Getting Serious About Strategy in the South China Sea

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Vol: 71, Issue: 1

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Hal Brands; Zack Cooper
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America is suffering from a strategy deficit in the South China Sea. For nearly a decade--and at accelerated speed since 2014--Beijing has been salami slicing its way to a position of primacy in that critical international waterway, while eroding the norms and interests Washington long has sought to defend. To date, however, Washington has struggled to articulate an effective response. The Obama administration opposed Chinese maritime expansion rhetorically and worked to improve the overall American military and geopolitical posture in the Asia-Pacific.