Two of Washington’s best-informed defense analysts have just published Age of Danger:
Keeping America Safe in the Age of New Superpowers, which calls for big changes in defense spending to deal with a far more dangerous world than seemed possible when the Cold War ended
in 1991. The authors are Thom Shanker, a veteran former New York Times Pentagon correspondent,
and Andrew Hoehn, senior vice president for research and analysis at the RAND Corporation think
tank. The authors address many threats in their new book, but we’ve asked them to focus on China.
Not so long ago, China was a key manufacturing, trade and investment partner for the United
States, but today, it looms as America’s main geopolitical competitor.
Tensions are growing, and top-level contacts are few and far between. President Joe Biden has
maintained Donald Trump’s punitive trade tariffs, and “strategic ambiguity” has given way in
President Biden’s offhand remarks to a defense commitment to Taiwan that’s not grounded in a
treaty. Should the U.S. come to the defense of Taiwan, which hasn’t adequately prepared its own
Meanwhile, Xi Jinping signaled in March that he’s preparing for war.
But no one knows if he really means it.
How did we wind up in a Great Power competition that, like the Chinese-Russian collaboration,
seems to know no bounds? To what extent are American missteps responsible – an intense focus on
terrorism, an ill-managed “pivot” of defense forces to the Far East and the political disarray of the past seven years at home? Is China’s drive to take on the U.S.-dominated free world a historical
redress of grievances to end centuries of humiliation? Or is Xi thrusting for world power?
Join us June 7 for what is sure to be an enlightening discussion with Andrew Hoehn and Thom
Shanker about the slide into confrontation.
Andrew Hoehn is senior vice president for research and analysis at the RAND Corporation. He is
the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy, where he was responsible for
developing and implementing U.S. force planning and assessments in addition to long- range
Thom Shanker is director of the Project for Media and National Security at George Washington
University. He is the former national security and foreign policy editor for The New York Times’
Washington Bureau, and a longtime Pentagon correspondent for The Times. He is coauthor of The
New York Times bestseller Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign
Against Al Qaeda.
The presentation will be at 6 pm June 7, followed by Q&A. We’ll begin with light refreshments at
5:15pm. If you can’t join us in person, the presentation will be available to members as a live-feed
on the Zoom platform.
We will also be hosting a book sale at the presentation.
If you plan to attend IN-PERSON, please RSVP to [email protected] to register.
A heads’ up for the coming event:
June 22: Robert Freedman, “Israel and Russia – A Troubled 75 – year Relationship”
August 23: General Frank McKenzie (ret), “Iran’s Role in The Gulf Region”
Details to follow.
We look forward to seeing you.
Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs