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The effective prosecution of strategy will increasingly require the careful integration of the military instrument with other tools of strategy. In particular, the coordination of economic and diplomatic instruments with the calibrated use of force has in many ways become the first, insidious, layer of standoff strategies geared towards keeping western powers at arms length and fragmenting the systems that underpin their response capacity.
This talk will explore China’s integration of military and non-military instruments as part of a coherent approach towards leveraging the seams in the political, operational and technical architecture that it views as constraining its rise. The briefing, based off work published in a RUSI paper on the Future Conflict Operating Environment, will examine the conceptual foundations of this approach which extends systems thinking beyond its traditional military sphere. The talk will also articulate the mechanisms by which military and economic approaches are integrated and the empirical record of success and failure of this approach in the context of Chinese grand strategy.