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Andrew S. Erickson China's rapid development is reshaping the world in all dimensions. Chinese language open sources offer insights into these critical trends. While such materials are increasing constantly in number, diversity, and sophistication, only a fraction is available in English. The analyses available here, many based on sources not previously considered outside China, are designed to help bridge that gap--and thereby increase understanding of the most dynamic great power in the international system today.

01 September 2020

Beijing Blockbuster! Pentagon’s 2020 Report Underscores PLA Progress Toward Parity

Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2020 (Arlington, VA: Department of Defense, 1 September 2020).

MY OVERALL ASSESSMENT
Boom! This is the latest and greatest of the Pentagon’s China Military Power reports since their inception two decades ago. At 173 pages, it is quite possibly the longest and most […]

01 September 2020

U.S. Department of Defense Annual Reports to Congress on China’s Military Power—2002-20—Download Complete Set + Read Highlights Here

Since I couldn’t find a single-source location on the Internet, and the Pentagon has deactivated some of the previous links, I decided to make my own. Now you can download cached PDFs of all the Department of Defense’s China reports directly by year!
2020
2019
2018 + Accompanying Fact Sheet
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
 
Additionally, here are some highlights from, and analysis of, some of the […]

31 August 2020

The Space Race Revisited: The Lunar Landing and its Larger Lessons

Andrew S. Erickson, “The Space Race Revisited: The Lunar Landing and its Larger Lessons,” in Michael L. Ciancone, ed., Proceedings of the Fifty-first History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics, American Astronautical Society (AAS) History Series, Vol. 50 (San Diego, CA: Univelt, 2020), 289-342.

Chapter 16
The Space Race Revisited:
The Lunar Landing and Its Larger Lessons*
Andrew S. Erickson†
* […]

31 August 2020

Joseph G. Gavin, Jr. and His Contributions to American Aerospace Achievement

Andrew S. Erickson, “Joseph G. Gavin, Jr. and His Contributions to American Aerospace Achievement,” in Michael L. Ciancone, ed., Proceedings of the Fifty-first History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics, American Astronautical Society (AAS) History Series, Vol. 50 (San Diego, CA: Univelt, 2020), 65-83.

Chapter 4
Joseph G. Gavin, Jr. and His Contributions to American Aerospace […]

26 August 2020

The China Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) Bookshelf

“Warning to the United States!” China just ‘went ballistic’—firing DF-26B and DF-21D “aircraft carrier killer” Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) into the South China Sea. Time to check out this latest bookshelf compilation… To increase awareness and understanding of this important subject, here is a convenient compendium of major publications and other documents available on the matter […]

26 August 2020

“Warning to the United States!” China Fires DF-26B & DF-21D Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) “Aircraft-Carrier Killer” into South China Sea

Kristin Huang, “Chinese Military Fires ‘Aircraft-Carrier Killer’ Missile into South China Sea in ‘Warning to the United States’,” South China Morning Post, 26 August 2020.

Weapon one of two sent over disputed waters a day after American spy plane reportedly nears Chinese naval drill, source says
PLA flexes muscle in response to continued US testing of Beijing’s […]

21 August 2020

Lessons from the Lunar Module Program: The Director’s Conclusions

Andrew S. Erickson, Ph.D. (Professor of Strategy, Strategic and Operational Research Department), “Lessons from the Lunar Module Program: The Director’s Conclusions,” Acta Astronautica, Volume 177 (December 2020): 514-36, published online 26 June 2020.
Naval War College, Newport, RI, 02840, United States
Received 1 February 2020, Revised 7 May 2020, Accepted 18 June 2020, Available online 26 June 2020.
Click here […]

20 August 2020

The Definitive History: International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Symposia on the History of Rocketry & Astronautics

Ingemar Skoog and R. Cargill Hall, “Fifty Years of IAA History Symposia (1967–2016),” Acta Astronautica, Volume 134, (May 2017): 368-84.
a International Academy of Astronautics, Immenstaad, FRG
b International Academy of Astronautics, Arlington, TX, USA

The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Symposia on the History of Rocketry and Astronautics have been held annually at the International Astronautical Congresses since […]

19 August 2020

Which Way the Dragon? Sharpening Allied Perceptions of China’s Strategic Trajectory

This well-written, pathbreaking analysis is unrivaled in its timeliness, relevance, and quality! Strongly suggest reading the full report with your full attention if you possibly can. At very least, don’t miss the key excerpts below…
Ross Babbage, Jack Bianchi, Julian Snelder, Toshi Yoshihara, Aaron Friedberg and Nadège Rolland, Which Way the Dragon? Sharpening Allied Perceptions of China’s Strategic Trajectory, Future […]

