Dust Off That Dirty Word Detente and Engage With China

June 5, 2022

What are the practical implications of ditching the half-century-old policy of “strategic ambiguity” on Taiwan, which dates to Kissinger’s compromise with Zhou Enlai in 1972? In his book “The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict,” Elbridge Colby argues that the US can and must prioritize the defense of Taiwan. Colby was deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development under Donald Trump. His book has been a hit with China hawks precisely because it gets specific about how the US could cope with a Chinese attempt to seize Taiwan.


Elbridge Colby is co-founder and principal of The Marathon Initiative, a policy initiative focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition.