Unpacking Congress’s Role in Asia Policy & the 2019 NDAA

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In this episode, we review the Asia-related sections of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, and explore Congress’s role in framing U.S. policy toward Asia. Returning to the podcast to unpack these topics are Dr. Michael Green, Japan Chair and Senior Vice President for Asia at CSIS, and Gregory Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative and fellow with Southeast Asia Program at CSIS.

Mike and Greg share personal anecdotes about recently deceased Senator John McCain’s contributions on Asia policy and analyze the Asia elements of 2019 NDAA – including: language intended to restrain the Trump administration from rapid policy swings on South Korea and Taiwan, the requirement for the administration to provide a whole of government strategy for competition with China, and the funds allocated for boosting capacity of partner claimants in the South China Sea. They also discuss the bipartisan nature of congressional input to Asia policy, the value of congressional requirements for the Pentagon, and review crucial historical decisions made by Congress on Asia strategy. Hosted by Liza Keller. Audio edited by Ribka Gemilangsari. Written and produced by Jeffrey Bean.

To learn more: 

See the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.
Dr. Michael Green’s book By More Than Providence Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific Since 1783.
Gregory Poling’s recent op-ed, “Congress Fires a Warning Shot to China with Defense Budget,” in The Hill.   
Gregory B. Poling
Senior Fellow and Director, Southeast Asia Program and Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative