Dr. David M. Finkelstein
Dr. David M. Finkelstein, vice president of CNA, presented an overview of U.S.-China military relations – its current state, projected future, and essential developments – at a program on Wednesday, March 7 at Dorsey & Whitney. An expert on Chinese security affairs, Dr. Finkelstein writes extensively on a wide range of Chinese issues and will share his analysis of this complex dimension of the bilateral relationship, as well as the Pentagon's new focus on Asia.
CNA is an independent, non-profit research institute in Alexandria, Virginia. Dr. Finkelstein is the director of CNA’s China program. With over a dozen full time analysts, it is one of the nation’s largest analytic groups focused on Chinese security affairs, defense policy, and foreign policy.
Dr. Finkelstein received his Ph.D. in Chinese history from Princeton University and studied Mandarin at Nankai University in Tianjin. Active in many academic and policy-oriented organizations, he serves on the advisory board of Issues & Studies (Taipei), is a senior advisor to The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly (Washington, D.C. & Stockholm), and a member of the National Committee for U.S.-China Relations. He also served as a member of former Treasury Secretary Paulson’s outreach group for the Strategic Economic Dialogue with China. He regularly leads seminars at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, the U.S. Army War College, and the JFK School of Government at Harvard. He has spoken before the Defense Policy Board and has also served as a consultant and contributing author to the most recent edition of The National Geographic Atlas of China.
A retired Regular U.S. Army Officer, Finkelstein is a graduate of West Point, the Command & General Staff College, the U.S. Army War College, the Foreign Area Officer Course at the JFK Center for Military Assistance and Unconventional Warfare, and the U.S. Army Airborne School at Fort Benning. While on active duty, he held various command and staff positions in tactical field units to include service with the 86th and 40th Signal Battalions of the 11th Signal Brigade, the Army Communications Command, and the United Nations Command Joint Security Force in Ponmunjom, Korea—an infantry battalion in the DMZ. In the Pentagon, he served as Assistant Defense Intelligence Officer for East Asia and as director for Asian Analyses (J-8) on the Joint Staff. He also served on the faculty at West Point where he taught Chinese history.
A long-time student of Chinese security affairs, Finkelstein writes extensively on a wide range of Chinese issues. Of note, his historical study, From Abandonment to Salvation: Washington’s Taiwan Dilemma, 1949-50 (George Mason University Press, 1993), was hailed in Presidential Studies Quarterly as “blazing a new trail” and “will take an important place in the literature of U.S.-China relations in the mid-20th Century.” Other works include co-edited volumes such as Chinese Warfighting: The PLA Experience Since 1949; China’s Revolution in Doctrinal Affairs: Developments in the Operational Art of the People’s Liberation Army; Civil-Military Relations in Today’s China: Swimming in a New Sea, and China’s Leadership in the 21st Century: The Rise of the Fourth Generation.