U.S. Hawks Must Finally Get Real About China

February 20, 2024

Hawks have been saying for decades that we are living in an incredibly dangerous world. That was an exaggeration twenty years ago but now is actually true. In such a context, our nation needs hawks to follow their convictions where they lead: That hard power is central, that we face scarcity, that it will take years at best to redress, that we can’t “walk and chew gum,” and that the most dangerous threat we face is the one with the most hard power—China. In such a context, it is wildly imprudent to cut it close against our most important threat, banking on a single theory of victory.


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.