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Event Summary

Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill, members of the Asia-Pacific Strategy Working Group from AEI, the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), and the Project 2049 Institute introduced their memorandum to President Barack Obama and the US Congress on formulating an effective and comprehensive American diplomatic, economic, and military strategy in Asia. As AEI’s Gary Schmitt put it, the memorandum is intended to serve as a “yardstick” for measuring the success of the Obama administration’s rebalance to Asia.

Randall Schriver of Project 2049 discussed the need to define more concrete goals for our bilateral relationships, suggesting that Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping develop a shortlist of top priorities during their summit in California this week. AEI’s Dan Blumenthal argued that the greatest challenge to the rebalance will come in its implementation because of steep defense cuts. Finally, Robert Zarate of FPI urged Congress to become more involved in Asia policy, particularly by engaging our regional partners.

The panelists agreed that the success of US strategy in Asia depends on understanding the concerns of our allies and partners as we pursue our interests in the region.
–Lara Crouch

Event Description

In late 2011, President Barack Obama announced his decision to “rebalance” American foreign policy toward Asia. But the president can only achieve his goals for the Asia-Pacific by working with Congress to execute a comprehensive, long-term strategy. In light of this policy shift, individuals from AEI, the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), the Project 2049 Institute, and the Long Term Strategy Group have prepared a memo on how the United States can best execute this new policy. Please join representatives from AEI, FPI, and Project 2049 as they discuss the future of securing US interests in the Asia-Pacific.




10:00 AM
Refreshments and Registration

10:15 AM
Briefing and Question-and-Answer Session

Dan Blumenthal, AEI
Gary J. Schmitt, AEI
Randall Schriver, Project 2049 Institute
Robert Zarate, Foreign Policy Initiative

Christopher Griffin, Foreign Policy Initiative

11:30 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Lara Crouch at [email protected], 202.862.7160.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact Véronique Rodman at [email protected], 202.862.4871.

Speaker Biographies

Dan Blumenthal is the director of Asian Studies at AEI, where he focuses on East Asian security issues and Sino-American relations. He is also a founding board member of the Alexander Hamilton Society, and serves on the boards of the Project 2049 Institute and the US-Taiwan Business Council. He recently became a research associate at the National Asia Research Program, a joint undertaking of the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He served on the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission from 2005 to 2012 and has been a member of the academic advisory board for the congressional US-China Working Group. During George W. Bush’s first administration, Blumenthal was the senior director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia in the secretary of defense’s Office of International Security Affairs. Blumenthal is the coauthor of “An Awkward Embrace: The United States and China in the 21st Century” (AEI Press, November 2012). He has authored articles and op-eds for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, National Review, as well as for numerous edited volumes, including “Strategic Asia 2012-2013” by the National Bureau of Asian Research.

Christopher Griffin is the executive director of the Foreign Policy Initiative. Previously, he served as legislative director to US Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT), and between 2008 and 2011, was the senator’s military legislative assistant, with responsibility for the senator’s legislative agenda as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Before joining Sen. Lieberman’s staff, Griffin was a research fellow at AEI (2005–08), where he focused on US foreign and defense policy in the Asia-Pacific region. During his time at AEI, Griffin was a contributing editor to the Armed Forces Journal, writing feature articles on international defense industrial cooperation and a monthly column titled the “Blogs of War.” Griffin’s writings have been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.

Gary J. Schmitt is the codirector of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at AEI and the director of AEI’s Program on American Citizenship. Schmitt is a former staff director of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He was executive director of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board during former president Ronald Reagan’s second term. Schmitt’s security work focuses on longer-term strategic issues that will affect America’s security at home and its ability to lead abroad, while his work in the area of citizenship focuses on challenges to maintaining and sustaining a strong civic culture in America. His books include “Of Men and Materiel: The Crisis in Military Resources” (AEI Press, 2007), to which he was a contributing author and editor with Tom Donnelly; “Silent Warfare: Understanding the World of Intelligence” (Brassey’s, 2002), coauthored with Abram Shulsky and now in its third edition; and “U.S. Intelligence at the Crossroads: Agendas for Reform” (Brassey’s, 1995), a coedited volume to which he is a contributing author. His two most recent books, to which he is also editor and contributing author, are “The Rise of China: Essays on the Future Competition” (Encounter Books, May 2009) and “Safety, Liberty and Islamist Terrorism: American and European Approaches to Domestic Counterterrorism” (AEI Press, 2010).

Randall Schriver is the president and CEO of the Project 2049 Institute, a nonprofit research organization dedicated to the study of security trend lines in Asia as well as a founding partner of Armitage International LLC. He is also a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Schriver served as US deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2003 to 2005. Before joining the Asia Bureau, he served for two years as chief of staff and senior policy advisor to former deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage. Schriver served in various civil servant posts in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, including as senior country director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia; in the Office of Counter Proliferation Policy; and in the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces. Schriver has also served as an active duty naval intelligence officer. He has won numerous military and civilian awards from the US government and was recently presented with the Order of the Propitious Clouds by the president of Taiwan for promoting Taiwan-US relations.

Robert Zarate is policy director of the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). He recently served on the Center for Security and International Studies Working Group on US-China Nuclear Issues, visiting Beijing for multiple Track 1.5 meetings in preparation for the working group’s March 2013 final report on US-Chinese strategic nuclear weapons competition and engagement. Before joining FPI, he worked as legislative assistant to Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), focusing on foreign affairs and national security (2009–11), and earlier as a legislative fellow on the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade (2009). He coedited “Nuclear Heuristics: Selected Writings of Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter” (Strategic Studies Institute, 2009), a volume of enduring and timely writings on nuclear-age strategy by two of America’s most controversial, innovative, and consequential thinkers. He has published essays and articles in TIME, The Weekly Standard, National Review, U.S. News & World Report, and other periodicals.

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