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The “Asia Chessboard” features in-depth conversations with the most prominent strategic thinkers on Asia. Co-hosts Jude Blanchette, Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS, and Michael Green, Henry A. Kissinger Chair at CSIS and CEO of the United States Studies Centre, take the debate beyond the headlines of the day to explore the historical context and inside decision-making process on major geopolitical developments from the Himalayas to the South China Sea. Experience the hard calls and consequential debates that drive US policy towards this critical region of the world.

The Asia Chessboard Center for Strategic and International Studies

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The “Asia Chessboard” features in-depth conversations with the most prominent strategic thinkers on Asia. Co-hosts Jude Blanchette, Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS, and Michael Green, Henry A. Kissinger Chair at CSIS and CEO of the United States Studies Centre, take the debate beyond the headlines of the day to explore the historical context and inside decision-making process on major geopolitical developments from the Himalayas to the South China Sea. Experience the hard calls and consequential debates that drive US policy towards this critical region of the world.

    Unpacking the U.S. National Security Strategy

    Unpacking the U.S. National Security Strategy

    In this episode of the Asia Chessboard, Mike and Jude are joined by Dr. Gorana Grgic, a jointly appointed Senior Lecturer at the Department of Government and International Relations and the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, to discuss the recently released U.S. National Security Strategy (NSS) and National Defense Strategy (NDS). They start off the discussion by highlighting the key takeaways, and what was missing, from the National Security Strategy. They then discuss how U.S. priorities and resource allocations are reflected in the NSS, and what these signal for U.S. allies. To close out the discussion, they discuss how the National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy fit together to create a broader picture of U.S. strategic priorities.

    • 41 Min.
    India’s Evolving Partnerships

    India’s Evolving Partnerships

    This week, Mike and Jude are joined by Manjari Chatterjee Miller, senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), to take a deep look into India’s evolving partnerships and its position in the global system. They start by discussing India’s role in the Quad and how it has shifted in recent years. They then unpack India’s broader cooperative efforts within the Indo-Pacific. Finally, they assess the impact of the war in Ukraine on the India-Russia relationship, and what public perception of the war has been in India.

    • 43 Min.
    Xi's Rule and Risks

    Xi's Rule and Risks

    This week, Mike and Jude sit down with Bates Gill, Head of the Department of Security Studies and Criminology at Macquarie University, to discuss his recent book, Daring to Struggle: China's Global Ambitions Under Xi Jinping. They begin by discussing Gill’s career trajectory and key themes that emerge from the book. They then dive deeper into China’s trajectory under Xi Jinping’s leadership, focusing on Xi’s risk tolerance and China’s near-term ambitions. Finally, they outline near-term actions the U.S. and its allies could take to bolster strategic deterrence against China.

    • 28 Min.
    The Legacy of Shinzo Abe

    The Legacy of Shinzo Abe

    This week, Mike welcomes new co-host, Jude Blanchette, Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS, to interview Mike on the strategic and political legacy of Shinzo Abe, following the assassination of the former Japanese Prime Minister on July 8. The two start by discussing how Abe’s personal background and the geopolitical climate in Japan impacted Abe’s political career, his influence on Japan’s foreign policy by the end of his term in 2020, and the evolution of domestic and international perception of Abe as a leader. They then unpack Abe’s impact on Japan-China relations and U.S.-Japan relations, and how he successfully lead Japan to productive cooperation with both major powers. They wrap up the discussion by assessing the long-term impact of Shinzo Abe on Japan’s foreign policy, and the lasting policies and partnerships that will carry Japan forward over the coming years.  

    • 40 Min.
    Pawn or King: The Future of the IPEF and Economic Statecraft in Asia

    Pawn or King: The Future of the IPEF and Economic Statecraft in Asia

    This week, Mike is joined by Wendy Cutler, Vice President at the Asia Society Policy Institute, to unpack President Biden’s economic strategy towards the Indo-Pacific and his May 2022 trip to Asia. The two discuss the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and regional reactions to its various pillars and incentives, prospects for a digital trade agreement, and China’s bid to join CPTPP. How can the United States engage with allies and partners in the region to promote fair trade, supply chain resiliency, and other rules and norms? 

    • 38 Min.
    Counting the Pieces: Defense Spending and the “Ever Shrinking Fighting Force”

    Counting the Pieces: Defense Spending and the “Ever Shrinking Fighting Force”

    This week, Mike sits down with Major General Arnold L. Punaro (USMC ret.), Chief Executive Officer of the Punaro Group, to discuss his new book, The Ever-Shrinking Fighting Force, which covers the history of U.S. defense spending and why the number of warfighters is declining despite budget increases. Mike and Maj. Gen. Punaro start off by analyzing the defense budget process and lay out three reasons why the U.S. military is not getting “enough bang for its buck,” to include the acquisition process, the cost of an all-volunteer force, and a massive overhead. Drawing from his experience working in Congress, Maj. Gen. Punaro dives deeper into the politics of defense spending and its impact on the Indo-Pacific region. Lastly, the two touch on the war in Ukraine and constraints on U.S. capacity to operate on multiple fronts.

    • 40 Min.

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