On July 13, 2016, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hosted a hearing with Adm. Denny Blair (USN, ret.) and Kurt Campbell on U.S. policy options in the South China Sea. The recommendations range from stay the course on the rebalance/pivot to take sides on selected territorial disputes (like Scarborough Shoal) to expand quietly Freedom of Navigation exercises. One of the important challenges that these recommendations bring to the forefront is how to reconcile a regionally-focused strategy in support of a rules-based order with the kind of relationship with China that keeps positive outcomes open. Will deterring China today encourage cooperation tomorrow?