“Great power competition” has returned to the terminology of U.S. strategists, but its implications for defense policy are still not fully understood. While America’s technological edge and willingness to use force in defense of allies deter conflict in Eastern Europe and the Western Pacific, Russia and China seek to erode U.S. advantages, particularly close to their territory, making the prospect of employing force against great powers an increasingly risky proposition. How could a conflict with either Russia or China play out in this evolving security environment—and crucially, will the United States be ready for such a scenario?
On June 3, Brookings hosted a panel discussion exploring possible conflict scenarios with Russia and China, what tools the United States will need to offset Russian and Chinese strategy and capabilities, and how worried policymakers should be about America’s ability to stand by its vital alliance commitments.
PanelistCaitlin Talmadge Nonresident Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and TechnologyMichael E. O’Hanlon Director of Research - Foreign Policy, Director - Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology, Co-Director - Africa Security Initiative, Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology, Philip H. Knight Chair in Defense and Strategy