Professional Readings Full Archives

Series: 146
The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World’s Most Dynamic Region
Series: 145
Reflections on TRADOC’s Analysis of the Yom Kippur War (pages 220-225)
Series: 144
Some New, Some Old, All Necessary: The Multi-Domain Imperative
Series: 143
Lethality Upgrade: Why a New Stryker Variant is Needed on the Modern Battlefield
Series: 142
The Indo-Asia Pacific and the Multi-Domain Battle Concept
Series: 141
What the Past Teaches about the Future
Series: 140
That Elusive Operational Concept
Series: 139
Grant’s Disengagement from Cold Harbor (pages 176-209 found in the book Cold Harbor to the Crater)
Series: 138
Countering the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Threat
Series: 137
Thinking Like a Russian Officer
Series: 136
The Future of the Army
Series: 135
Letter to President George W. Bush et al re Predicting the Future
Series: 134
The Culture of Strategic Thought Behind Russia’s Modern Approach to Warfare
Series: 133
Expeditionary Land Power: Lessons from the Mexican-American War
Series: 132
Running Things
Series: 131
Selected Foreign Counterparts of U.S. Army Ground Combat Systems and Implications for Combat Operations and Modernization
Series: 130
The Strategic Value of Conventional Land Forces
Series: 129
Tooth to Tail
Series: 128
Transforming the Force: The 11th Air Assault Division (Test) from 1963-1965
Series: 127
Cyber Beyond Third Offset: A Call for Warfighter-Led Innovation
Series: 126
NATO's Land Forces: Strength and Speed Matter
Series: 125
The Institutional Level of War
Series: 124
Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant v1 Chapters XXXII & XXXIII
Series: 123
Landpower and American Credibility
Series: 122
The US Army’s Postwar Recoveries
Series: 121
The Panther Brigade in Operation Inherent Resolve
Series: 120
The Area Under the Curve
Series: 119
US Naval Forces Before and Beyond Battle
Series: 118
The Islamic State's Militarization of Children
Series: 117
Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield: An Exemplar of Joint Combined Arms Maneuver
Series: 116
The Future Operating Environment 2050 - Chaos, Complexity and Competition
Series: 115
War Goes Viral
Series: 114
Mobility, Vigilance, and Justice: The US Army Constabulary in Germany, 1946-1953
Series: 113
Is the Conduct of War a Business?
Series: 112
Putin's Information Warfare in Ukraine
Series: 111
Beyond Coastal Artillery
Series: 110
The Battle of Manila (pages 91-122)
Series: 109
Precision and Consequences for the Modern Battlefield
Series: 108 A
Rediscovering the Art of Strategic Thinking
Series: 108 B
The Strategic Development of Tactical #Leadership
Series: 107
What It Means to be Expeditionary
Series: 106
NATO's Next Act
Series: 105
Vicksburg and Multi-Domain Battle
Series: 104 A
Innovation: Past and Future
Series: 104 B
The Relevance of Culture
Series: 103
Cross-Domain Synergy-Advancing Jointness
Series: 102 A
Into the Greasy Grass
Series: 102 B
The Uncertain Role of the Tank in Modern War: Lessons from the Israeli Experience in Hybrid Warfare
Series: 101
Hawks, Doves and Canaries: Women and Conflict
Series: 99
The 1974 Paracels Sea Battle and China's Maritime Militia
Series: 100
The Mud of Verdun
Series: 98
Cheap Technology Will Challenge U.S. Tactical Dominance
Series: 97
Landpower and American Credibility
Series: 96
The Lure of Strike
Series: 95
The Hell After ISIS
Series: 94
Tactics and Mechanization
Series: 93
Cyberwar in the Underworld - Anonymous versus Los Zetas in Mexico
Series: 92
Strategic Landpower in the Indo-Asia-Pacific
Series: 91
The Next Korean War: Drawing Lessons From Israel’s Experience in the Middle East
Series: 90
A Retrospect on Close Air Support (Chapter 11 Page 535)
Series: 89 A
The Future Is Growing Brighter For U.S. Combat Vehicles
Series: 89 B
Reimagining and Modernizing U.S. Airborne Forces for the 21st Century
Series: 88 A
Israel’s Operation Protective Edge
Series: 88 B
Aerial Interdiction: Air Power and the Land Battle in Three American Wars
Series: 87
Confronting the Threat of Corruption and Organized Crime in Afghanistan
Series: 86
Eurasia's Coming Anarchy
Series: 85
Cyber Threats and Russian Information Warfare
Series: 84
The U.S. Is Losing the Social Media War
Series: 83
Colombia - A Political Economy of War to an Inclusive Peace
Series: 82 A
Definition of ‘Decisive’ Depends on Context
Series: 82 B
How Should We Think About “Gray-Zone” Wars
Series: 81
The Contemporary Spectrum of Conflict: Protracted, Gray Zone, Ambiguous, and Hybrid Modes of War
Series: 80
Concepts, Doctrine, Principles from "Technology and Military Doctrine Essays (Essay 3 Page 19)
Series: 79
The Sinister Shadow of Escalating Middle East Sectarianism
Series: 78
Strategy and Grand Strategy: What Students and Practitioners Need to Know
Series: 77
Arming Our Allies: The Case for Offensive Capabilities
Series: 76
Forging Australian Land Power: A Primer
Series: 75
