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Kathleen Walsh

Kathleen Walsh

Associate Professor of National Security Affairs
National Security Affairs
(401) 841-6429


Kathleen (Kate) Walsh is an Associate Professor of National Security Affairs in the National Security Affairs (NSA) Department at the US Naval War College, where she teaches Policy Analysis.  She also has co-taught electives on China's National Security (Fall-FE 613)) and on the History of Technology: East and West (Spring-EL512) ).  In addition, Walsh  is an affiliate of the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI), and participates in NWC's Asia Pacific Studies Group (APSG).  She is a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations, the US Council on Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP), and Naval War College Foundation (NWCF), among other professional organizations or affiliations.  Walsh also serves as NWC liaison to the professional group Women in International Security (WIIS) New England Chapter.

Professor Walsh's research focuses on China and the Asia-Pacific region, particularly issues of security and science, technology, and innovation. Her multidisciplinary research focuses on assessing global and national security implications of China's science and technology (S&T) development and prospects for commercial and defense innovation in an age of globalization, as well as the role played by foreign technology and R&D investments in China's development strategies and policies.  Her book on this topic was published in 2003 <Foreign High-Tech R&D in China: Risks, Rewards, and Implications for US-China Relations (Stimson Center)>, and is a topic that continues to be an area of research interest.  Walsh has travelled to China many times over a period of 20 years to conduct this and other China-related research.

Another area of current research, supported by the CMSI, is focused on understanding China's "Blue Economy" Maritime Development strategies and policies, particularly the related "Blue Silicon Valley" approach to development, and implications for China's science, technolgy and innovation prospects.  A fall 2014 CMSI workshop on this issue is in the planning process and aims to compare and contrast US and Chinese approaches to developing a "Blue Economy."

Over the past several years, Walsh has attended and contributed to the annual Study of Innovation and Technology in China (SITC) conference.  In 2010-11, Walsh chaired an SITC study group examining "
China's Defense Innovation System" and co-authored a paper on the topic, the findings for which were presented at the second annual China Dual-Use Defense Science, Technology and Innovation conference at the University of Southern California, San Diego (UCSD) Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC), who runs the SITC project, and the preceeding workshop. Proceedings of the event were published in Oct 2011 in New Perspectives on Assessing The Chinese Defense Economy: 2011 Industry Overview and Policy Briefs  and subsequently as a book chapter: "China's Emerging Defense Innovation System" in Forging China's Military Might:  A New Framework for Assessing Innovation from Johns Hopkins University Press (2014).  In 2012, she contributed an SITC conference paper subsequently published as a policy brief on The State of China’s Defense Research and Development: Great Expectations,” in The Chinese Defense Economy Takes Off:  Sector-by-Sector Assessments and the Role of Military End Users, Tai Ming Cheung, ed., Policy Briefs (La Jolla, CA: IGCC, 2013).  Her 2013 SITC research paper on "China’s Technology Acquisition System, Processes, and Future as an Integrator and Supplier" has been published in policy brief form in Getting to Innovation: Assessing China's Defense Research, Development and Acquisition System and is being revised for possible future publication. 

Walsh has also served as a member of the National Research Council's Study Group on Global S&T Strategies and their Effect on US National Security (2009-10), which published the subsequent report,
S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States.  In 2007 she was appointed as a member of the National Research Council's Committee on Assessing the Need for a National Defense Stockpile, which issued a report on Managing Materials for a 21st Century Military (2008).  In addition, Walsh has served as peer-reviewer for several journal articles, reports, and book chapters.

Walsh is author of numerous other publications on China/Asia, security and technology matters, including most recently: "China's National Security Strategy: A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside an Enigma," book chapter in Providing for National Security: A Comparative Perspective, Andrew M. Dorman and Joyce Kaufman, eds. (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2012); "Chinese Peacekeeping in the Asia Pacific: A Case Study on East Timor," co-authored with Dr. Lyle Goldstein in Not Congruent but Quite Complementary U.S. and Chinese Approaches to Nontraditional Security, Lyle Goldstein, ed., Red Book/China Maritime Study No. 9 (July 2012); "The 21st Century Military: Dealing with the Other Parts of the DIME-C Challenge," NWC/NSA curriculum required reading (July 2012);  "Globalization, China's Rise, and DoD's Rare Earth Conundrum," NWC/NSA curriculum case study (July 2011);  “Enhanced Information Sharing in the Asia Pacific: Establishing a Regional Cooperative Maritime Operations Center,” in Strategic Manoeuvres: Security in the Asia-Pacific, James Veitch, ed. (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand: Centre for Strategic Studies, December 2009); "
The Role, Promise and Challenges of Dual-Use Technologies in National Defense," Chapter 7 in The Modern Defense Industry: Political, Economic and Technological Issues, Richard A. Bitzinger, ed. (Praeger, 2009); "National Security Challenges and Competition: Defense and Space R&D in the Chinese Strategic Context," Technology in Society (July 2008); and Post-Conflict Borders and UN Peace Operations: Part 1: Border Security, Trade Controls, and UN Peace Operations (Henry L. Stimson Center, 2007); as well as numerous Congressional testimonies, public presentations, and high-level government briefings.

Prior to joining the NWC in January 2006, Walsh was a senior independent consultant to several Washington-area think tanks (e.g., CSIS, Monterey Institute for International Studies, and Stimson Center), Senior Associate at the Stimson Center (2000-04), and Senior Associate at DFI International, a defense consulting firm (1997-2000), where she worked on issues related to China, Asian regional security, and other security issues arising from globalization and their impact on US national security for US Government clients.  During her time in Washington, she worked in various capacities for or with the US Departments of Defense, State, and Commerce and has experience working for and with the US Congress.  Walsh has a Master of Arts degree in International Security Policy from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

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.