Political and Security Affairs (PSA)
About Political and Security Affairs
NBR’s Political and Security Affairs (PSA) group hosts innovative research initiatives focused on the political and security issues in the Asia-Pacific that are of critical importance to the United States.
PSA assembles project teams from NBR’s extensive network of Asia specialists and international relations experts from across the United States and around the world. This flexible approach produces research that directly informs key leaders in all branches of the U.S. government as well as within the academic and corporate communities. NBR leadership interacts with key policymakers on a regular basis to ensure that PSA initiatives address today’s and tomorrow’s pressing issues.
PSA’s research is conducted through the following major programs:
The Asia-Pacific is quickly emerging as the geopolitical center of gravity. The vast majority of the history of the 21st century will be written in this region, and NBR’s signature annual publication—Strategic Asia—provides insightful, actionable analysis on the most challenging issues confronting the region today and in the years to come.
Maritime Awareness Project
In partnership with Sasakawa USA, NBR has launched an innovative platform for analyses and data on maritime security called the Maritime Awareness Project (MAP). The MAP portal combines interactive mapping technology with analyses from leading maritime experts.
The John M. Shalikashvili Chair in National Security Studies
Named in memory of the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former member of NBR’s Board of Directors, the John M. Shalikashvili Chair drives research and hosts events designed to explore the national security issues that the United States will confront in the Asia-Pacific. The Chair is currently held by Admiral Jonathan Greenert, U.S. Navy (Ret.).
China Security Studies
The rapid modernization of China’s military capabilities is already driving changes in regional power balances and the strategies, postures, and investments of militaries throughout the Asia-Pacific. PSA conducts several annual, invitation-only conferences on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), each of which results in the publication of in-depth analysis on a specific theme.
The "New Silk Road" Economic Corridor: Political and Strategic Implications of a Chinese-led Regional Infrastructure
The new "Silk Road Economic Belt," launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, is a first step towards the creation of a Eurasian economic corridor that would integrate the landlocked economies of the Central Asian hinterland and tie them more tightly to China. This study will describe the Chinese conception of a new “Silk Road Economic Belt” and examine the drivers behind this initiative. The study will then assess regional reactions to this ambitious Chinese project and consider the potential political and strategic implications for the United States and its partners and allies in both Europe and Asia.
Space, Cyberspace, and Strategic Stability in the Asia-Pacific
The Asia-Pacific’s increasing geopolitical importance and military significance is well recognized. Less understood, however, is how emerging, novel capabilities in space and cyberspace affect regional stability. This two-year project will examine emerging dynamics in space and cyberspace and their effects on strategic stability in the Asia-Pacific.
U.S.-China Relations in Strategic Domains
This joint project between NBR, the Institute for China-US People-to-People Exchange, and the Institute of International and Strategic Studies, both at Peking University, seeks to produce a forthright examination of the challenges in establishing greater trust and cooperation in U.S.-China relations in strategic domains and bilateral exchanges.
The United States has few stronger interests in the Asia-Pacific than turning its robust alliances with Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) into a trilateral relationship marked by cooperation, good will, and mutual understanding. The Pacific Trilateralism project identifies ongoing and future security challenges affecting the United States, Japan, and the ROK; proposes recommendations for strengthening their trilateral relationship in the coming decades; and promotes increased discussion of the trilateral relationship within U.S., Japanese, and ROK policymaking communities.
Approaching Critical Mass: Asia's Multipolar Nuclear Future
NBR is working with leading experts in the United States and in Asia to study the complexities of Asia’s nuclear environment. This project will inform a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the complex dynamics influencing the Asia-Pacific’s current and future nuclear environment and their implications for U.S. strategy.
Mapping Pakistan’s Internal Dynamics: Implications for State Stability and Regional Security
Pakistan's geographic position at the nexus of the Middle East and Asia, its nuclear stockpile, and the strength and determination of its domestic extremist groups make the country’s future course a top geopolitical interest for the United States and the broader Asia-Pacific region. This project analyzes Pakistan’s internal security landscape and external geopolitical environment, in partnership with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
U.S.-Korea Next Generation Leaders
The Next Generation program, centered around an educational, policy-oriented trip to the Republic of Korea (ROK), seeks to foster a growing network of connections amongst emerging young leaders and established policy leaders in the United States who are interested in the ROK, and to increase the level of understanding and engagement of these individuals in ROK-policy related issues.
Asia Policy is NBR’s biannual, peer-reviewed journal. Presenting policy-relevant academic research on the Asia-Pacific, Asia Policy draws clear and concise conclusions and relevant policy implications. Each issue can be accessed online free of charge for the first 60 days after publication.
Kenneth B. and Anne H.H. Pyle Center for Northeast Asian Studies
Named in honor of NBR’s founding president and his wife, the Pyle Center conducts research on Northeast Asia to advance the comprehensive study of regional security, political, and economic dynamics.
For more information on NBR's Political and Security Affairs, please contact:
Senior Vice President for Research
Senior Director, Political and Security Affairs