Andrew Erickson, Ph.D.

Professor Strategic and Operational Research Department
Andrew Erickson photo


Andrew Erickson is a professor of strategy in the U.S. Naval War College (NWC)’s China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI). He helped to establish CMSI in 2006, and has subsequently played an integral role in its development. Since 2008 Erickson has been an associate in research at Harvard’s Fairbank Center. He has taught courses at NWC and Yonsei University, and advises student research and provides curricular inputs at NWC and elsewhere. He helped to establish, and to escort the first iteration of, NWC’s first bilateral student exchange in China, which he continues to support. For over a decade, Erickson has managed NWC’s scholarly research relationship with Japanese counterparts.

Areas of Expertise

  • A2/AD
  • Aerospace
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Asymmetrical Warfare
  • China
  • Cold War
  • Deterrence
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign Policy
  • Geopolitics
  • Indian Ocean
  • International Relations
  • Maritime History
  • Maritime Strategy
  • Military Technology
  • National Security
  • Piracy
  • South China Sea
  • Space
  • Taiwan
  • Weapon Systems

Professional Highlights


Professor of Strategy, China Maritime Studies Institute, Naval War College


Associate Professor, China Maritime Studies Institute, Naval War College


Assistant Professor, Strategic Research Department, Naval War College


Research Fellow, Strategic Research Department, Naval War College


Chinese Translator/Technical Analyst, Marine Science & Technology Division, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)


Ph.D., Princeton University, Politics (dissertation: “Great Power Aerospace Development: China’s Quest for the Highest High Ground”)

M.A., Princeton University, Politics (concentration: China/comparative politics and international relations)

B.A., Amherst College, History and Political Science magna cum laude (additional certificate in international relations)

C.V. or Resume

Related Credentials

Advanced Military Maritime Chinese Program, Naval War College
2008 to present

Advanced Chinese Study, Princeton in Beijing, Princeton University

Intensive Intermediate Chinese Study, Princeton in Beijing, College of Chinese Language and Culture, Beijing Normal University

Study of Japanese language, politics, and economics, Associated Kyoto Program, Doshisha University

Research Contributions and Publications

"How Strong Are China’s Armed Forces?" in The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power
Harvard University Press

"From Management Crisis to Crisis Management? Japan’s Post-2012 Institutional Reforms and Sino-Japanese Crisis (In)Stability"  
Journal of Strategic Studies 40.5

"Correspondence: How Good Are China’s Antiaccess/Area-Denial Capabilities?"  
Spring 2017
International Security 41.4

"China’s Strategic Objectives at Sea,” Asia-Pacific Regional Security Assessment 2017: Key Developments and Trends
International Institute for Strategic Studies

China’s Third Sea Force, The People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia: Tethered to the PLA
China Maritime Studies Institute

Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: An Ambitious and Uncertain Course
Naval Institute Press

"The South China Sea’s Third Force: Understanding and Countering China’s Maritime Militia"  
September 21st 2016
House Armed Services Committee Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee

"Barriers, Springboards and Benchmarks: China Conceptualizes the Pacific ‘Island Chains’,”
March 2016
The China Quarterly 225

Six Years at Sea… and Counting: Gulf of Aden Anti-Piracy and China’s Maritime Commons “America’s Security Role in the South China Sea,”
July 23rd, 2015
House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific

More Willing and Able: Charting China’s International Security Activism
Center for a New American Security

History of Rocketry and Astronautics: Proceedings of the 47th History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics

"China’s Military Modernization: Many Improvements, Three Challenges, and One Opportunity,” in China’s Challenges
University of Pennsylvania Press

A Low-Visibility Force Multiplier: Assessing China’s Cruise Missile Ambitions
National Defense University Press

Rebalancing U.S. Forces: Basing and Forward Presence in the Asia-Pacific
Naval Institute Press

“China’s Space Development History: A Comparison of the Rocket and Satellite Sectors,”
October/November 2014
Acta Astronautica 103

