03 July 2021

The Wendell Minnick Bookshelf: Documenting Dramatic Defense Developments with Humanity

The gonzo world of defense journalism has long attracted some colorful characters. Gatherings at military expos offer transnational tales replete with riveting revelations… and stories of sometimes-shocking risk acceptance. Within this fascinating community, there have been few professionals with the self-discipline, purposeful dedication, and career longevity of Wendell Minnick. And I certainly do not know of anyone else in the field who has both been a genuine powerlifter in his spare time and written articles for the (now-defunct) weightlifting enthusiast magazine Powerlifting USA!

I’ve gotten to know Wendell and his encyclopedic military industrial knowledge over the four Zhuhai Airshows we scoured together and through our extensive correspondence in between. He’s a walking rolodex of the field and many of the key players and organizations advancing it relentlessly. Much of what Wendell knows, he has gleaned through the old-fashioned in-person “shoe leather”journalism that he has made his calling: by attending dozens of events across Asia, interviewing hundreds of people, and painstakingly piecing together the results. I can attest first-hand to the utility of the thousands of Chinese defense technological materials and industry listings that Wendell has collected over the years, and do not know of anyone else who has compiled, curated, and packaged them for public consumption to the extent that he has. (Examples below.)

Hours of conversations with Wendell—whether stuck in traffic en route to airshow facilities, on the ground scrounging shoulder-to-shoulder for brochures and snapping photos, or in late-night dinner discussions reflecting on it all—reveal sweeping changes in the military media, the world it covers, and the reporting we see as a result. China, and its coverage, are now very different from when Wendell first went to Asia and got his start in the business…

Wendell has been a front-line witness to China’s meteoric military-industrial rise and the consequent erosion of Taiwan’s once-assured security. He’s been a longtime participant, and agile adapter, in a defense media industry that offers ever-fewer opportunities to pursue his true calling: “mining” new facts on emerging Asian defense issues and reporting them without fear or favor to whoever might be interested. He’s long worried about the future of Taiwan, and journalism—valuable things that many too long took for granted. Acutely aware that he couldn’t replicate his captivating, meaningful reporting career if he started out at the beginning today, Wendell is particularly concerned about opportunities for the next generation.

That brings me to some wonderful qualities of Wendell’s that he’s too modest to trumpet himself. His strong personal sense of justice has caused him to defend individuals under attack—including physically, as necessary. He’s been unfailingly generous with his knowledge and advice. And I’ve seen him go out of his way to offer extensive mentoring to younger aspirants in the field.

To help inform understanding of defense technology issues that shape geopolitics and countless lives—and particularly to inspire and empower students and junior professionals seeking to develop careers in defense research—Wendell now seeks to make his findings maximally available as a resource for others. This Bookshelf is my initial attempt to support him in this worthy effort. Because of the extreme volume of Wendell’s work, I will start by offering links to precompiled subsets of his publications, and endeavor to keep this library evolving over time… Stay tuned!


Wendell Minnick (顏文德), B.S., M.A., is an author, commentator, journalist, and speaker who has spent over two decades covering military and security issues in Asia with over 1,200 articles to his name. He has written numerous books on a variety of military and Cold War topics, including one on intelligence.

Since 2019, Minnick has served as the North East Asia Correspondent for European Security and Defense Magazine (Mittler).

From 2016–18, Minnick served as the Senior Asia Defense Correspondent for Shephard Media.

From 2006–16, Minnick was the Asia Bureau Chief for Defense News, a Washington-based defense weekly newspaper.

From 2000–06, Minnick served as the Taiwan Correspondent for UK-based Jane’s Defence Weekly.

Other contributions include publication in: Afghanistan Forum, Army Magazine, Asian Profile, Asian Thought & Society, Asia Times, BBC, C4ISR Journal, Chicago South Asia Newsletter, Defense News, European Security & Defence, Far Eastern Economic Review, International Peacekeeping, Jane’s Airport Review, Jane’s Defence Upgrades, Jane’s Defence Weekly, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Jane’s Missiles & Rockets, Jane’s Navy International, Jane’s Sentinel Country Risk Assessments, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, Journal of Asian History, Journal of Chinese Religions, Journal of Oriental Studies, Journal of Political & Military Sociology, Journal of Security Administration, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, Military Review, National Interest, New Canadian Review, New World Outlook, Pacific Affairs, Powerlifting USA, Shephard Media, South Asia in Review, Taipei Times, Topics (Taiwan – AMCHAM), Towson State Journal of International Affairs, and The Writer.


Asia Bureau Chief, Defense News

June 2006 – September 2016

Based in Washington, DC, Defense News was once considered the premier defense/military newspaper in the world. As Asia Bureau Chief, Wendell’s job was to cover regional issues that included defense industry, policy, strategy, military exercises, air shows/defense exhibitions in Asia and the Middle East. There was nothing in the defense field that he did not cover for Defense News, resulting in over 1,000 articles.

Taiwan Correspondent, Jane’s Defence Weekly

April 2000 – April 2006

From 2000–06, Minnick served as the first Taiwan Correspondent for UK-based Jane’s Defence Weekly. He wrote over 250 articles for a variety of Jane’s publications:

  • Jane’s Airport Review
  • Jane’s Asian Infrastructure
  • Jane’s Defence Upgrades
  • Jane’s Defence Weekly
  • Jane’s Intelligence Review
  • Jane’s Missiles and Rockets
  • Jane’s Navy International
  • Jane’s Sentinel Country Risk Assessment

Minnick also contributed data to Jane’s Fighting Ships and other Jane’s Yearbooks.