Strategy and Security in the Asia Pacific

Strategy and Security in the Asia Pacific

Strategy and Security in the Asia Pacific

Strategy and Security in the Asia Pacific


Unlocking the major strategic themes and security challenges of the early 21st century, this book provides the analytical frameworks needed to make sense of this complex but exciting strategic universe. Offering a unique mix of global strategic thinking and Asia-Pacific security analysis, it provides a comprehensive and authoritative introduction to the dynamic security developments in the region, around which much global strategy is based. Vital questions facing the international community are addressed, including why governments and groups still use armed force, how much warfare has changed in the information age, why countries should be concerned about nontraditional security challenges such as water shortages and the spread of infectious disease, whether a great clash between the United States and China is imminent, the prospects for peace on the Korean peninsula and between India and Pakistan, and what security means for Pacific Island countries, Australia, and New Zealand.


Robert Ayson and Desmond Ball

One of the key challenges for strategic thinking is to be responsive to change without being overwhelmed by it. Another is to identify those aspects of the security landscape which are crucial rather than ephemeral or superficial. Clear and potent strategic analysis has always been important, but it is even more so in an era when we are deluged by information. the Internet has brought new and vast sources of data to our screens and fingertips, yet good strategic analysis seems to be rarer now than ever.

The global spread of information technology is one of the primary changes in the strategic environment with which we need to come to terms. As some countries exploit these opportunities better than others in the development of their defence capabilities, new balances and asymmetries of power are possible. Economic globalisation has also favoured some states more than others; the resulting interdependence, which is meant to make armed conflict just too expensive to contemplate, might also be used by some states to extract leverage over others. While the indices of power may change, power itself remains a constant consideration.

Some of the key security actors may have altered as well in recent years. the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 appeared to usher in a new security environment, although al-Qaeda's impact is just one sign of the increased importance of non-state groups as strategic actors. Likewise, the spread of materials and expertise for the development of nuclear weaponry via shadowy international networks is but one example of the enhanced significance of transnational security challenges—the sort of interdependence we might rather do without.

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