The United States is losing its status as a Pacific power. It can no longer control developments in East Asia. It still maintains a large military footprint in the region. But that military presence no longer translates into an ability to achieve the outcomes that Washington wants. For better or worse, the post-World War II… Continue reading The Collapse of the East Asian Order
Asia has been the future for more than a generation. When Americans try to glimpse what’s to come, images of the Pacific Rim flood the imagination. For movie audiences in 1982, the rain-soaked Los Angeles of Blade Runner looked like downtown Tokyo. By 2014, the City of Angels in the Spike Jonze film Her had more of a Shanghai vibe. This… Continue reading Who Will Take America’s Place in Asia
James Mattis visited Asia this month on his first foreign trip as the new head of the Pentagon. It was less a get-acquainted visit than a damage control tour. His boss, President Donald Trump, had threatened to escalate tensions with China and prevent North Korea from launching a nuclear-capable ICBM. He’d accused Japan of currency… Continue reading Will Trump Complete the Pivot to Asia?
The street protests of the Arab Spring happened largely because of disgruntled youth. The unemployment rate for young people in the Middle East and North Africa verged on the catastrophic in 2012: 42 percent for Tunisia and 38 percent for Egypt. Moreover, the rates had shot up significantly since 2010, so it seemed as though… Continue reading Korea’s Next Generation
In 2012, a year before he died, the distinguished political scientist Kenneth Waltz wrote an article in Foreign Affairs arguing that everyone should stop worrying about Iran getting a nuclear weapon. He didn’t think that Iran was likely to voluntarily abandon its efforts to acquire a nuke. Nor did he think that the country would… Continue reading Should South Korea Get the Bomb?
Americans don’t care about East Asia. That’s a strong statement. So, let me make a few qualifications. First, Americans love Chinese, Japanese, and (increasingly) Korean food. They like to visit East Asia. They will, on occasion, watch a Hong Kong action film or the latest from Park Chan-Wook. But when it comes to the pressing… Continue reading East Asia Is Invisible
Japan and South Korea have very close alliances with the United States. They also have had diplomatic relations with each other for 50 years, not to mention considerable trade back and forth during that time. At a popular level, many Japanese are wild about Korean bulgogi and soap operas while many Koreans love Japanese sushi… Continue reading Japan and South Korea: A New Beginning?
China is worried about climate change. The largest emitter of carbon in the world, producing nearly twice as much as the number two United States, is looking at a future of flooded coastal cities, creeping deserts in the north, and water shortages throughout the country. On the eve of the huge climate change meeting in… Continue reading Can a Green Asia Lead the World?
Let’s say the car stops and we get our teeth around the tire. Let’s say that we bite down hard enough to let out all the air from the U.S. empire. Now what? Those of us who have campaigned for a radical reduction of the U.S. military footprint overseas, for a major scaling back of… Continue reading After Empire
One of the greatest moments of U.S. diplomacy in the 20th century was Nixon’s opening to China. It was a surprise, a breathtaking opportunity, and a true game-changer. It was also one of the strangest political matches of all time. A president who had established his political bona fides as an anti-Communist crusader shocked everyone… Continue reading Iran Deal: Is Obama Channeling Nixon?