Rebuilding American Military Power in the Pacific
A 21st-Century Strategy
by Robbin F. Laird, Edward Timperlake, and Richard Weitz
October 2013, 401pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3045-7
$69, £52, 58€, A99
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3046-4
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This volume examines how the U.S. military must rebuild in the wake of Iraq/Afghanistan, and refocus its power projection to face the new challenges emerging in the Pacific and with China.

Rebuilding American Military Power in the Pacific: A 21st-Century Strategy provides an all-encompassing look at the challenges facing the United States in shaping a 21st-century Pacific strategy: dealing with the growing Chinese colossus, the unpredictable nuclear challenge presented by North Korea, the dynamic of the Arctic opening, and maintaining the security of the conveyor belt of goods and services in the Pacific. Can the United States successfully train and prepare for the 21st century, and break free from the mindset that determined its strategies in the previous century? The authors of the work explain why a carefully considered, fully modernized Pacific strategy is a key element for the evolution of American military power—and why shaping an effective air and maritime strategy in the Pacific as well as globally is the crucial challenge facing the U.S. military and the policy community. Written by authors with significant access to the media, think tanks, and high-level politicians, the book provides an insider’s look at how American military leaders are building out relevant capabilities in the Pacific to defend America and its allies, and it contains extensive interviews with those leaders.


  • Examines the nature of the destabilizing threat that China presents to the power balance of the Pacific, along with how the United States can work with its allies to shape a 21st-century strategy
  • Discusses in detail the necessity for reshaping the U.S. military after the land wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the ways in which American forces can be rebuilt for the future
  • Explains why the evolving Pacific theater is an area of critical operations and will require significant change in terms of how U.S. forces operate to deal with emerging threats
  • Assesses how new capabilities associated with emerging technologies—notably the Osprey, the F-35 aircraft, the Aegis Combat Systems, and a number of new European systems—allow new opportunities to work with our allies
Robbin F. Laird is cofounder of Second Line of Defense and a long-time analyst of global defense issues. He has worked in the U.S. government and with several think tanks, including the Center for Naval Analysis and the Institute for Defense Analysis. He is a Columbia University alumnus who taught and worked for several years at Columbia's Research Institute of International Change, a think tank founded by Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski. Laird is a frequent op-ed contributor to the defense press; a member of the board of contributors to Breaking Defense, an online defense magazine; and has written several books on international security issues as well as a monthly column for The Diplomat.

The Honorable Edward Timperlake is coauthor of Year of the Rat: How Bill Clinton and Al Gore Compromised U.S. Security for Chinese Cash, a New York Times bestseller on Chinese influence in American politics. He is currently editor of the Second Line of Defense Forum. He has held high-ranking positions in the executive departments of the U.S. federal government, most recently as Director, Technology Assessment, International Technology Security, Office of the Secretary of Defense; and in the legislative branch on the Professional Staff, House Committee on Rules. After training as a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer, he served as a fighter pilot, was carrier qualified, and was commanding officer of VMFA-321. Timperlake has two campaign stars for Vietnam War service. He received a graduate degree from Cornell University and earned his undergraduate degree from the United States Naval Academy.

Richard Weitz, PhD, is senior fellow and director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute, Washington, DC. His current research includes regional security developments relating to Europe, Eurasia, and East Asia as well as U.S. policy on foreign affairs, defense, homeland security, and WMD nonproliferation. Dr. Weitz is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Project on National Security Reform (PNSR), where he oversees case study research; and a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where he contributes to various defense projects. He is the author of Praeger's War and Governance: International Security in a Changing World Order and Global Security Watch—Russia: A Reference Handbook.

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