This page captures research and analysis by SSI research professors, USAWC teaching faculty, USAWC students, and SSI affiliates, of current and future challenges in the region. Research and analysis will include U.S. approaches and capabilities, U.S. allies and partners, and regional rivalry as the United States pursues its interests.

From the National Bureau of Asian Research:
"This report describes U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific, challenges and opportunities the United States will likely face in the region over the next decade, the resources available to the United States for protecting and advancing its interests, and a recommended strategy for doing so."

The US Is Out of Position in the Indo-Pacific Region
By Nathan Freier, John Schaus, Al Lord, Alison Goldsmith, Elizabeth Martin


From DefenseOne:
"The Secretary of State’s recent dismissal of Beijing’s South China Sea claims is just the latest way U.S. officials are calling out Chinese rhetoric and military activity as a threat to a 'free and open Indo Pacific.'But from a military perspective, the United States is not well positioned to affect favorable change or moderate Beijing’s aggressive behavior."

An Army Transformed: USINDOPACOM Hypercompetition and US Army Theater Design
By Professors Nathan Freier, John Schaus, and William Braun

"In a hypercompetitive Indo-Pacific region, the Army will have to embrace four transformational—and culturally uncomfortable—roles to underwrite future Joint operations and compete with, deter, and—if needed—defeat China in the Indo-Pacific. Embracing these roles will be risky for the Army, but less so than continuing on the present course."

This section contains working papers of the 2019-2020 US Army War College Integrated Research Project on the Indo-Pacific Region.

Each Working Paper will be a product of the USAWC INDOPACOM Project on Theater Design and represents the judgment of project’s researchers at the time of publication. Though considered complete, they are subject to further development or amendment with new information or additional work in the future.

The views presented in these working papers are solely those of the authors. They do not represent US Government, US Department of Defense, or US Department of the Army policy.

"In the 1930s, the United States clung to neutrality as World War II loomed. Despite pervasive isolationist sentiments at the time, the US Government took several prescient steps to prepare for approaching conflict with hostile regimes in two distinct theaters. This paper highlights key lessons for the United States from the Pacific War that parallel present-day challenges from a pacing PRC."

A Changing Indo-Pacific Region
By John Schaus, Brian Evans, and Elizabeth Martin

"China is increasingly willing to use coercive power to achieve political outcomes aligned with Beijing's wishes. This approach exposes Indo-Pacific states to a difficult choice between China-aligned prosperity and US-aligned sovereignty. This paper presents a snapshot of relations with six US anchor partners' positions toward the United States and China with implications for US military strategies."

Four Paths to the Grid
By John Schaus, Nathan Freier, Brent Bak, Alison Goldsmith, David Mitchell, and Henry Wicks

"This paper presents four distinct paths the Army can pursue to begin realizing the grid and enabling roles: an Army-specific approach, an approach paired with a single additional US service, a path merging Army multi-domain and enabling efforts with those of a key ally, and a Joint and Combined path integrating and enabling the comparative advantages of all key US and allied stakeholders into single unified path.”

"This working paper is a companion to Four Paths to the Grid and it is a continuation of Army Transformed: Hypercompetition and US Army Theater Design in the INDOPACOM Theater. This working paper provides senior defense and military leaders with an adaptable two-step qualitative analytic tool for assessing the hypercompetitive potential and risk associated with the Army pursuing any transformational change to its INDOPACOM theater design."