Despite numerous calls for a more cooperative relationship, US-China ties appear to be on an increasingly competitive trajectory. Nowhere has this seemed more apparent than in the South China Sea, where rising tensions have been sowing concern throughout Southeast Asia about the durability of order in the Asia-Pacific region. The dizzying pace of events and welter of issues surrounding the South China Sea have largely defied both strategic planners and policy implementer. From China’s frantic island-building spree, to the historic legal ruling handed down from the Permanent Court of Arbitration, to major-power naval manoeuvres, to fraught bilateral relations even with U.S. allies, to a multitude of fishing, oil exploration, and maritime law enforcement activity—the South China Sea is indeed “Asia’s cauldron” of growing instability.
Despite the procession of momentous actions, or perhaps because of them, it is imperative that US decision-makers find a comprehensive a long-term approach to managing US-China relations, especially in the South China Sea.
This discussion will focus on the framework through which the next US administration will be looking at power and order in Asia
Dr Patrick M. Cronin
Patrick M. Cronin is a Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Previously, he was the Senior Director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University, where he simultaneously oversaw the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs.
Dr. Cronin has a rich and diverse background in both Asian-Pacific security and U.S. defense, foreign and development policy. Prior to leading INSS, Dr. Cronin served as the Director of Studies at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). At the IISS, he also served as Editor of the Adelphi Papers and as the Executive Director of the Armed Conflict Database. Before joining IISS, Dr. Cronin was Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
In 2001, Dr. Cronin was confirmed by the United States Senate to the third-ranking position at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). While serving as Assistant Administrator for Policy and Program Coordination, Dr. Cronin also led the interagency task force that helped design the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
From 1998 until 2001, Dr. Cronin served as Director of Research at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Prior to that, he spent seven years at the National Defense University, first arriving at INSS in 1990 as a Senior Research Professor covering Asian and long-range security issues. He was the founding Executive Editor of Joint Force Quarterly, and subsequently became both Deputy Director and Director of Research at the Institute. He received the Army's Meritorious Civilian Service Award upon his departure from NDU in 1997.
He has also been a senior analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses, a U.S. Naval Reserve Intelligence officer, and an analyst with the Congressional Research Service and SRI International. He was Associate Editor of Strategic Review and worked as an undergraduate at the Miami Herald and the Fort Lauderdale News.
Dr. Cronin has taught at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program, The Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and the University of Virginia’s Woodrow Wilson Department of Government.
He read International Relations at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where he received both his M.Phil. and D.Phil. degrees, and graduated with high honors from the University of Florida. He regularly publishes essays in leading publications and frequently conducts television and radio interviews. In addition to many CNAS reports and numerous articles, his major publications include: Global Strategic Assessment, 2009: America’s Security Role in a Changing World; Civilian Surge: Key to Complex Operations (co-editor); The Impenetrable Fog of War: Reflections on Modern Warfare and Strategic Surprise; The Evolution of Strategic Thought: Adelphi Paper Classics; and Double Trouble: Iran and North Korea as Challenges to International Security.
The FSLP seminar is sponsored by the Noetic Group
This event is held in partnership with the Bluestar Intercultural Centre.