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  • Author: George R. Packard
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On January 19, 1960, Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi and U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter signed a historic treaty. It committed the United States to help defend Japan if Japan came under attack, and it provided bases and ports for U.S. armed forces in Japan. The agreement has endured through half a century of dramatic changes in world politics -- the Vietnam War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the spread of nuclear weapons to North Korea, the rise of China -- and in spite of fierce trade disputes, exchanges of insults, and deep cultural and historical differences between the United States and Japan. This treaty has lasted longer than any other alliance between two great powers since the 1648 Peace of Westphalia. Given its obvious success in keeping Japan safe and the United States strong in East Asia, one might conclude that the agreement has a bright future. And one would be wrong. The landslide electoral victory of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) last August, after nearly 54 years of uninterrupted rule by the Liberal Democratic Party, has raised new questions in Japan about whether the treaty's benefits still outweigh its costs. LABOR PAINS Back in 1952, when an earlier security treaty (which provided the basis for the 1960 treaty) entered into force, both sides thought it was a grand bargain. Japan would recover its independence, gain security at a low cost from the most powerful nation in the region, and win access to the U.S. market for its products. Without the need to build a large military force, Japan would be able to devote itself to economic recovery. The United States, for its part, could project power into the western Pacific, and having troops and bases in Japan made credible both its treaty commitments to defend South Korea and Taiwan and its policy of containment of the Soviet Union and communist China.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam
  • Author: Jan Lodal
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Keir Lieber and Daryl Press ("The Nukes We Need," November/December 2009) argue that to deter the growing number of nuclear-armed states against which it might have to fight a conventional war, the United States should develop a new generation of accurate low-yield nuclear weapons. They contend that "the least bad option in the face of explicit nuclear threats or after a limited nuclear strike may be a counterforce attack to prevent further nuclear use." It is true that for the United States to maintain nuclear deterrence, the president must have credible options to respond to nuclear threats or attacks. Lieber and Press rightly assert that the capability to destroy enemy cities with high-yield weapons is not enough. But their argument for new counterforce capabilities attacks a straw man. The United States already has the flexibility to carry out low-yield counterforce attacks, and there are no plans to eliminate this. The B-61 nuclear bomb has a variable yield that can be set quite low and is highly accurate, especially when carried by the stealth B-2 bomber. Cruise missiles with low-yield warheads have similar capabilities. Even long-range ballistic missiles can be targeted to minimize collateral damage. Lieber and Press go beyond urging low-yield counterforce capabilities and propose a bizarre and dangerous nuclear strategy for the United States: to develop the capacity for attacks against a threatening enemy that would prevent the enemy from launching any subsequent nuclear attacks. These disarming strikes would be launched even if the enemy had attacked an isolated military target, such as a carrier battle group at sea. Astoundingly, the authors also propose preemptive nuclear attacks against "explicit nuclear threats." The states against which such attacks might be used include Iran, North Korea, other new nuclear powers, and even China.
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: William Drozdiak
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: These days, there is a great deal of talk about the dawn of an Asian century -- hastened by the rise of China and India. Meanwhile, the fractious Atlantic alliance, enfeebled by two wars and an economic crisis, is said to be fading away. But the West is not doomed to decline as a center of power and influence. A relatively simple strategic fix could reinvigorate the historic bonds between Europe and North America and reestablish the West's dominance: it is time to bring together the West's principal institutions, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. When NATO's 28 leaders gather in Portugal later this year to draw up a new security strategy for the twenty-first century, they will consider a range of options, including military partnerships with distant allies such as Australia, Japan, and South Korea. Yet the most practical solution lies just down the road from the alliance's sprawling headquarters near the Brussels airport. Genuine cooperation between NATO and the 27-nation European Union would allow Western governments to meld hard power with soft, making both organizations better equipped to confront modern threats, such as climate change, failed states, and humanitarian disasters. A revitalized Atlantic alliance is by far the most effective way for the United States and Europe to shore up their global influence in the face of emerging Asian powers. NOT-SO-FRIENDLY NEIGHBORS Anybody who spends time in Brussels comes away mystified by the lack of dialogue between the West's two most important multinational organizations, even though they have been based in the same city for decades. Only a few years ago, it was considered a minor miracle when the EU's foreign policy czar and NATO's secretary-general decided that they should have breakfast together once a month. An EU planning cell is now ensconced at NATO military headquarters, but there is scarcely any other communication between the two institutions. With Europe and the United States facing common threats from North Africa to the Hindu Kush, it is imperative for Western nations to take advantage of these two organizations' resources in the fields of law enforcement, counterterrorism, intelligence gathering, drug interdiction, and even agricultural policy.
