Controversy has surrounded the United States military-to-military relationship with China ever since rapprochement began in 1971. The current debate on Department of Defense activities with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) have focused attention on the value, rationale, and benefits of the relationship. This study documents the history of U.S. security management with China from 1971 to the present and, based on that history, examines the arguments for and against conducting certain types of activities with the PLA. It then recommends a program of suitable military-to-military activities based on prescribed constraints and goals.
The research reported here was sponsored by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, U.S. Air Force (AF/XO), and the Commander, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF/CC), and conducted in the Strategy and Doctrine Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE. The report should be of value to the national security community and interested members of the general public, especially those concerned with U.S. relations in the Asia-Pacific region. Comments are welcome and should be sent to the project leader, James Mulvenon, or the RAND Project AIR FORCE acting director of the Strategy and Doctrine Program, Alan Vick:
James C. Mulvenon 1200 South Hayes St. Arlington, VA 22202 (703) 413–1100 x5225 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Vick 1200 South Hayes St. Arlington, VA 22202 (703) 413–1100 x5253 email@example.com