The U.S. military increasingly has one overriding preoccupation. Figuring out how to deter China or, in the event of war in the western Pacific, defeat it.
But it’s possible that, in time, China will defeat itself. Economic mismanagement, poor governance, ecological crisis and external pressure could combine to flatten the country’s growth and erode its power in the region and globally.
That’s one possible future that the California think-tank RAND gamed out in a July study.