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 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 in her personal capacity. Walsh also serves as NWC liaison to the professional group Women in International Security (WIIS) New England Chapter based at Fletcher School, Tufts University.

Professor Walsh's research focuses on China and the Asia-Pacific region, particularly issues of defense, security and science, technology, and innovation. Her multidisciplinary research focuses on assessing global and US national security implications from China's science and technology (S&T) development strategies, plans, policies 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 efforts. 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)>. Walsh is  in  early stages of preparing for her next book on related themes. Professor Walsh has travelled to China many times over a period of more than 20 years to independently conduct research on the above and other China-related issues.

Current areas of research focus on understanding China's "Blue Economy" concept of maritime development and related strategies and policies, particularly related to China's "Blue Silicon Valley" approach to development and its implications for China's science, technolgy and innovation prospects. In December 2014, Walsh developed and co-hosted a pioneering CMSI workshop on "US and Chinese Perspectives on the Blue Economy," also drafting the summary report.

Walsh's research contributed to Study of Innovation and Technology in China (SITC) conference, a Minerva-funded initiative. 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) and published in the proceedings in Oct 2011 in New Perspectives on Assessing The Chinese Defense Economy: 2011 Industry Overview and Policy Briefs  and in book chapter form as: "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, Walsh 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 has been being revised for possible future publication. 

Walsh has been appointed as a member of two National Research Council Commsissions: the Study Group on Global S&T Strategies and their Effect on US National Security (2009-10), findings from which were published subsequently as a report,
S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States, and, in 2007, 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

Recent publications or works in progress in addition to the above include:

  • “China and the Changing Character of Conflict” in War and the State in the 21st Century, Andrew Dorman (UK) and David Dunn, eds., book chapter pending review;
  • Dual-Use Technology and the Global Defense Industry in 2030,” The Global Arms Industry in 2030 and Beyond. Event Report (Singapore: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, November 10, 2014), 
  • Understanding China’s “Blue Economy” Concept, The Bridge, vol. 17 (Newport, RI: Naval War College Foundation, Fall 2014), 13, 36.
  • China’s Blue Economy: Ambitions and Responsibilities,” Exploring the Frontiers of US-China Strategic Cooperation: Roles and Responsibilities Beyond the Asia-Pacific Region, Melanie Hart, ed. (Washington, DC: Center for American Progress, November 2014), 19-25,  
  • Research Brief: “China’s Technology Acquisition System, Processes, and Future as an Integrator and Supplier,” in Getting to Innovation: Assessing China’s Defense Research, Development, and Acquisition System (UCSD/IGCC, February 2014); chapter draft under review.
  • "China's National Security Strategy: Waiting at a Crossroads," 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), co-authored with Andrew Erickson; 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 as well as peer reviews for several journal articles, reports, book chapters and more. 

Prior to joining the NWC in January 2006, Walsh was a senior independent consultant, including to Washington-area think tanks (including CSIS, Monterey Institute for International Studies, and Stimson Center). She was previously Senior Associate at the Stimson Center (2000-04), where she directed the Project on Linking Trade, Technology & Security as well as a groundbreaking Stimson Center Fellowship in China prorgram. She also served as Analyst and Senior Technical Advisor for the Congressionally mandated, OSD-sponsored Study Group on Enhancing Multilateral Export Controls for US National Security. From 1997-2000, Walsh was Senior Associate at DFI International, a defense consulting firm where she worked on issues related to China, Asian regional security, and other security topics arising from globalization and their impact on US national security for US Government clients; she also researched ant authored the report on US Commercial Technology Transfers to the People's Republic of China.  During her time in Washington, Walsh worked in various capacities for or with US Government agencies including US Departments of Defense, State, and Commerce as well as 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.

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