Mark A. Stokes, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.)
Military Technology Fellow

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Col. Stokes brings to IASC’s Asian military technology and policy work his 25 years of experience in Asia and a broadly recognized expertise in Chinese air, missile and space programs. Stokes most recently served as Team Chief and Senior Country Director for the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan, and Mongolia in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs  (1997-2004 ). For seven years, he was responsible for developing, coordinating, and managing U.S. defense policy with respect to the PRC, Taiwan, and Mongolia.

His prior assignment was as Strategy and Plans Director (1995-1997) HQ, U.S. Air Force, responsible for long range strategic planning, projections, and political-military-economic risk analysis for greater China and East Asia where he provided decision-making assessments to top level U.S. officials, both military and civilian. From 1991-1995, Col. Stokes was Country Representative and Assistant Air Attaché, U.S. Embassy Beijing, China, where he managed broad range of interactions with Chinese government, military, and commercial space industry representatives. He conducted research and risk analysis on long range strategic relations in a challenging and restrictive environment. Stokes was honored with the highest level national-level award for research accomplishments during a sensitive political period of U.S. relations with China. He began his Asia career as Intelligence Production Director 1983-1991 at Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines, where he directed the collection of sensitive technical intelligence on Soviet, Chinese, and other high priority targets, managing over 200 personnel and U.S. $1 billion worth of highly sophisticated equipment.

Since its establishment in 2008, Stokes has served as Executive Director of the Project 2049 Institute, which seeks to guide decision makers toward a more secure Asia by the century’s mid-point. The organization fills a gap in the public policy realm through forward-looking, region-specific research on alternative security and policy solutions, using an interdisciplinary approach drawing on input from key players in the region.  He previously was Vice President of Raytheon International, and Senior Associate for the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

Stokes holds MA degrees in Asian Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School and in International Relations & Strategic Studies from Boston University, and is a graduate of the Air Command and General Staff College and Squadron Officer’s School. His major awards and decorations include: Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Air Force Achievement Medal; Director of Central Intelligence Collector of the Year Award;  and the Paul H. Nitze Award for Excellence in International Security Affairs (DOD).

Stokes’ major publications include: China’s Strategic Modernization: Implications for U.S. National Security, Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College; “Weapons of Precise Destruction: PLA Space and Theater Missile Development,” in China and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Implications for the United States, National Intelligence Council Conference Report 5; “PLA Space and Theater Missile Development: Implications for Security in the Taiwan Strait,” in Susan Puska, ed., The PLA After Next, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College; “Chinese Ballistic Missile Forces in the Age of Global Missile Defense: Challenges and Responses,” in Andrew Scobell and Larry Wortzel ed., China’s Growing Military Power: Perspectives on Security, Ballistic Missiles, and Conventional Capabilities, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College; "The Lessons in History: The Chinese People's Liberation Army at 75," Strategic Studies Institute (SSI), U.S. Army War College;  and, The Chinese Joint Aerospace Campaign: Strategy, Doctrine, and Force Modernization, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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