- NBR - The National Bureau of Asian Research

Political and Security Affairs (PSA)

About Political and Security Affairs

Expert Profiles

Roy Kamphausen
Senior Vice President for Research; Director of the Washington, D.C. office

Admiral Jonathan Greenert, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
John M. Shalikashvili Chair in National Security Studies

Ashley Tellis
Director, Strategic Asia Program

Nicholas Eberstadt
Senior Advisor

John S. Park
Senior Advisor, Political and Security Affairs

Mahin Karim
Senior Associate

Nadège Rolland
Senior Fellow

Alison Szalwinski

Brian Franchell
Project Manager

Tabitha Mallory

Xiaodon Liang
Research Assistant

Julia Oh

Deep Pal
Nonresident Fellow

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:

Strategic Asia

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.

Strategic Implications of Russia-China Relations

The relationship between Beijing and Moscow has reassumed prominence in recent years, yet historical complexities and power asymmetries prompt questions about the depth and long-term vitality of their cooperation. With generous support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, this two-year project convenes scholars and practitioners to assess Sino-Russian political, economic, and military relations and what they mean for U.S. decision-making and international security.

China's Belt and Road Initiative: Military and Security Implications

NBR has commenced a 24-month project designed to examine the impact of BRI on China’s military and security interests in the region covered by the initiative. The project will explore how China’s expanding overseas interests are likely to affect its military and security calculations. It will in turn assess the impact on U.S. foreign policy and national security interests.

China's Belt and Road Initiative: 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.

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.

Pacific Trilateralism

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.

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

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:

Roy Kamphausen
Senior Vice President for Research

Alison Szalwinski
Director, Political and Security Affairs

"I share NBR’s conviction that facts and ideas matter in the public realm. NBR’s research helps us understand the world, and make decisions within it. For the publications you produce, and the meetings you convene, Scoop Jackson would have been proud of your impact."

Ashton B. Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense