Amid all the debates over future U.S. force structures and declining budgets, observers seem to agree on one point: China (and its military capability) will be a consideration in the Pentagon’s planning, especially for the Sea Services. Last April we dipped our toe into these waters with our first focus issue on this topic. This year we offer even more expansive coverage, with articles running the gamut of opinions.
How does a traditional land power like China make the transformation to major maritime player? Andrew Erickson, Lyle Goldstein, and Carnes Lord of the Naval War College suggest that China can draw lessons from the past. They point out that the Persians, Napoleonic France, and Imperial Germany all attempted to become sea powers. What can China learn from their experiences?
Staying with our Newport-based China watchers, James Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara also look to history to surmise how the Chinese will formulate a strategy that turns the late Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong’s “passive defense” into an active offense. The authors cite several sources that China might peruse, including Abraham Lincoln.