Zachary Cooper (2015)

Today’s most important geopolitical trend is the rise of China, which presents a growing challenge for the United States. Understanding China’s future military trajectory and U.S. response options is critical to navigating Asia’s troubled waters. Zack Cooper focuses on Asian security issues, and he used the National Institute’s third Seed Grant to complete his doctoral dissertation at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Cooper’s dissertation, “Tides of Fortune: The Rise and Decline of Great Militaries,” explains how changing perceptions of relative power alter national defense policies. Cooper is now a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He has coauthored or coedited numerous CSIS studies, including Asia-Pacific Rebalance 2025: Capabilities, Presence, and Partnerships (2016); Federated Defense in Asia (2014); Assessing the Asia-Pacific Rebalance (2014); and Strategic Japan: New Approaches to Foreign Policy and the U.S.-Japan Alliance (2014).

Previously, Cooper was a research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and worked in the White House as an assistant to the deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism. He also worked in the Pentagon, first as a foreign affairs specialist and then as a special assistant to the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy.