As the Department of Defense reorients its outlook toward great power competition, the Army must modernize and adapt to deter conflict and, if necessary, defend U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific. With 36 nations home to more than half the world’s population, several of the world’s largest militaries, and five nations allied with the United States, the security environment of the Indo-Pacific represents a significant challenge for the Army. Following years of counterinsurgency operations in the Middle East, the Army must overcome this challenge if it is to carry out the vision of the National Defense Strategy.
In fall 2019, Brookings hosted the deputy commanding general of Army Futures Command, Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley, to discuss the new Army Modernization Strategy and how the Army is changing to face near pear competitors. On January 10, Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon engaged Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy in a wide-ranging conversation on how a modernized Army will operate in the Indo-Pacific.
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With the downward trajectory in [U.S.-China] relations, the incoming ambassador ideally will need to have a visible connection to the president and his senior advisers, familiarity with the range of issues that comprise the relationship, and a future in American politics. The more the ambassador is seen as likely to wield influence in the future on issues affecting China, the higher the cost and risk for Beijing to mistreat him/her.