Author and Yale alum Elbridge Colby discussed his new book, “The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict.”
On September 23, International Security Studies hosted the Virtual Discussion Forum, “The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict,” featuring author and former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development Elbridge Colby.
International Security Studies— dedicated to the study of history, grand strategy, and global security—will become a new research hub of the Jackson Institute on October 1.
In his book, Colby lays out how America’s defense must change to address China’s growing power and ambition.
During the discussion, moderated by ISS director Arne Westad, Colby emphasized that strategy is not a master plan but a framework to make decisions amidst uncertainty and scarcity. According to Colby, the constant drive to make foreign policy complex is the problem, not part of the solution.
For Colby, the key takeaway is that Asia matters much more in U.S. foreign policy than any other region. Given that China has the military incentive, Colby argues, the U.S. should come up with a military strategy to deny China the regional hegemony it appears to be pursuing.
Colby points to Taiwan because of its military significance to the anti-hegemonic coalition. Part of the reason to lean forward in Taiwan is so that the U.S. does not have to bring other countries into the defense perimeter, which would require stricter and more expensive commitment. He believes that the core of the U.S. defense capabilities and the weight of America’s allies are in the Western Pacific, and that the military should increase its focus on this region.