GOVT-463 Strategy & Technology in Asia
Fall for 2015-2016
The twentieth century introduced a series of technological revolutions that not only changed the way wars are fought but the altered the global calculus of how we think about the ends and means of violence, its prevention via deterrence and negotiated constraint. Students of these revolutions have traditionally tended to focus on the Western experience in the World Wars and Cold War and given primacy to that interpretation. However, on reflection, it is notable that Asia is the region where much of last century’s security innovation had both its proving ground and greatest impact.

Asia has not only been the locus of military-technological “firsts,” but has been the focus of developing strategies to exploit these new systems. Equally impressive is recent Chinese deconstruction and analysis of what they call “the new revolution in military affairs” and their intellectual investment in developing strategic thought for theater campaigns under modern conditions. The purpose of this class is to introduce students to the evolution of twentieth century military technology as experienced in Asia as well as emerging twenty-first century strategic concepts being developed there. The purpose of this course is to address the relationship between rapid change in technological innovation and security in international relations with particular focus on the emergence of new weaponry and new ways of warfare.

Attention will be given to two types of radical change: a “revolution in science” which facilitates weapons based on new principles that imply significant military advantage to the side that takes an early lead; and a “revolution in social organization,” where technological change forces existing decisional and institutional structures into dramatic restructuring. With respect to the latter, the class will focus effort on trying to understand how the Chinese military is thinking about these issues and provide students
the opportunity to experiment with the changing Asian strategic balance over the next twenty years.

The course is a combined lecture/lab and, as such, student participation is expected. A typical class will involve a one hour lecture on a pre-identified topic, with the second half of the class split between follow-up discussion informed by student readings of as
well as general Q & A along with issues related to the Hegemon simulation.

This course has been renumbered, effective Fall 2014. A student who earned credit for GOVT 399 Strategy & Technology in Asia in a prior term should not enroll and cannot earn credit in this class.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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