The Biden administration is signaling the United States will return to a more traditional foreign policy in Asia. But it must engage allies and partners on more than just defense policy.
In the past, U.S. leadership played a significant role in backchannel mediating between India and Pakistan, counseling strategic patience and brokering diplomatic talks even at the height of Indo-Pak tensions. With the United States currently showing little leadership in South Asia, what scenarios could play out and what might their implication be for the United States and other interests?
If the U.S. is truly planning for a competition with China, it will need to plan for a long-term effort. The planning should be clear about who and what are opposed, what the U.S. expects from China to avoid conflict escalation, the minimal acceptable change it seeks from the Chinese government, and how far the U.S. is willing to go.
It’s time we ditch the two percent (or any percent) of GDP metric for allied defense spending and focus on what really matters—capability, capacity, readiness, and interoperability. In the end, it’s not about how much of our allies’ economic output is directed to defense, and this metric does little to incentivize the results we want to see.
Now in its fifth year of implementation, there is enough evidence to suggest that Belt and Road Initiative is much more than a liberal economic development plan. The United States needs a more comprehensive counterstrategy to BRI that looks after the interests of vulnerable nations and hedges against the geopolitical advantages China is gaining.
The release of the National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy offers a window to evaluate current and ongoing U.S. policy in the Asia-Pacific region. But while the documents offer bold, clear strategic direction at a time the United States and the world need clear guideposts, the administration’s actions are at odds with the strategies.
By increasing Japan-U.S. cooperation in space the alliance’s space systems and help deter aggression in space. Increased cooperation in space can be a strategic advantage for the alliance and a cornerstone of the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. This report addresses next steps for this alliance in space.