How to Win Outnumbered
Series: 74
Frontline Allies: War and Change in Central Europe
Series: 73
To Change an Army
Series: 72
The Use and Abuse of Military History
Series: 71
ARCIC Professional Reading #29 and Professional Reading #43
Series: 70
Gaming the "System of Systems”
Series: 69
Chief of Staff of the Army’s Speech to the National Guard Association of the United States
Series: 68
Information Warfare: What Is It and How to Win It?
Series: 67
War and the Art of Governance
Series: 66 A
General James 'Mad Dog' Mattis Email About Being 'Too Busy To Read' Is A Must-Read
Series: 66 B
Fiction Belongs on Military Reading Lists
Series: 65
How the U.S. Army Remains the Master of Landpower
Series: 64
Testimony of Walter Russell Mead to the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services
Series: 63
In Defense of Classical Geopolitics
Series: 62
The Islamic State and Information Warfare
Series: 61
Wake Up, America, to a Strategic New World
Series: 60
Limiting Regret: Building the Army We Will Need
Series: 59
The Use of Indigenous Forces in Stability Operations (page 69)
Series: 58
Pursuing Strategic Advantage: The Utility of Armed Forces in Peace, War, and Everything In Between
Series: 57
Gangs of Karachi
Series: 56
Experimental Units: The Historical Record
Series: 55
Governing the Caliphate: the Islamic State Picture
Series: 54
Will Humans Matter in the Wars of 2030?
Series: 53
The Case for Deterrence by Denial
Series: 52
Precision Firepower - Smart Bombs, Dumb Strategy
Series: 51
Conventional Deterrence in the Second Nuclear Age
Series: 50
Hybrid Warfare and Challenges
Series: 49
Experimentation in the Period Between the Two World Wars: Lessons for the Twenty-First Century
Series: 48
Chapter 3, Shape, Engage, and Consolidate Gains from Army Field Manual 3-98, Reconnaissance and Security Operations
Series: 47
Predicting Future War
Series: 45
UNITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE ARMED SERVICES, Hearing, Tuesday, April 28, 2014, United States Policy on Europe
Series: 44
Top Russian General Lays Bare Putin's Plan for Ukraine
Series: 43
8 Unique Values: Why America Needs the Army
Series: 42
Post Crimea Europe: NATO In the Age of Limited Wars
Series: 41
American Landpower and the Two-war Construct
Series: 40
Operations of the Natural Resources Counterinsurgency Cell (NRCC): Theory and Practice Implementing Non-lethal Unconventional Warfare Approaches in Eastern Afghanistan
Series: 39
Bridging the Planning Gap: Incorporating Cyberspace into Operational Planning
Series: 38
Defeating the Islamic State: A Financial-Military Strategy
Series: 37
Series: 36
Clausewitz Out, Computer In: Military Culture and Technological Hubris.
Series: 35
Robotics on the Battlefield Part II: The Coming Swarm
Series: 34
Why Wargaming Works
Series: 33
Louisiana Maneuvers (1940 - 41)
Series: 32
'It Just Took a Few': the Tank in New Guinea Campaign
Series: 31
The Shadow Commander
Series: 30
Rethinking Operation Protective Edge, The 2014 Gaza War
Series: 29
Why do we need an Army?
Series: 28
DARPA: Nobody's safe on the Internet
Series: 27
States, Insurgents, and Wartime Political Orders
Series: 26
The Future of Military Innovation Studies
Series: 25
A Case Study in Innovation
Series: 24
The Joint Force Commander's Guide to Cyberspace Operations and FireEye Cyber Threat Map
Series: 23
The Power of Discourse
Series: 22
Management's New Paradigms
Series: 21
The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300-2050; Chapter 10
Series: 20
To Change an Army
Series: 19
Where Good Ideas Come From
Series: 18
Series: 18
When Superiority Goes Wrong: Science Fiction and Offset Strategies
Series: 17
Thinking About Innovation
Series: 17
The Anatomy of Change: Why Armies Succeed or Fail at Transformation
Series: 16 A
The M1 Abrams Today Tomorrow
Series: 16 B
Bringing Mobility to the Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Series: 16 C
Losing Our Way The Disassociation of Reconnaissance and Security Organizations from Screen, Guard, and Cover Missions
Series: 15
The Rhyme of History Lessons of the Great War
Series: 14
France's War in Mali, Lessons for an Expeditionary Army
Series: 13
More Small Wars Counterinsurgency Is Here to Stay
Series: 12
"Big Five" Lessons for Today and Tomorrow
Series: 11
The Human Dimension White Paper
Series: 10
The Great Revamp: 11 Trends Shaping Future Conflict
Series: 9
Threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Qa'ida, and other Islamic extremists; written testimony of General James M. Mattis, USMC (Ret.), former commander of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM)
Series: 8
Land Warfare Doctrine 1; The Fundamentals of Land Power 2014
Series: 7
The Strategic Utility of Land Power
Series: 6
Observations on the Long War
Series: 5
The Nightmare Years to Come?
Series: 4
Ensuring a strong US Defense in the future
Series: 2
Toward a Secure and Stable Northern Mali
Series: 1
Groupthink: The Brainstorming Myth

