Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, June 17, 2013

National Defense University course features workshop report

A La Follette School international workshop report is required reading for 220 senior military and civilian officers enrolled at the National Defense University.

China in the Indian Ocean, produced in the 2011 Workshop in International Public Affairs, is on the syllabus for the final capstone course, entitled Applications in National Security Strategy, taught at NDU's National War College. The students are mid-career professionals from the United States and key allied military services (having the rank of lieutenant colonel or colonel) as well as civilian professionals of equivalent rank from the departments of Defense and State and the intelligence community.

The report was a central reading for the students' consideration of the rise of China and how key Asia-Pacific countries like India would view this development. Students were asked to develop U.S. strategies for dealing with a rising China over the next decade, with an appreciation for the growing roles that neighboring states, including India, would play in the region.

The report, prepared for the U.S. Office of South Asia Policy by Nathaniel Barber, Kieran Coe, Victoria Steffes and Jennifer Winter, analyzes mainland China's increased activities in the Indian Ocean region by investing in regional states, building ports and infrastructure and acquiring energy resources. The authors analyze the impact of these activities on regional stability and security and on other regional players, especially India, as well as trends and prospects for the region. The report discusses opportunities created for U.S. government action in the Indian Ocean region.

"I am pleased that the report provides valuable information to officers charged with national security," says professor Melanie Manion, who teaches the international workshop each spring. "The original policy analysis our students produce gives non-governmental organizations and U.S. agencies new insights into policy problems and solutions."

The Workshop in International Public Affairs is required of students in the La Follette School's Master of International Public Affairs degree program. Other clients include the U.S. foreign aid agency Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Transparency International.