The National Defense Strategy identifies the great power competition between China and the US and our Western allies as one of the greatest threats facing National and global security. DAU has two critical roles that can help the US resolve this issue. As a leader in acquisition training for the Department of Defense, DAU is well positioned to help identify issues in how the US develops and manages programs and the impact acquisition life cycles have on the ongoing power struggle. Additionally, as a leading corporate university with connections in every military service and throughout the Defense Industry and academia, DAU has a network of resources that they can call on to help think through these large-scale issues and the numerous impacts and solutions that can be applied to prevent China from overtaking the US as a global leader.
Recently, DAU published a call to action on the DAU-hosted Great Power Competition webpage.
The introduction on the Great Powers Competition page states, "America must continue to improve our technology refresh rate, embrace and expand innovation, secure our innovative efforts (commercial and defense) and do it faster than our competitors do," reiterating that America must outcompete China at all levels, including areas outside of the Defense sector.
The economic challenges raised by China are returning the United States to a great power competition, something the country has not faced for decades. Much as it did when facing down the Soviet Union, the DoD acquisition process is playing a pivotal role. In China - Understanding the China Challenge through its past, a group of authors that include DAU personnel and experts from Industry and academia outline how economic policies implemented by China decades ago are empowering them with outsized influence on a global stage.
The authors wrote, "...As recently as August 2021, Chinese President Xi JinPing cited Mao’s doctrine in implementing a series of economic controls to restore order to Chinese businesses and better align them to national goals. The creation of special economic zones (SEZ) in key locations 40 years ago have expanded China’s economy."
Recently, a special edition of DAU’s Thinking Differently webcast included a variety of stakeholders who shared their views on the ongoing threats posed by China's policies. Dr. Marina Theodotou, DAU Organizational Change Expert, served as the moderator. DAU Professor Steve Blasch and Dr. David Gallop, DAU Leadership Center Director, joined the rest of the panel in the discussion.
The panel included:
The conversation began by explaining the scope of the threat. Young elaborated on the three-pronged approach China is using to gain and maintain influence: the belt-and-road initiative, the fusion of military and civilian efforts and the national industrial strategy (for more information on China, access the Virtual Research Library’s China Awareness Page.) and Kaiser further described how the government of China exploits the United States’ open research system “for [China’s] own benefit.”
Gallop explained that part of the new call to action was to help the acquisition workforce shift their mindset.
“Our workforce is ready to step up,” Gallop said. “DAU is in this very interesting intersection between policy and practitioners…. This is a great opportunity for DAU to do what it does best.”
One of the things that DAU does best is to help think through issues and obstacles and create approachable solutions.
“We have a set of simple, adoptable principles that support our national defense strategies at the highest levels,” Blasch said, referring to content that can be found on the Great Powers Competition website.
The panel concluded by re-asserting the urgency that the Department of Defense must treat the rising threat of China, with Blasch asking attendees to review the call to action.
“What are you going to do differently tomorrow,” Blasch asked before signing off.
Click here to view the DAU call to action. The full discussion can be viewed on DAU media.
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