The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict

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Elbridge A Colby was the lead architect of the 2018 National Defence Strategy, the most significant revision of US defence strategy in a generation.

In a webinar marking the publication of his book, he lays out how US defence must change to address China’s growing power and ambition. Based firmly in the realist tradition but deeply engaged in current policy, his recently published book offers a clear framework for what the US’s goals in confronting China must be, how US military strategy must change, and how it must prioritise such goals over its lesser interests. His arguments have the most profound implications for the US's allies, including the UK.

The most informed and in-depth reappraisal of US defence strategy in decades, this book outlines a rigorous but practical approach, showing how the US can prepare to win a war with China that it cannot afford to lose – precisely in order to deter that war from happening.

Elbridge A Colby served as US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development from 2017 to 2018.

The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict was published by Yale University Press in November 2021.

The webinar will be moderated by Dr Sidharth Kaushal, RUSI Research Fellow for Sea Power.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Živilė Kulevičiūtė, Events Manager, at

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