Center for Preventive Action

Contingency Planning for Future Crises

Project Expert

Paul B. Stares
Paul B. Stares

General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action

About the Project

The United States has a poor record at both anticipating foreign crises and planning for them.  To improve U.S. readiness for crises that are both plausible in the short- to medium-term and likely to be harmful to U.S. interests, the Center for Preventive Action routinely convenes Contingency Planning Roundtables to discuss practical prevention and mitigation strategies. These discussions form the basis for CPA’s well-regarded Contingency Planning Memoranda series. CPA also organizes “Flashpoint” Roundtables to draw wider attention to current or prospective sources of conflict.

The “Flashpoint” Roundtable series is made possible by the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.


South China Sea

As tensions rise between the United States and China, the risk of a military confrontation in the South China Sea between China and the United States is growing. Domestic politics in China, fallout from the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, and accusations over the spread of the novel coronavirus are adding to this risk. Please join our speakers, Oriana Skylar Mastro from Georgetown University and the American Enterprise Institute, and Abraham Denmark from the Wilson Center, to discuss a recent Contingency Planning Memorandum on the possibility of a U.S.-China military confrontation in the South China Sea and what U.S. policymakers can do to prevent it. This meeting is made possible by the generous support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

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