Strauss Center News

Updates from the Strauss Center and our affiliated distinguished scholars and fellows


Sankaran Assesses the Regional Defense Capabilities of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force

Jul 15, 2020 |

Jaganath Sankaran, Assistant Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar, recently published a research article titled “Missile wars in the Asia Pacific: the threat of Chinese regional missiles and U.S.-allied missile defense response.” In it, Professor Sankaran employs an empirical evaluation to assess the capabilities of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force’s (PLARF)—namely, their capacity to inhibit the United States and allied nation’s freedom of action in the event of a conflict in the Asia-Pacific region. 

He also assesses the effectiveness of the U.S. and allied regional missile defense systems. His results indicate that the efficacy of missile defenses deployed in the Asia-Pacific region varies in tandem with the nature of am PLARF attack. The missile defense system remains effective “against small coercive signaling strikes.” It remains relatively effective in the event of a “limited suppression strike campaign” (if an early warning is available). It is quite weak in the face of a “large-scale coordinated missile campaign.” In such a large-scale campaign, he notes, the “marginal cost to the defense is substantially high,” and U.S. regional military capabilities could experience crippling damages. Read the full article here.