions?” in Strategic Asia 2017-18 He has been following South Asia issues from the intelligence and policy perspectives since the mid-1980s in positions with the U.S. Joint Staff and U.S. Pacific Command staff, among other assignments. A former U.S. Army South Asia Foreign Area Officer, he retired as a colonel in 2005 after more than 27 years of service. Professor Gill worked on South Asia issues in the Pentagon from 1998 to 2001, including during the 1999 Kargil crisis. From August 2003 to January 2004, he served in Islamabad as the liaison officer to the Pakistan Army for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. His publications on South Asia include An Atlas of the 1971 India-Pakistan War: The Birth of Bangladesh (2003); chapters on current Indian and Pakistani political-military affairs in Strategic Asia 2004-05: Fragility and Crisis (2004), Strategic Asia 2005-06: Military Modernization in an Era of Uncertainty (2005), and other publications; as well as various articles and reviews in periodicals such as The Journal of Military History, Strategic Insights, and Asia Policy. Professor Gill holds BAs in History and German from Middlebury College and an MA in International Relations from George Washington University, and has completed further studies at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Michael Wills is Executive Vice President at NBR. He coordinates all aspects of NBR’s financial, business, and programmatic operations and serves as secretary to the Board of Directors. He also manages NBR’s publications program, including the Strategic Asia series and Asia Policy journal. Mr. Wills’ research expertise includes international security and the international relations of Asia, particularly in China’s relations with Southeast Asia. He is co-editor with Robert M. Hathaway of New Security Challenges in Asia (2013) and has co-edited six previous Strategic Asia volumes with Ashley J. Tellis. He is a contributing editor to three other Strategic Asia books and several other edited volumes on Asian security. Before joining NBR, Mr. Wills worked at the Cambodia Development Resource Institute in Phnom Penh, and prior to that with Control Risks Group, an international political and security risk management firm, in London. He holds a BA (Honors) in Chinese Studies from the University of Oxford.