Series: 146 6/16/2017

“Maintaining a stable balance in Asia will be a complex task. The possibility exists that a military competitor with a formidable resource base will emerge in the region."

2001 Quadrennial Defense Review

“To put it starkly, what we are seeing today may be the beginning of the end of the “Asian Century.”

Dr. Michael Auslin

On 22 June ARCIC will host Dr. Michael Auslin, the author of this week's essay, as part of its Distinguished Speaker Series. Dr. Auslin will discuss US Strategy at the End of the Asian Century and provide his thoughts on ways the US can address the increasing risk from a region that, in his view, is deeply fractured and threatened by economic stagnation and political upheaval. The event is open to all who wish to attend. Information on Dr. Auslin and his upcoming visit to ARCIC and Fort Eustis can be viewed here:


Since the Empress of China departed New York harbor and sailed to Macau in 1784, the US recognized the significance of the Asia-Pacific region to its security and economic prosperity. Over the past three decades observers predict that the growing economies, increasing influence, and military strength of Asia-Pacific nations will shift global power from the West to the East resulting in an "Asian Century" of unparalleled Asian power and prosperity. These observers believe that the East is replacing the West and the shift of global power will permanently reshape the world.

The rapid growth, expanding populations, and increasing military strength that has occurred in the Asia-Pacific over the last three decades may lend credence to their predictions. Admiral Harry Harris observed that the Asia-Pacific now includes three of the world’s largest economies while Asia-Pacific nations produce 40% of the world's exports and are central to everything from weaving textiles to crafting the most advanced electronic technologies. In the South China Sea alone, approximately $5.3 trillion in annual global trade flows through its sea lanes while 25% of global oil shipments and nearly 50% of all natural gas transits the Strait of Malacca each day. Today, over four billion people call the Asia-Pacific home and one in every three people on our planet is either Chinese or Indian. The Asia-Pacific also includes seven of the most powerful militaries in the world, six nuclear armed states, and the only nation to test a nuclear weapon during this century.

A dynamic and peaceful appearance on the surface does not always account for unseen threats that have potential to riddle the Asian continent. In this week's professional reading, The End of the Asian Century, which is an excerpt from his book “The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World’s Most Dynamic Region," Dr. Michael Auslin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, contends that the world has myopically focused on Asia’s successes and ignored many of the warning signs that indicate Asia is a fractured region threatened by stagnation and instability. Dr. Auslin argues that instead of a century of unparalleled Asian power and prosperity, we are actually seeing the end of the “Asian Century.” Dr. Auslin reaches this conclusion by examining five interrelated areas that explore the economic, military, political, and demographic factors that threaten Asia’s future and increase the risk of war or widespread economic collapse.

Dr. Auslin explores the following areas: failure of economic reform, demographic pressure, unfinished political revolutions, the lack of a regional political community, and the threat of war. Arrayed in the conceptual framework of a “risk map,” Auslin identifies the most important trends in the region and assesses their risk and notes, “if we wish to avoid the potentially catastrophic consequences of a war in Asia or a widespread economic collapse, we need to understand the diversity of risks the region faces and to begin thinking about how to manage those risks." Based on these risks, Dr. Auslin suggests that “the “Asian Century” may not turn out to be an era when Asia imposes a peaceful order on the world, when freedom continues to expand, or when the region remains the engine of global economic growth. Instead, what it may impose on the world is more conflict and instability.

One of our most important duties as Army professionals is to think clearly about the problem of future armed conflict. That is because our vision of the future must drive change to ensure that Army forces are prepared to prevent conflict, shape the security environment, and win wars. Leaders think ahead in time to anticipate opportunities and dangers and take prudent risk to gain and maintain positions of relative advantage over the enemy. Thinking clearly about future armed conflict requires consideration of threats, enemies, and adversaries; anticipated missions, emerging technologies, opportunities to use existing capabilities in new ways, and historical observations and lessons learned. Army leaders develop concepts aligned with each warfighting function (mission command, intelligence, movement and maneuver, fires, engagement, maneuver support and protection, and sustainment) to identify, through experimentation and learning activities, what capabilities are required for the future force to accomplish missions across the range of military operations.

