As the old year dies, Breaking Defense has asked its expert Board of Contributors to look ahead at the next (click here for the whole 2013 forecast series). Today we hear from Col. (retired) Douglas Macgregor, a decorated combat veteran of the first Gulf War, prolific author, and a passionate skeptic of conventional strategic wisdom.

In his book Only the Paranoid Survive, Andrew Grove describes a strategic inflection point as a point in time when the balance of forces shifts from the old structure and the old ways of competing to ones. As Grove writes, successful business structures adapt and thrive. Archaic structures that fail to adapt, decline and die. Keep reading →

America counts heavily on a cordon of allies stretching from Japan to the north down to Thailand, and across to India, in the highly unlikely event of war with China. But these same allies could draw the U.S. into strictly local disputes in which America does not always have a clear security interest and which could destabilize the region.

Asian powers including India and Japan possess large, sophisticated navies and air arms which, combined with U.S. Pacific forces, could outgun the rapidly-modernizing People’s Liberation Army in wartime. And in peacetime, these same regional powers can help as counters to Beijing’s growing influence. Keep reading →

The rare and remarkable case of Bo Xilai, a top Chinese leader embroiled in a corruption and murder scandal, marks the biggest and deepest political scouring of China’s leadership since the Cultural Revolution and it is rippling through the polity, affecting the country’s ability to manage national security and diplomacy.

Not since the fall of the Gang of Four, in 1976, have the Chinese been so thorough in rooting out a leader’s family. Even former Premier Zhao Ziyang’s children were not targeted, although Zhao remained under house arrest from 1989 until his death in 2005. Keep reading →