US in the South China Sea

The Center for a New American Security, a Washington based national security think-tank, published a report titled “Cooperation From Strength: The United States, China and the South China Sea.” The report is co-authored by Robert D. Kaplan, who recently wrote a piece in Foreign Affairs looking at the South China Sea as a model of a new era in international conflict. Jason Miks at The Diplomat offers a telling analysis of the report:

[...]The report seems to suggest that relative U.S. military dominance in the region is bound to decline, especially as China upgrades its capabilities, but it adds that this doesn’t mean that the United States can’t protect maritime trade through free sea lines of communication, especially through co-operation with other powers in the region.

[...]The whole report is well worth reading for anyone looking to understand not just the military challenges the United States faces in the region, but also the diplomatic balancing act the U.S. must undertake. And I should add that although the report calls for a robust U.S. military presence in the region, it’s far from a call to arms.

For more on the international debate surrounding the South China Sea, see “Tensions Rising on the South China Sea” and “What to Make of US Presence in the Asia Pacific,” both via CDT.

 

January 20, 2012 11:36 PM
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