For decades, U.S. China policy has been driven by a combination of engagement and balancing. The Obama administration has put too much weight on the first, and diplomatic happy talk has done nothing to halt Beijing’s military buildup. The next administration should get real about China and bolster the balancing half of Washington’s strategic equation.
Henry Kissinger's new book argues that the United States should yield gracefully to China's rise; Aaron Friedberg's gives the opposite advice. By focusing on intentions instead of capabilities, both books overstate China's actual power.
Two new books discuss how Washington should fight the wars of tomorrow -- and pay for them. But to balance the conflicting demands of strategy and finance, the next president ought to take a page from Eisenhower's playbook.