18 August 2020

“South China Sea Military Capabilities Series”—Unique, Penetrating Insights from J. Michael Dahm, former Assistant U.S. Naval Attaché in Beijing

J. Michael Dahm, South China Sea Military Capabilities Series: A Survey of Technologies and Capabilities on China’s Military Outposts in the South China Sea (Laurel, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 2020).
In the information age, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) believe that success in combat will be realized by winning a struggle for information […]

17 August 2020

The China Maritime Militia Bookshelf: My Fact Sheet & Recommendations + Latest Data & Official Statements

CHINA’S MARITIME MILITIA: DATA & ANALYSIS

Tracking China’s “Little Blue Men”—A Comprehensive Maritime Militia Compendium
As Coronavirus rages on, fishy things have been happening across the South and East China Seas, home to virtually all of China’s unresolved maritime disputes… Since Beijing remains far from being fully forthcoming and transparent, it is to be hoped that governments whose nations’ ships have […]

16 August 2020

Lessons from ‘Tales of the South Pacific’ for Today

Charles Edel, “Lessons from ‘Tales of the South Pacific’ for Today,” Made by History Perspective, Washington Post, 15 August 2020.
The war in the Pacific holds the keys to addressing our problems today.
Today marks the 75th anniversary of Japan’s surrender to American forces in World War II. According to the novelist James Michener in his 1948 […]

15 August 2020

The Hong Kong Watch Floor

Tragedy has settled over a deadened metropolis. Under dark clouds, Hong Kongers face grave disappointments, setbacks, and risks. Beijing has adopted, and is implementing with swift suffocation, a popularly-opposed National Security Law that invalidates core One Country, Two Systems-promised protections. Under siege: some of Hong Kongers’ most cherished values and freedoms. Clearly over: Hong Kong’s much-touted status as Asia’s […]

15 August 2020

111th ed. of O’Rourke’s latest CRS Report has CCG, PAFMM updates—“U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South & East China Seas: Background & Issues for Congress”

Now in its 111th iteration, not far behind its counterpart on PLA Navy development, this Library of Congress report is indispensable for policy-makers and analysts alike!

Ronald O’Rourke, U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress, R42784 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 6 August 2020).
If you have trouble accessing […]

14 August 2020

Latest ed. of “Modern Chinese Maritime Forces”—Unmatched Detail on World’s Largest Navy, Coast Guard & Maritime Militia!

Manfred Meyer (edited by Larry Bond and Chris Carlson), Modern Chinese Maritime Forces (Admiralty Trilogy Group, 1 July 2020).

“A compilation of all ships and boats of the Chinese Navy, Coast Guard, Maritime Militia and other state authorities”
In terms of ship numbers, each of China’s three sea forces is the world’s largest by a large margin. For the […]

13 August 2020

China’s PAFMM Grey Zone Maritime Challenge to the Philippines

Christian Vicedo, “China’s PAFMM Grey Zone Maritime Challenge to the Philippines,” East Asia Forum, 13 August 2020.
China’s People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM) is key to understanding Beijing’s grey-zone operations in the South China Sea (SCS). The PAFMM is organised and linked to the People’s Liberation Army chain of command through the People’s Armed Forces Districts. PAFMM members […]

12 August 2020

Updated CRS Report Offers Major China/Russia Coverage—“U.S. Role in the World: Background & Issues for Congress”

Ronald O’Rourke, U.S. Role in the World: Background & Issues for Congress R44891 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 5 August 2020).
If you have trouble accessing the website above, please download a cached copy here.
You can also click here to access the report via the new public CRS website.

Summary
The U.S. role in the world refers to the overall character, purpose, or […]

12 August 2020

“Renewed Great Power Competition”—Latest Edition of Timely New Congressional Research Service Report

Ronald O’Rourke, Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress, R43838 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 31 July 2020).
If you have trouble accessing the website above, please download a cached copy here.
You can also click here to access the report via the new public CRS website.

Summary
Many observers have concluded that the post-Cold War era of international relations—which […]

12 August 2020

Latest Edition—“China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities”—CRS Report with Projections to 2030 from ONI

Ronald O’Rourke, China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress, RL33153 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 30 July 2020).
Having trouble accessing the website above? Please download a cached copy here!
You can also click here to access the report via the new public CRS website.
In addition to his continuous incremental improvements, Ronald O’Rourke has revised this latest edition […]