Strategic perspectives of China, India, and North Korea toward the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

By Harrison SarlesSeptember 20, 2022

Dr. Mahir Ibrahimov (podium), Director, Command and General Staff College’s Cultural and Area Studies Office, opens the first CASO discussion panel of the academic year, Panel members (l-r) Dr. James E. Platte, School of Advanced Military Studies, Lt. Col. Joshua Stephenson, Command and General Staff School and Peter Wood, Foreign Military Studies Office, TRADOC G2, addressed the topic “Strategic perspectives of China, India, and North Korea toward the Russia-Ukraine Conflict” Sept. 15.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Dr. Mahir Ibrahimov (podium), Director, Command and General Staff College’s Cultural and Area Studies Office, opens the first CASO discussion panel of the academic year, Panel members (l-r) Dr. James E. Platte, School of Advanced Military Studies, Lt. Col. Joshua Stephenson, Command and General Staff School and Peter Wood, Foreign Military Studies Office, TRADOC G2, addressed the topic “Strategic perspectives of China, India, and North Korea toward the Russia-Ukraine Conflict” Sept. 15. (Photo Credit: Dan Neal) VIEW ORIGINAL
Dr. Mahir Ibrahimov (podium), Director, Command and General Staff College’s Cultural and Area Studies Office, opens the first CASO discussion panel of the academic year, Panel members (l-r) Dr. James E. Platte, School of Advanced Military Studies, Lt. Col. Joshua Stephenson, Command and General Staff School and Peter Wood, Foreign Military Studies Office, TRADOC G2, addressed the topic “Strategic perspectives of China, India, and North Korea toward the Russia-Ukraine Conflict” Sept. 15.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Dr. Mahir Ibrahimov (podium), Director, Command and General Staff College’s Cultural and Area Studies Office, opens the first CASO discussion panel of the academic year, Panel members (l-r) Dr. James E. Platte, School of Advanced Military Studies, Lt. Col. Joshua Stephenson, Command and General Staff School and Peter Wood, Foreign Military Studies Office, TRADOC G2, addressed the topic “Strategic perspectives of China, India, and North Korea toward the Russia-Ukraine Conflict” Sept. 15. (Photo Credit: Dan Neal) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. – Command and General Staff College’s Cultural and Area Studies Office hosted “Strategic perspectives of China, India, and North Korea toward the Russia-Ukraine Conflict” Sept. 15 at the Arnold Conference Room, Lewis and Clark Center, Fort Leavenworth. The panel of a Command and General Staff College professor, a School of Advanced Military Studies professor, and Training and Doctrine Command G2 Foreign Military Studies expert were the first CASO presentation for this academic year.

Brig. Gen. David C. Foley, Deputy Commanding General Combined Arms Center; and Provost of the Army University, provided opening remarks. Dr. Mahir J. Ibrahimov, Director, CASO, served as the panel moderator. Panel Members included Peter Wood, Foreign Military Studies Office, TRADOC G2, Lt. Col. Joshua Stephenson, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and Dr. James E. Platte, School of Advanced Military Studies.

“These discussions broaden our understanding of diverse and complex social and geopolitical events affecting the world,” said Foley opening the event. “My challenge, to those in attendance today, is to use this venue to expand your intellectual boundaries, create dialogue, and dive a little deeper into the specific topics of each panel member.”

Wood spoke about the Chinese perspective of recent events. He talked about China’s interest in Ukraine, the nature of their diplomatic, economic, and military relationship. He then explained how the Russian-Chinese relationship impacted China’s stance on the Ukraine war, how China learns from conflicts, and what lessons China is learning from the war.

China had a complex and important relationship with Ukraine prior to the conflict said Wood. This included strong economic ties and cooperation in military-related technology. However, they signed a statement with Russia shortly before the conflict began and seems to have decided the relationship with Russia is more important than their ties to Ukraine.

The Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army are learning organizations said Wood. The first strategic lesson from the war is Ukraine’s success in the information war. According to Wood, China places an immense effort on information operations shaping the battlefield prior to conflict. China also noted the failure of Russia to use sufficient fires in support of the battle.

Stephenson spoke about his view of the Indian perspective. India's shared memory and shared history predates the war in the Ukraine, said Stephenson. He said since independence from the United Kingdom, India has sought to follow a non-aligned policy and strategic autonomy.

In the future, Stephenson expects the omnipresent economic and security challenges within South Asia will increase India’s security interests and the war in Europe is not a fundamental consideration. He also said, India remains in a complicated economic, military and diplomatic position as it balances the U.S. and the West, China, and Russia. Finally, he said the U.S. and West should remember that cooperation with India can continue.

North Korea was Platte’s emphasis. He focused on three points: Deterrence, Compellence, and Extra Benefits. He said the North Korea would probably see (Nuclear) Deterrence as the primary lesson. If Ukraine had nuclear weapons, they believe Russia would have been less inclined to invade.  You can only rely on yourself, has been the North Korean position since the beginning of the Kems’ leadership.

Compellence or active coercion is how much can a nation change events and actions of others. North Korea has long sought to change the status quo, especially on the Korean peninsula. Finally, extra benefits for North Korea in supporting Russia in the war include gaining support from Moscow, economic opportunity, and an opportunity to criticize or blame the U.S. and its Western partners for all that’s wrong in the world.

Following presentations by the panel members, the audience of nearly 100 in the conference room and more attending by Facebook and video teleconference were able to ask questions of the panel.

This panel is part of series of seminars and panel discussions on issues of operational and strategic importance to the United States that CASO in coordination with CGSC, universities, think tanks, interagency organizations and other partners conducts every two to three months broadcasting them through Video Teleconference and live on CGSC's Facebook page. Videos of the sessions are available on the CGSC Facebook and YouTube sites.

For questions on CASO events please contact: Dr. Mahir J. Ibrahimov, Director, Cultural and Area Studies Office, U.S. Army CGSC at (913)684-3345 or mahir.j.ibrahimov.civ@army.mil.

See the full panel discussion at https://www.facebook.com/USACGSC/videos/812194826807685

CASO website: https://armyuniversity.edu/cgsc/caso/caso