Miles Maochun Yu


Miles Maochun Yu is a professor of East Asia and military and naval history at the United States Naval Academy (USNA). He is the author of numerous scholarly articles on military and intelligence history and newspaper columns; his books include OSS in China: Prelude to Cold War (Yale University Press, 1997) and The Dragon’s War: Allied Operations and the Fate of China, 1937–1947 (Naval Institute Press, 2006). He is the recipient of numerous awards including the USNA top researcher award, US Navy Special Action Award, and US Navy Meritorious Service Awards. He consults with other government agencies and Congress on China-related topics and has appeared on the PBS NewsHour as a China analyst, at various congressional hearings as an expert witness, and with the History and Discovery Channels as chief historian for military documentaries. He received a doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree from Swarthmore College, and a bachelor’s degree from Nankai University.

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Recent Commentary

Featured CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

Challenges And Opportunities Facing The Trump Administration’s China Policy

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

In general, America profoundly lacks interest in communist ideology, a phenomenon Karl Marx would have called “the poverty of ideology.” As a result, our China policy by and large has failed to take into sufficient consideration the primal forces that motivate Chinese communist leadership in foreign and domestic affairs.

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Cheeseburgers At Mar-a-Lago And The Inexorable Logic Of History

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Friday, March 31, 2017

One of the most memorable lines from the recent presidential campaign was offered by the GOP frontrunner and eventual nominee: “We give state dinners to the heads of China. I say ‘why are you doing state dinners for them? They are ripping us left and right. Take them to McDonald’s and take them back to the negotiation table!’ Seriously!”

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The Ghost Of Lenin: The Epic Fight For A Dubious Honor

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Friday, March 24, 2017

The cadres of the global commentariat often discuss the intricate relationships among the world’s most meaningful triumvirate, namely the United States, Russia, and China. Less often analyzed, however, are the very potent and peculiar interactions between Moscow and Beijing. It is the ghost of Lenin—the decades-long competition between Russia and China to be the leading rival of the United States.

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Deciphering China’s Rage At South Korea

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

China is mad—really mad—at South Korea. Well-known Chinese defense and military figures are advocating direct military strikes against South Korea; state-controlled media are fanning anti-Seoul hysteria; mobs across the country are smashing South Korean-made goods and merchandise; K-pop concerts and other South Korean cultural events long on the schedule are being cancelled without explanation; South Korea-bound Chinese tourists are forced to cancel their flights and cruise tickets; many South Korean stores and companies in China are harassed and restricted by local authorities, and some are forced to close their shops.

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Green, Yellow, Or Red—What Color Was Dean Acheson’s Speech?

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Thursday, March 9, 2017

On January 12 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson gave a well-crafted speech at the National Press Club, a speech which has lived in infamy since its delivery, still haunting the U.S. and its allies in the Asia and Pacific region in general and the Korean Peninsula in particular.

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Russia in 2030

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It has become increasingly clear that Russia is on the inexorable path toward restoring its territory on the old map of the USSR. Whether Moscow will be able to achieve such a grandiose scheme to recreate another Soviet Union-size Rodina has been traditionally believed to depend on the strength and willingness of NATO and Europe to counter such Russian ambition. The assumption is that if the counterthrusts from the West are robust enough, Moscow will fail in its attempt, otherwise Russia’s territorial map will look like the Soviet Union in 2030.

Featured Commentary

Russia Is Fighting For Relevance, Not Dominance

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Prevalent in many western capitals is the narrative that Vladimir Putin is striving to regain dominance of the “lost” Soviet empire, and his aggressive behavior in Ukraine—especially his blatant annexation of Crimea in March 2014—is just the beginning of a great Russian advance toward another Pax Russiana.

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China’s Deep Logic

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 21, 2016

A big country—one that’s always sought a big role in the world. 

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Learning What Not To Do: The North Korean Nuclear Example

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Strategika
Friday, May 27, 2016

There are no historical precedents to justify current American confidence that the treaty with Iran will prevent it from going nuclear. There are, however, historical precedents of how unauthorized and unhelpful secret back channels have derailed ongoing major U.S. governmental diplomatic initiatives and negotiations that involve difficult players.

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America’s Pivot To Vietnam

by Miles Maochun Yuvia Military History in the News
Friday, May 27, 2016

No Asian country carries more relevance and significance to the history of the United States than Vietnam in the post-WWII era. The political ethos, military institutions, and social mores of America were fundamentally altered by the war in Vietnam. Thirteen times more Americans died in that conflict than in the two Iraq wars combined; nearly 25 times more Americans were killed in the jungles and rice paddies of the Southeast Asian country than in the armed conflict in Afghanistan, America’s longest foreign war.