The U.S. Military and the Coming Great-Power Challenge
In describing this dangerous new world, The Strategy of Denial touches on a range of topics, including the challenge posed to NATO from a resurgent Russia, rival nuclear arsenal growth, an unstable Middle East, and global terrorism. Colby’s overwhelming focus, however, is on China. Since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, China has leveraged its rapid economic growth to acquire advanced military technology, seeking to match or even exceed U.S. capabilities in many areas. As an “aspiring hegemon,” Colby writes, China may be tempted to use its increasingly capable armed forces to secure its “core interests,” which include absorbing Taiwan and the islands within the South China Sea’s “nine-dash line.” More likely, however, Beijing calculates that absent a countervailing U.S. effort, its growing military power will enable it to “Finlandize” its neighbors without direct force.