Dr. Auslin offers important insights into how to think about the threats and dangers that have potential to emanate from the Asia-Pacific region. His insights offer important considerations as we think, learn and develop the Multi-Domain Battle concept. On 24 May 2017 at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Land Forces Pacific (LANPAC) Symposium, Admiral Harry Harris, the PACOM Commander, indicated that the Asia-Pacific Theater is "a complex environment where our joint and combined forces are operating in each other’s domains." Considering many of the threats that Dr. Auslin observes, Multi-Domain Battle will be critical to ensure access to the global commons and fight in those same commons should war come.

USARPAC, in collaboration with TRADOC, is developing insights for the Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF). The MDTF will pave the way for the U.S. Army to support Counter-Anti-Access/Area Denial challenges in order to transition denied space into contested space. The MDTF will prove to be an essential tool that proactively counters our adversaries’ attempts to fracture, deny, and fix U.S. military strengths. Designed, developed, and resourced to protect friendly forces and critical nodes, the MDTF can potentially possess long range kinetic and non-kinetic capabilities to strike critical enemy assets. In addition to executing these missions and serving in support of the Joint Task Force Commander’s strategic objectives, the MDTF must integrate organic and joint capabilities to ensure Joint Force freedom of action. In the near-future, the Army will initiate a pilot program to test the MDTF. Noting that U.S. military power is Joint power and the importance of cross-service collaboration to develop the concept and the MDTF, Admiral Harris recently remarked, "Our Nation depends on us – the big "Us" to get this right."

The following links provide additional information on this week's professional reading as well as the upcoming Distinguished Speaker Series event.

Admiral Harris's address during the 2017 AUSA LANPAC Symposium may be accessed at the following link:

GEN Perkin's keynote address on Multi-Domain Battle at LANPAC 2017 can be accessed at the following link:

Learn more about Multi-Domain Battle at the TRADOC Multi-Domain website:

Information on past Distinguished Speakers may be accessed here

The following Army Warfighting Challenges are directly related to this week's topic:
#1 Develop Situational Understanding:

How to develop and sustain a high degree of situational understanding while operating in complex environments against determined, adaptive enemy organizations.

#2 Shape the Security Environment:

How does the Army influence the security environment and engage key actors and local/regional forces in order to consolidate gains and achieve sustainable security outcomes in support of Geographic Combatant Commands and Joint requirements.

#5 Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction:

How to prevent, reduce, eliminate, and mitigate the use and effects of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high yield explosives (CBRNE) threats and hazards on friendly forces and civilian populations.

#9 Improve Soldier, Leader, and Team Performance:

How to develop resilient Soldiers, adaptive leaders, and cohesive teams committed to the Army professional ethic that are capable of accomplishing the mission in environments of uncertainty and persistent danger.

#10 Develop Agile and Adaptive Leaders:

How to develop agile, adaptive, and innovative leaders who thrive in conditions of uncertainty and chaos and are capable of visualizing, describing, directing, and leading and assessing operations in complex environments and against adaptive enemies.

#12 Conduct Joint Expeditionary Maneuver and Entry Operations:

How does the Army deploy and project forces, conduct forcible and early entry, and set conditions across multiple domains to rapidly transition to offensive operations to ensure access and seize the initiative.

#13 Conduct Wide Area Security:

How do Army forces establish and maintain security across wide areas (wide area security) and across multiple domains to protect forces, populations, infrastructure, and activities necessary to shape security environments, consolidate gains, and set conditions for achieving policy goals.

#14 Ensure Interoperability and Operate in JIM Environment:

How to integrate joint, interorganizational, and multinational partner capabilities and campaigns to ensure unity of effort and accomplish missions across the range of military operations.

#16 Set the Theater Sustain Operations and Maintain Freedom of Movement:

How to set the theater, provide strategic agility to the joint force, and maintain freedom of movement and action during sustained and high tempo operations at the end of extended lines of communication in austere environments.

Continuous feedback, collaboration, and teamwork are keys to the success of the Campaign of Learning and driving innovation in the Army. Please use the Army Warfighting Challenges as the framework to contribute your ideas and recommendations with respect to this topic to improve our ability to innovate as we develop the current and future force.

The Army Warfighting Challenges (AWFC) framework may be accessed here:

Please contribute to the Army Warfighting Challenges.

  • Public site (not requiring a CAC or password): ARCIC Website
  • MilBook collaboration site
  • SIPR Net collaboration site:

For previous weekly readings go to: ARCIC Professional Readings

All the best,