East Asia and U.S. Security

East Asia and U.S. Security

East Asia and U.S. Security

East Asia and U.S. Security

Excerpt

For two decades the basic objective of U.S. policy in East Asia was to block the expansion of communist regimes. President Nixon shifted the emphasis to greater self-reliance by U.S. allies in the region; he brought about détente with China and withdrew U.S. forces from combat in Indochina. These actions partly disengaged the United States from past policies and increased the need to redefine U.S. security interests in and U.S. policy toward East Asia.

This study reassesses American interests in the light of important changes: the shift from alliance to confrontation in relations between China and the Soviet Union, Japan's emergence as a dominant economic power, and the end of U.S. combat involvement in East Asia. The author focuses on Japan, China, and the USSR--the only powers capable of posing a direct military threat to the United States and to the global balance of power--and proposes a new U.S. policy toward East Asia rooted in the vital U.S. relationship with Japan and the need for strengthening Japan's determination to remain a friendly, lightly armed, nonnuclear power.

Ralph N. Clough is a Brookings senior fellow. He is a former director of the State Department's Office of Chinese Affairs and a former member of its Policy Planning Council. He has been a Fellow of the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and an associate of the East Asian Research Center.

The ideas reflected in this study were formulated during the lively debates of a Brookings study group on U.S. policy in East Asia. The author wishes to express his appreciation to the members of Congress, government officials, and scholars who participated in that group, and to their able chairman, Samuel Huntington. A list of the group's members is given on page 241; they do not, of course, share . . .

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