That’s exactly Colby’s point in The Strategy of Denial. We can continue to wish that China was a liberal democracy, but it isn’t, and in the meantime, there must be some realistic course to guide us forward. If the endgame is a decent equilibrium whereby free nations in the Indo-Pacific can continue to prosper, that would be an historic achievement for the United States. And in order to achieve that good outcome, in the face of expanding Chinese Communist power, we must gird ourselves for a protracted struggle.
Colin Dueck is a professor in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. His most recent book is Age of Iron: On Conservative Nationalism (Oxford, 2019).