Imperial Overreach with Chinese Characteristics

PLAN Marines based in Zhanjiang stand at atten...

PLAN Marines based in Zhanjiang stand at attention. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“China’s Overstretched Military Strategy”
Andrew Scobell and Andrew J. Nathan
The Washington Quarterly
Fall 2012

Scobell and Nathan, like them or not, are two of the most respected analysts of China’s foreign and security policy. What they offer in this article an argument that the PLA is being called upon by Beijing to do much more than it is capable of doing, a case that will surely land in the laps of Pentagon Panda-Punchers like a pot of spilled coffee.

Which is a shame, because it shouldn’t. What the two jaded China watchers are doing with their article is hinting at a wider U.S. grand strategy. Rather than immolate our political capital in Asia trying to contain the Dragon, perhaps the better move is to step back and let China overextend.

As always with these two, a superb read that will color our debates for the coming six months.


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