Dr. Ian Forsyth


Dr. Ian Forsyth is a professor of National Security Studies at the National Defense University. Before joining NDU he was a Senior Analyst with the United States Department of Defense in Washington DC, where he was responsible for analysis focusing on China’s artificial intelligence efforts, along with territorial conflicts and growing influence throughout East Asia. Dr. Forsyth has worked as an Intelligence Analyst examining China, Taiwan, and Japan with the Defense Department for over 20 years; six years in Washington, DC and over 14 in Hawaii at the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Operations Center and the Special Operations Command Pacific. Prior to that, he worked for the international law firm of Arnberger, Kim, Buxbaum and Choy in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. 

Dr. Forsyth holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from the University of California at Davis, an M.A. in International Relations from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, and a J.D. from Syracuse University’s College of Law. He completed his Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Southern California. Dr. Forsyth has studied and/or worked in China, Japan, Switzerland, Mongolia, Taiwan and Singapore. He possesses a working knowledge of Mandarin Chinese and a basic understanding of Japanese. His chapter, "Core of the Core: China’s Interests and Priorities in the South China Sea," appeared in Donovan C. Chau and Thomas M. Kane, eds. China and International Security: History, Strategy, and 21st Century Policy. vol. 2 (2013: Praeger, Santa Barbara, CA.). Other publications include, “Games with Frontiers: China and the East and South China Seas’ Disputes” in Tiang Boon Hoo, ed., Chinese Foreign Policy Under Xi (London & New York: Routledge, 2017), and “Old Game Plan, New Game: China’s Grand Strategy in the South China Sea” in Anders Corr, ed., Great Powers, Grand Strategies: The New Game in the South China Sea (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2017). He has also written articles for Contemporary Southeast Asia, the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief, China-U.S. Focus, Wild Blue Yonder, the Asia Sentinel, and for the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore where he was a Visiting Fellow in 2014.