December 06, 2019

CNAS Delivers Congressionally Mandated Study on U.S. Strategy in the Indo-Pacific to the Department of Defense

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) today delivered an independent assessment—Rising to the China Challenge: Renewing American Competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific—to the Department of Defense. The study, which was mandated by the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, takes a comprehensive approach to long-term competition with China. It offers principles for U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific and nearly 100 specific, actionable policy recommendations across seven critical vectors of American competitiveness:

  1. Sustaining Conventional Military Deterrence
  2. Securing Vital U.S. Technological Advantages
  3. Bolstering U.S. Economic Power and Leadership
  4. Strengthening American Diplomacy
  5. Competing Over Ideology and Narrative
  6. Promoting Digital Freedom and Countering High-Tech Illiberalism
  7. Cultivating the Talent to Compete with China

“At a fundamental level, the China challenge is about us—it’s about renewing American competitiveness,” said CNAS Executive Vice President and Director of Studies Ely Ratner. “This requires a comprehensive strategy that bolsters U.S. advantages in economics, technology, diplomacy, defense, ideology, human capital, and more. This study represents an intensive, bipartisan collaboration among over a dozen senior CNAS experts across several research programs.”

Richard Fontaine, CNAS Chief Executive Officer, added: “This study constitutes the most comprehensive and detailed set of recommendations to date for strengthening American competitiveness and advancing U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific. We look forward to releasing a public version of it in early 2020.”

Following analysis at the Department of Defense, the report will be transmitted to the Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Affairs/Relations in both chambers of Congress.

For more information or to schedule an interview the project leaders, contact Cole Stevens at or (202) 695-8166.


  • Cole Stevens

    Former Communications Officer

    Cole Stevens is a former Communications Officer at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). In this role, he led the Center's press and public affairs strategy to advanc...