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East Asian Security and Defence Digest 28

East Asian Security and Defence Digest 28

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Bringing you expertise on East Asian Affairs. More than just news.
East Asian Security and Defence Digest covers expert analyses and news highlights on East Asian security and defence affairs.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of JFPO.

Editor: Tiago Alexandre Fernandes Mauricio

Japan Foreign Policy Observatory (JFPO)
Kyoto, Japan • Editor's mailbox:
Bringing you expertise on East Asian Affairs. More than just news.
East Asian Security and Defence Digest covers expert analyses and news highlights on East Asian security and defence affairs.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of JFPO.

Editor: Tiago Alexandre Fernandes Mauricio

Japan Foreign Policy Observatory (JFPO)
Kyoto, Japan • Editor's mailbox:

More info:

Published by: Japan Foreign Policy Observatory on Jun 18, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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US Strategic Reassurance Lives On
Washington's commitment to Asianallies remains strong and representa cornerstone of US's strategytoward the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia pivot will build on thosealliances and partnerships andfoster a new Pax Americana.
Researcher at Kyoto University and Orient Institute
The Japanese Ground Self-DefenceForces (JGSDF) have recently marched inthe capital Tokyo in order to exercise itscapabilities to operate in an urbanenvironment. The controversial decision bythe new Defence Minister to give theexercise the green light, just days after hisnomination, questioned the changing roleof the SDF in contemporary Japanesesociety.The exercise caused a mixed reaction.More left-wing and pacifist voices decriedthe move by conservative Defence MinisterMorimoto, denouncing attempts to easesome of the constitutional restraints offlexing the MOD's muscle in plain sight,whereas more right-wing, conservativeforces came out saying this is a necessaryelement of Japan's constant quest toachieve preparedness and efficiency whenusing the JGSDF in its many missions.The truth is that such an exercise hadnot taken place in more than 40 years. Butit remains questionable whether clear right-left divisions within the Diet provide asufficient explanation of the impact oftroops marching in the districts of Tokyo.There are important undercurrents inJapanese public opinion and politicalculture that demand discretion andmoderation. That the deployment of troopsallows for an interesting assessment ofKasumigaseki's decision-making processand overall guidelines in its relationshipwith public opinion, that it certainly does.
Can the Senate Reverse President Obama'sDefence Cuts?“The Republican-led U.S. House ofRepresentatives is trying to reverse cutsannounced by President Barack Obama earlierthis year. The House’s proposed defense billwould reverse some of Obama’s planned cutsto ships, drones and warplanes. “The proposalis designed to put real combat power behindthe President’s proposed pivot to Asia,” theHouse Armed Services Committee stated.”
Will US Reverse DefenseCuts?
” (David Axe - The Diplomat).China's Military Modernisation is GreatestThreat to US's Asia-Pacific Influence"China's military modernization, if itcontinues apace, may allow it to decouple America’s alliesfrom the US extended nucleardeterrent, to destroy US and allied fixed basesin the region, and to threaten US powerprojection forces. This, in turn, could allowChina to coerce US allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region, hold US forces at arm'slength, and control the seas along the Asianperiphery." Thomas G. Mahnken, DanielBlumenthal, Thomas Donnelly, Michael Mazza,Gary Schmitt, and Andrew Shearer in the justpublished Asia in the Balance: TransformingUS Military Strategy in Asia.Is the United States being chased out ofthe Asia-Pacific by China? What action (if any)should be taken? At a time when PresidentObama is promoting a pivot toward the Asia-Pacific and U.S. Secretary of Defense LeonPanetta is visiting the region, six strategic,military, and Asian studies specialists examineand analyze America’s current situation there.They propose a series of steps that the UnitedStates should take to safeguard US interests.The authors find that the United Statesfaces three fundamental strategic alternatives.
 Asia in the Balance: howshould the U.S. deal withChina?
