Dr. Finkelstein is member of the CNA Corporation’s Center for Strategic Studies. As the Deputy Director of “Project Asia” he specializes in Asian security issues.
A long-time student of Chinese security affairs, Dr. Finkelstein holds an MA and Ph.D. in Chinese history from Princeton University. He studied Chinese language at Nankai University in Tianjin.
He is a retired U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer for China with extensive experience in joint political-military assignments at the national level. Among his various political-military assignments, he served as the Director of Asian Studies, J-8, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Assistant Defense Intelligence Officer for East Asia & the Pacific.
Commissioned a Signal Corps officer, he held various command and staff assignments in the field to include command of B Company, 40th Signal Battalion (Combat Cable Construction), service in the 505th Signal Company, 86th Signal Battalion, the 11th Signal Brigade, as well as serving as the Tactical Communications Officer with the United Nations Command Joint Security Force in Panmunjom, Korea.
He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College, the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Army Airborne School, and the JFK Center for International Military Assistance and Unconventional Warfare.
As Assistant Professor for Chinese History at West Point he developed and taught courses on the history of the Chinese revolution, the history of the PLA, and Asian warfare throughout the ages.
His 1993 book-length study, Washington’s Taiwan Dilemma, 1949-1950: From Abandonment to Salvation, was hailed in a Presidential Studies Quarterly review as “blazing a new trail” and should “take an important place in the literature of U.S. Chinese relations in the mid twentieth century.”
His various publications and conference papers include:
“China Reconsiders Its National Security: The ‘Great Peace and Development Debate’ of 1999,” CNA Regional Assessment, December 2000.
“China’s October 2000 Defense White Paper,” presented to the Georgetown University Conference, “The Future of US-China Security Relations,” Washington, DC, December 2000.
“The General Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army: Organization, Roles and Missions,” in The People’s Liberation Army As An Organization (Santa Monica: RAND, forthcoming 2001).
“Chinese Perceptions of the Cost of a Conflict with Taiwan,” Presented to the Army War College-AEI-Heritage Foundation Conference on the PLA, December 2000.
“Looking for the People in The People’s Liberation Army: Who Is G.I. Zhou?,” Presented at “Chinese Military Affairs: A Conference on the State of the Field,” National Defense University, Washington, DC , 26-27 October 2000
“Sun Tzu and Mao Zedong’s Ten Operational Principles,” Presented to the 5th Symposium on Sun Tzu and the Art of War, Wuxian City, Jiangsu Province, China, October 2000.
“Great Power Relations and the International Arms Control Agenda,” (With Michael McDevitt) Presented at the 3rd Annual Arms Control Conference jointly sponsored by the China Institute of International Studies and the Monterrey Institute of International Studies, Beijing, September 2000.
“Modernization and Reform of the PLA Navy,” CNA Conference on the PLA Navy, April 2000.
“China Research on the Internet,” CNA Information Memorandum, January 2000. (Jessica Stewart co-author).
“Engaging DoD: Chinese Perspectives on Military Relations with the United States,” CNA Research Memorandum, October 1999
“China’s National Military Strategy,” in The People’s Liberation Army in the Information Age, (Santa Monica: RAND, June 1999)
“Doctrinal Lessons of Su Yu’s Taiwan Campaign Plans, 1949-50,” CNA PLA Warfighting History Conference Paper, June 1999 forthcoming.
“Commentary on PLA Operational Doctrine,” RAND-CAPS Conference on the PLA, July 1999 (forthcoming).
“Competition and Consensus: China’s ‘New Concept of Security’ and the United States’ Security Strategy for East Asia and the Pacific,” CNA Project Asia Issue Paper, January 1999.
“China’s New Security Concept–Reading Between the Lines,” Washington Journal of Modern Chinese Politics, Spring 1999/Vol. 5, No. 1.
“Initial Commentary on China’s Defense White Paper,” CNA Project Asia Occasional Paper, August 1998.
Washington’s Taiwan Dilemma, 1949-1950: From Abandonment to Salvation (George Mason University Press, 1993).
“Vietnam: A Revolution In Crisis,” ASIAN SURVEY, Vol. XXVII, No. 9, September 1987.