MCU Journal, vol. 8, no. 1

Spring 2017
Rebalance to Asia


From the Editors



Anticipating and Understanding the Rebalance: Exercise Nine Innings, USMC Command and Staff College 

LtCol Micheal Russ and Eric Y. Shibuya

MCUJ vol. 8, no. 1


Abstract: Marine Corps University’s Exercise Nine Innings prepares students and faculty for challenges faced during times of peace and war. Nine Innings partners a combatant command with military and civilian faculty, subject-matter experts, and advisors to conduct campaign planning. The exercise provides U.S. and international field-grade officers and civilian students the opportunity to think critically about complex regional security challenges and to create solutions aligned with regional trends and norms in an environment where forward thinking and campaign planning coincide. Nine Innings equips future leaders and commanders to exercise discernment in decision making in an uncertain and ambiguous future. 


Keywords: USMC, theater campaign planning, Asia-Pacific, U.S. Pacific Command, USPACOM, professional military education, PME, Command and Staff College, training, education, Exercise Nine Innings, regional security challenges



LtCol Micheal Russ is an active duty member of the U.S. Marine Corps and serves as the associate dean and head of the Warfighting Department at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University, Quantico, VA. Eric Y. Shibuya, PhD, is a professor of strategic studies and current head of the Security Studies Department at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University.




America’s Pivot to Asia: A Eulogy or an Interim Report? 

Douglas Stuart 

MCUJ vol. 8, no. 1


Abstract: When Barack Obama designated the Indo-Asia-Pacific region as his top strategic priority, it was considered an ambitious foreign policy initiative. Between 2011 and 2015, Obama’s “pivot to Asia” was quite successful, but by the end of his term in office the pivot had lost some of its momentum and direction. This study begins by placing the Obama pivot in historical context. Next, it presents an audit of the successes and setbacks of the Obama pivot. The article then discusses the prospects for a renewal of the pivot to Asia by the Donald J. Trump administration, arguing that restarting the pivot will be difficult but worth the effort.


Keywords: Pivot to Asia, Open Door, San Francisco system, Nixon Doctrine, collective self-defense, defensive modernism, trustpolitik, proactive deterrence, terminal high altitude area defense, THAAD, Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons, JAM-GC, Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, Chinese defense spending, Thucydides Trap, Anti-Access/Area Denial, A2/AD, One China policy



Douglas Stuart is the first holder of the Stuart Chair in International Studies at Dickinson College. He is also an adjunct research professor at the U.S. Army War College. Stuart has published more than 30 articles, 5 monographs, and 10 books. His research interests include the U.S. national security bureaucracy generally and the American pivot to Asia specifically.




A Pivot of Their Own: China Reassesses the Rebalance to Asia Policy, and What that Means for the Trump Administration’s Asia Policy 

Christopher D. Yung 

MCUJ vol. 8, no. 1


Abstract: The Rebalance to Asia was the Obama administration’s foundational policy initiative meant to address the challenge of China’s rise. The Chinese press and official PRC government policy statements characterized the policy as a thinly disguised containment policy. This article examines the Chinese academic assessment of the Rebalance to Asia policy. The author reviewed the writings of five Chinese intellectuals known for their close connections with different parts of the Chinese government. It identifies common themes among the assessments and points out key differences between them. The article concludes with an examination of how the new Trump administration may have altered these Chinese assessments and provides speculation on how changed Chinese perspectives might affect the future U.S.-China relationship.


Keywords: Rebalance, Pivot to Asia, Asia, China, Asia-Pacific, Trump, containment, foreign policy, Chinese academics, Chinese intellectuals, perspective



Christopher D. Yung, PhD, is the Donald Bren Chair of Non-Western Strategic Thought and the director of East Asian Studies at MCU, where he teaches China and East Asian strategic issues. Dr. Yung is the author, editor, and contributor to numerous books, articles, chapters, and monographs on Asian security and maritime issues. Previously, he served as senior research fellow and deputy director of the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University. He received both his PhD and his MA from the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.



ON DOCTRINE: Past, Present, and Future 

Identity Crisis between the Wars: How Doctrine Shaped the Marine Corps after World War I and Vietnam 

Rebecca W. Jensen and Col Keil Gentry (Ret)

MCUJ vol. 8, no. 1


Abstract: Doctrine is developed to serve as a template for military operations. The effect of doctrine is to influence how military Services and members think about, and fight, wars. In the U.S. Marine Corps, two significant doctrinal publications, the Tentative Landing Operations Manual(1934) and Warfighting(1989), were written to change Service culture in a manner that reflected external and internal pressures on the Corps. This article examines these two publications against existing definitions of effective doctrine, and considers the role doctrine played in shaping Service culture in the Marine Corps using the landing manual and Warfightingas examples.


Keywords: Marine Corps, doctrine, military adaptation, Service culture, maneuver warfare, amphibious warfare, peacetime military change, drivers of military change, military operations, WarfightingTentative Landing Operations Manual, TLOM, professional military education



Rebecca W. Jensen is a doctoral candidate at the University of Calgary’s Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies, a dissertation fellow at Marine Corps University, and a predoctoral fellow at the George Washington University’s Institute for Security and Conflict Studies. Keil Gentry retired as a colonel after 30 years in the Marine Corps. He is currently the vice president for business affairs at Marine Corps University.




Expeditionary Operations in the Fourth Industrial Revolution 

Col T. X. Hammes (Ret)

MCUJ vol. 8, no. 1


Abstract: The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing every aspect of life. Advances in task-specific artificial intelligence, robotics, and additive manufacturing are diffusing military power to smaller states and nonstate actors. These potential enemies will develop much deadlier weapons systems, but U.S. naval forces must still conduct expeditionary combat operations. In considering how these operations will be executed, this article discusses the types of conflicts involved and who future opponents might be; considers how the convergence of various Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies are changing the battlefield; and discusses the major implications for the Marine Corps. While relying on planning and big platforms is easier within acquisitions and logistics, the Marine Corps must rely on its core strengths: adaptability, flexibility, and responsiveness to the demands of war.


Keywords: artificial intelligence, 3D manufacturing, robotics, drones, nonstate actors, power projection, Fourth Industrial Revolution, Anti-Access/Area Denial, A2/AD, insurgents, terrorists, hybrid warfare, gray zone, nanotechnology, explosively formed projectile, mobilization, Marine Corps, joint



T. X. Hammes served 30 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He commanded an infantry battalion and Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, participated in stabilization operations in Somalia and Iraq, and trained insurgents in various locales. Hammes has a doctorate in modern history from Oxford University.




Marine Corps University