” (Thomas Donnelly, DanBlumenthal, Gary Schmitt, Michael Mazza & Thomas Mahnken - American EnterpriseInstitute).China's "Peaceful Rise" Has ManyManifestationsThe tensions and related diplomaticpressures exerted on China have promptedunprecedented debate among China’s foreign-policy community. Policy makers and analystshave undertaken serious reviews of othercountries’ policies and deliberated onappropriate responses and future policyoptions. These internal debates offer insightinto China’s likely future policy in the SouthChina Sea. Although China is increasingly criticised for itsgrowing assertiveness, very few Chineseanalysts consider the country to have been atfault for the recent tensions and disputes overthe South China Sea. They firmly believe thatChina’s actions were necessary, to protecttheir country’s legitimate interests, and werepredominantly justifiedreactions to‘provocations’ by other claimant states.
China’s non-confrontationalassertiveness in the SouthChina Sea
” (Li Mingjian - East AsiaForum).Brzezinski Has Valuable Insights onWashington's Global PreeminenceBrzezinski is the Democratic Party’s HenryKissinger: an elder statesman whosecontributions to U.S. foreign policy continue toshape debates even decades after he leftgovernment. In this crisp and stimulating book,Brzezinski speculates on the dangers thatcould result from the decline of the UnitedStates and offers his prescriptions to restore American leadership in a changing world.Brzezinski argues against the increasing U.S.tendency to write off Europe and concentrateon Asia. He suggests that creative Americanstatesmanship could bring Russia and Turkeyintoa revived and rejuvenated West, whichmight help advance the kind of liberal order theUnited States seeks. He recommends that U.S.policy toward Asia rest on the advantages ofbeing an offshore, maritime power, and that themain U.S. objective in Asia should be themaintenance of a balance of power, much likeBritish policy in the eighteenth and nineteenthcenturies. In the end, his message isreassuring: American decline is eminentlypreventable. For the United States, he argues,decline is a choice, not a fate.
Strategic Vision: America andthe Crisis of GlobalPower
” (Walter Russel Mead - Foreign Affairs).Confrontations Over Hegemony Can BeDefused“This month, Defense Secretary Leon Panettaannounced that by 2020, 60 percent of theU.S. Navy will be deployed in the Pacific. LastNovember, in Australia, President Obamaannounced the establishment of a U.S. militarybase in that country, and threw down anideological gauntlet to China with hisstatement that the United States will “continueto speak candidly to Beijing about theimportance of upholding international normsand respecting the universal human rights ofthe Chinese people.” The danger of conflictdoes not stem from a Chinese desire for globalleadership. Outside East Asia, Beijing issticking to a very cautious policy, centered oncommercial advantage without militarycomponents,in part because Chinese leadersrealize that itwouldtake decades and colossalnaval expenditure to allow them to mount aglobal challenge to the United States, and thateven then they would almost certainly fail.”
 Avoiding a U.S.-ChinaWar
” (Anatol Lieven - New York Times).China's Aviation Sector is Test Case forModernisation“But the revelation to me was all the otherstrands ofUS-Chinese interaction, which day
by day and even through the years have madean enormous difference in China's relationswith the outside world and the US in particular.The most important of these is simply theBoeing corporation. As I describe, the firstengineer ever hired by Bill Boeing for his newcompany, nearly 100 years ago, was a Chinesestudent who had found his way to MIT andeventually went back to China. In many cases,Boeing has been the de facto third sovereignpower in dealings between the US and China.In one of those cases, as I describe, Boeingplayed the crucial intermediary role inpersuadingthe Chinese to move beyond theirSoviet-model air 'safety' system, which wasleading to ahorrendous crash record, tosomething more like international standards forcertification and inspection of people andmachines.”
James Fallows on China'stake-off (1)
” (Sam Roggeveen - The LowyInterpreter).Engaging with China's Military ModernisationThrough Arms Race is Strategically Unsound“Panetta likely hoped his remarks wouldbolster the credibility of the administration'sstrategy. On closer examination, there is less toPanetta's Pacific naval buildup than meets theeye. The U.S. Navy's intelligence office, bycontrast, expects China's naval expansion thisdecade to be more substantial, especiallywhen it comes to its submarine force. Thereinforcements that Panetta discussed andnew ideas like the Air-Sea Battle concept arenecessary but insufficient responses to theworseningmilitary trendsin the region. TheUnited States should notexpect to win anarms race in the Western Pacific. Instead, it willhave to find other more enduring advantages ifit hopes to craft a sustainable strategy for theregion.”
