If U.S. policy in Syria and Ukraine remains unchanged, how this will modify the Chinese strategic calculus in the South China Sea over the next year?
A Coggle Diagram about KEY ASSUMPTIONS CHECK
- Solving the Ukraine crisis positions the US to improve relations with Russia and weaken the Russia/China relationship
- Policy in Ukraine is driving Russia and China closer together (economically and militarily)
- Russian actions in the Ukraine have fallen below traditional thresholds for a US military response. Chinese actions in the SCS are similar and may demonstrate the Chinese pursuing national interests while limiting US ability to respond
- Russian arms deals with Syria are historically strong and are likely to continue.
- Chinese may desire to stay below the sanctions threshold wrt their actions in the SCS due to Hague ruling legally overturning Chinese claims
- US military commitments in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine limit US options against China and force a more cautious approach to Chinese actions in the SCS
- Chinese will view US military and diplomatic engagement with Syria and Ukraine as a limiting factor against the US ability to respond to Chinese actions in the SCS
- Hague ruling that Chinese do not maintain exclusive control over the region’s waters or resources will not deter Chinese expansion or build up in the SCS
- US actions that may embolden Chinese actions in the SCS -
- Slow pursuit/implementation of sanctions against Russia for actions in Ukraine
- Slow follow through on red-line announcement of Syrian use of chemical weapons
- U.S. military spending declines, a large national deficit and debt, and military force reductions will limit the ability and resolve of the U.S. to counter Chinese expansion in the South China Sea (Kitfield)
), PRE-ANALYSIS ASSUMPTIONS
, ADDITIONAL REFERENCES
), Alternative Titles
(Chinese Aggression in SCS to Rise if U.S. Remains Stagnant in Russia
, Chinese expansion in the SCS likely to increase as a result of cautious US actions against Russian annexation of Crimea.
and Chinese expansion in SCS to increase following cautious Ukraine response
), ANALYSIS OF COMPETING HYPOTHESES
, MULTIPLE HYPOTHESIS GENERATOR
, ORIGINAL HYPOTHESISU.S. policy approaches in Syria and Ukraine will embolden Chinese military action in the South China Sea, because U.S. forces are already committed to countering the ISIL threat.
and BACKGROUND OF ANALYTIC METHODOLOGY
Group 20 set out to test the hypothesis that U.S. policy approaches in Syria and Ukraine will embolden Chinese military action in the South China Sea (SCS). Using synchronous, virtual brainstorming facilitated by Coggle software, the group conducted real-time idea generation detailing key components needed for multiple hypothesis generation. The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How were identified in a divergent process, along with associated assumptions (Appendix A). The group performed convergence, and all input was solidified for inclusion in the Multiple Hypothesis Generator (MHG) software using Th!nk Suite. Five alternative hypotheses were evaluated and assigned credibility scores. The MHG produced 108 distinct, alternative permutations. The group resolved these hypotheses down to five which were plausible and consistent with the project data used (Appendix B) and assigned credibility scores. These “actionable conclusions” were then challenged by scrutinizing the validity of the key assumptions involved through group participation in a Key Assumptions Check. The Alternative Competing Hypotheses survey was employed through the Te@mACH software in Th!nk Suite, with each member evaluating the diagnosticity of 10 unique pieces of relevant information through surveys.