Academic journal article Military Review

America's Asian Alliances, Robert D. Blackwill and Paul Dibb, Eds

Academic journal article Military Review

America's Asian Alliances, Robert D. Blackwill and Paul Dibb, Eds

Article excerpt

AMERICA'S ASIAN ALLIANCES, Robert D. Blackwill and Paul Dibb, eds., The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2000, 143 pages, $17.95.

Amid the uncertain and diffuse geopolitical climate, Robert D. Blackwill and Paul Dibb's America's Asian Alliances comes at an opportune time to stimulate politicians and academicians to review the ambiguous U.S. foreign policy toward Asia.

The book's first two chapters review the region's geopolitical background and sketch the extent of U.S. involvement in Asia since 1900. Blackwill and Dibbs concisely summarize the short-term strategic outlook for this highly diverse region by subregions, then identify potential flashpoints and how these have evolved.

The book examines U.S. alliances with Japan, South Korea, and Australia. While analysts detail the conditions that spawned each alliance, they express surprise at how little each alliance has evolved to meet new challenges in the regions. Analysts believe that in order to remain relevant there is a need to reexamine the costs and benefits of maintaining alliances amid the changing geopolitical climate. Where costs clearly outweigh benefits, such as with Japan, there is a need to renegotiate the alliance. The essayists recognize that the United States' unilateral approach toward many regional issues, without consulting its alliance partners, tends to undermine the alliance's essence. Alliance partners should be proactive and coordinated to shape U. …

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