“Not-So-Empty Talk: The Danger of China’s ‘New Type of Great-Power Relations’ Slogan,”
October 9th 2014
Foreign Affairs online

China’s Near Seas Combat Capabilities
China Maritime Studies Institute

“Rising Tide, Dispersing Waves: Opportunities and Challenges for Chinese Seapower Development,”
Summer 2014
Journal of Strategic Studies 37.3

“China’s Naval Modernization: Implications and Recommendations,”
December 11th 2013
House Armed Services Committee Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee

“Demystifying China’s Defence Spending: Less Mysterious in the Aggregate,”
December 2013
The China Quarterly 216

Chinese Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Development: Drivers, Trajectories, and Strategic Implications
Jamestown Foundation

No Substitute for Experience: Chinese Antipiracy Operations in the Gulf of Aden
China Maritime Studies Institute

“A Competitive Strategy with Chinese Characteristics? The Second Artillery’s Growing Conventional Forces and Missions,” in Competitive Strategies for the 21st Century: Theory, History, and Practice
Stanford University Press

“The Conventional Missile Capabilities of China’s Second Artillery Force: Cornerstone of Deterrence and Warfighting,”
Summer 2012
Asian Security 8.2

Chinese Aerospace Power: Evolving Maritime Roles
Naval Institute Press

China, the United States, and 21st Century Sea Power: Defining a Maritime Security Partnership
Naval Institute Press

“Diego Garcia and the United States’ Emerging Indian Ocean Strategy,”
Autumn 2010
Asian Security 6.3

Chinese Mine Warfare: A PLA Navy ‘Assassin’s Mace’ Capability
China Maritime Studies Institute

China Goes to Sea: Maritime Transformation in Comparative Historical Perspective
Naval Institute Press

“Chinese Theater and Strategic Missile Force Modernization and its Implications for the United States,”
February 2009
Journal of Strategic Studies 32.1

China’s Energy Strategy: The Impact on Beijing’s Maritime Policies
Naval Institute Press

China’s Future Nuclear Submarine Force
Naval Institute Press

“Beijing’s Energy Security Strategy: The Significance of a Chinese State-Owned Tanker Fleet,”
Fall 2007
Orbis 51.4

“Hoping for the Best, Preparing for the Worst: China’s Response to U.S. Hegemony,”
December 2006
Journal of Strategic Studies 29.6

China’s Nuclear Force Modernization
Naval War College

Awards and Decorations

Inaugural Civilian Faculty Research Excellence Award
Naval War College, 2017

Inaugural Ellis Joffe Prize for PLA Studies
National Bureau of Asian Research, 2012

Naval War College Foundation Capt. Hugh G. Nott Prize
Second Place, 2009

U.S. Naval Institute General Prize Essay Contest
Third Prize, 2009

Naval War College Foundation Capt. Hugh G. Nott Prize
First Place, 2006

Other Honors

Associate in Research, John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University
2008 to present

Expert Contributor, China Real Time Report, Wall Street Journal

Deployed in the Pacific as a Naval Postgraduate School Regional Security Education Program scholar aboard flagship aircraft carrier USS Nimitz

Fellow, Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program, in residence at Center for Government and International Studies, Harvard University

Fellow, Public Intellectuals Program, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations

External Memberships and Associations

Council on Foreign Relations
Term Member

National Committee on U.S.-China Relations

International Studies Association

American Political Science Association

Association for Asian Studies
Life Member/Patron

International Astronautical Federation
Member, History Committee

U.S. Naval Institute

Naval War College Foundation
Life Member

National Defense Industrial Association

News, Media, & Events

VIDEO: 45 Seconds on Moral Courage

Jul. 15, 2019
News Publication

Starship Poseidon Summer STEM Camp

Jul. 14, 2019
3:00 p.m.
Naval Station, U.S. Naval War College, 686 Cushing Road, Newport, RI 02841

China Likely Tested Missiles That Can Kill Aircraft Carriers in the South China Sea

Jul. 06, 2019
The National Interest
Article Publication

Material and external links contained herein are made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval War College, Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.