This Week at War: An ArmsRace America Can’t Win
” (RobertHaddick - Foreign Policy).Scarborough Dispute Is Opportunity forWashington“Notwithstanding the value of themeasures it has taken to date, such as newMarine rotations through Australia and littoralcombat ships rotating through Singapore,nothing will speak louder to the U.S.commitment than honoring its treatyobligations to the Philippines in the currentstand-off with China around ScarboroughShoal.No one is talking about war in the SouthChina Sea. Indeed, drawing a red line aroundthe Philippines will make armed conflict lesslikely, not more so. Chinese leaders aren’tirrational. They aren’t likely to miscalculate ifthey believe the immediate relevance of theU.S. treaty commitment. And although the U.S.doesn’t have a stake in the territorial disputeper se, its treaty is, indeed, highly relevant tothe current impasse.”
Scarborough Role forU.S.?
” (Walter Lohman - Flashpoints).Will ASEAN Come Out Strong on South ChinaSea Disputes?Some analysts propose a united front, whileothers propose a collective bargain between ASEAN and China that excludes powers fromoutside the region. While this latter approachdoes not explicitly propose a united front, itdoes imply that ASEAN would gain strategicand political force against China. But thequestion is whether ASEAN would gain bypinning China as its opponent. The answer isunlikely to be positive. ASEAN should be a fair,neutral and transparent facilitator of peace,rather than an aggressive opponent againstChina, when it comes to resolving the SouthChina Sea dispute.
South China Sea: is an ASEANunited front desirable?
” (XunpengShi - East Asia Forum).Washington-Seoul Axis Is Bolstered to TackleRegional ThreatsOn June 14th, the United States andSouth Korea agreed to strengthen their jointdefensive ties during the U.S.-Korea MinisterialDialogue 2+2 Meetings (U.S. Departments ofState Remarks found here and here) held inSeoul. U.S Secretary of State Hillary RodhamClinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panettamet with South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Sung-Hwan and Minister ofNational Defense Kim Kwan-Jin in an attemptto hammer out a stronger alliance between thetwo nations, while committing to increasedinteroperability between the Republic of Koreamilitary and the U.S. Forces Korea.”
United States and SouthKorea Agree to BoostCombined DefensivePosture
” (Craig Scanlan - Asia SecurityWatch). An Overview of China's Regional Impact“How is the rise of China changing East Asia? In order to understand what ishappening, we need to considerthe impact ofChina’s growing influence froma number ofdifferent perspectives. In this article, I want tolook at some of the ways in which anincreasingly assertive China is shaping theregional order in East Asia, how other countriesin the region are reacting to China’s rise, andthe ways Chinese economic cooperation ischanging the overall situation in East Asia.”
The Rise of China and ItsSignificance for East Asia
” (Shiraishi Takahashi - Nippon.com).Geopolitical Implications of a Sea-Land Alliance“Having shamefully failed to convert a singlestudent to the true religion of sea power, let meventure a few thoughts of my own about one ofthe chief pitfalls of land-sea coalitions – thatcontinental states regard maritime states asundependable allies. Now, Mahan imbues seapower with romanticism. In the NapoleonicWars, he writes in one of his best turns of aphrase, the “far distant, storm-beaten ships” ofthe Royal Navy, “upon which [Napoleon’s]Grand Army never looked, stood between itand the dominion of the world.” By shieldingthe British Isles from a cross-channel invasion,interdictingFrenchshipping, and protectingBritish merchantmen who conveyed rawmaterials and finished goods hither and yon,the Royal Navy kept Great Britain in the fightand prosperous enough to fund a series ofcoalitions with the likes of Prussia, Russia, and A ustria. Eventually, one coalition held togetherlong enough to overcome Napoleon, until thena master alliance-breaker. Sea power was theenabler for victory on land.”
Hazards of Sea-Land Alliances
(Flashpoints).Rumsfeld Has Interesting Op-Ed on China“What's especially impressive is that theformer Secretary of Defense managed to writea whole op-ed weighing the costs and benefitsof this treaty without ever once mentioning

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