  • Topic: NATO, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, North America, Brussels
  • Author: Robert D. Kaplan
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The English geographer Sir Halford Mackinder ended his famous 1904 article, "The Geographical Pivot of History," with a disturbing reference to China. After explaining why Eurasia was the geostrategic fulcrum of world power, he posited that the Chinese, should they expand their power well beyond their borders, "might constitute the yellow peril to the world's freedom just because they would add an oceanic frontage to the resources of the great continent, an advantage as yet denied to the Russian tenant of the pivot region." Leaving aside the sentiment's racism, which was common for the era, as well as the hysterics sparked by the rise of a non-Western power at any time, Mackinder had a point: whereas Russia, that other Eurasian giant, basically was, and is still, a land power with an oceanic front blocked by ice, China, owing to a 9,000-mile temperate coastline with many good natural harbors, is both a land power and a sea power. (Mackinder actually feared that China might one day conquer Russia.) China's virtual reach extends from Central Asia, with all its mineral and hydrocarbon wealth, to the main shipping lanes of the Pacific Ocean. Later, in Democratic Ideals and Reality, Mackinder predicted that along with the United States and the United Kingdom, China would eventually guide the world by "building for a quarter of humanity a new civilization, neither quite Eastern nor quite Western."
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia
  • Author: Richard Rosecrance
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Throughout history, states have generally sought to get larger, usually through the use of force. In the 1970s and 1980s, however, countervailing trends briefly held sway. Smaller countries, such as Japan, West Germany, and the "Asian tigers," attained international prominence as they grew faster than giants such as the United States and the Soviet Union. These smaller countries -- what I have called "trading states" -- did not have expansionist territorial ambitions and did not try to project military power abroad. While the United States was tangled up in Vietnam and the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, trading states concentrated on gaining economic access to foreign territories, rather than political control. And they were quite successful. But eventually the trading-state model ran into unexpected problems. Japanese growth stalled during the 1990s as U.S. growth and productivity surged. Many trading states were rocked by the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, during which international investors took their money and went home. Because Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and other relatively small countries did not have enough foreign capital to withstand the shock, they had to go into receivership. As Alan Greenspan, then the U.S. Federal Reserve chair, put it in 1999, "East Asia had no spare tires." Governments there devalued their currencies and adopted high interest rates to survive, and they did not regain their former glory afterward. Russia, meanwhile, fell afoul of its creditors. And when Moscow could not pay back its loans, Russian government bonds went down the drain. Russia's problem was that although its territory was vast, its economy was small. China, India, and even Japan, on the other hand, had plenty of access to cash and so their economies remained steady. The U.S. market scarcely rippled.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India, Asia, Vietnam, Germany
  • Author: Richard C. Levin
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The rapid economic development of Asia since World War II -- starting with Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, then extending to Hong Kong and Singapore, and finally taking hold powerfully in India and mainland China -- has forever altered the global balance of power. These countries recognize the importance of an educated work force to economic growth, and they understand that investing in research makes their economies more innovative and competitive. Beginning in the 1960s, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan sought to provide their populations with greater access to postsecondary education, and they achieved impressive results. Today, China and India have an even more ambitious agenda. Both seek to expand their higher-education systems, and since the late 1990s, China has done so dramatically. They are also aspiring to create a limited number of world-class universities. In China, the nine universities that receive the most supplemental government funding recently self-identified as the C9 -- China's Ivy League. In India, the Ministry of Human Resource Development recently announced its intention to build 14 new comprehensive universities of "world-class" stature. Other Asian powers are eager not to be left behind: Singapore is planning a new public university of technology and design, in addition to a new American-style liberal arts college affiliated with the National University. Such initiatives suggest that governments in Asia understand that overhauling their higher-education systems is required to sustain economic growth in a postindustrial, knowledge-based global economy. They are making progress by investing in research, reforming traditional approaches to curricula and pedagogy, and beginning to attract outstanding faculty from abroad. Many challenges remain, but it is more likely than not that by midcentury the top Asian universities will stand among the best universities in the world.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea
  • Author: Jorge G. CastaƱeda
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Few matters generate as much consensus in international affairs today as the need to rebuild the world geopolitical order. Everyone seems to agree, at least in their rhetoric, that the makeup of the United Nations Security Council is obsolete and that the G-8 no longer includes all the world's most important economies. Belgium still has more voting power in the leading financial institutions than either China or India. New actors need to be brought in. But which ones? And what will be the likely results? If there is no doubt that a retooled international order would be far more representative of the distribution of power in the world today, it is not clear whether it would be better.The major emerging powers, Brazil, Russia, India, and China, catchily labeled the BRICs by Goldman Sachs, are the main contenders for inclusion. There are other groupings, too: the G-5, the G-20, and the P-4; the last -- Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan -- are the wannabes that hope to join the UN Security Council and are named after the P-5, the council's permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Up for the G-8 are Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. The G-8 invited representatives of those five states to its 2003 summit in Evian, France, and from 2005 through 2008, this so-called G-5 attended its own special sessions on the sidelines of the G-8's.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Brazil
  • Author: Simon Tay
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: China, India
  • Author: Stewart Patrick
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: A major strategic challenge for the United States in the coming decades will be integrating emerging powers into international institutions. To hold the postwar order together, the United States will have to become a more consistent exemplar of multilateral cooperation.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Brazil
  • Author: Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Increased connectivity allows for the spread of liberal, open values but also poses a number of dangers. To foster the free flow of information and challenge authoritarian regimes, democratic states will have to learn to create alliances with people and companies at the forefront of the information revolution.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China