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Emerging Trends in the Security Architecture in Asia: Bilateral and Multilateral Ties Among the United States, Japan, Australia, and India

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Congressional rept.

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Some analysts have questioned whether U.S. security interests in the Asia Pacific region are best served by its existing framework of bilateral alliances. The region is now facing an array of changes deepening trade links, the formation of new regional institutions, and increased attention to the threat of Islamic terrorism. Against this backdrop, Chinas rise represents the key driver in the evolving security landscape in Asia. China is now attracting regional states with its economic power and is offering competing vision to the U.S.-centric hub and spoke system of alliances. In essence, Chinas increasing economic, diplomatic, and military strength is compelling countries to rethink existing security arrangements and take initial steps that may lead to the formation of regional groupings of nations with common interests and values. At the same time, the Bush Administration has pursued stronger defense relations with Australia, Japan, and India. Bilateral defense ties have also developed between Canberra, Tokyo, and New Delhi, with varying degrees of engagement. Fledgling initiatives for trilateral efforts among the nations have emerged some defense planners see these efforts as building on existing security cooperation to further U.S. goals in the region by combining forces among partners and allies. Pursuit of multilateral security arrangements holds a number of potential challenges and opportunities for the United States. Increasing capabilities among like-minded nations could enhance stability and provide a platform for responding to natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies in the region, or to potential aggression by other countries, but it also risks threatening China, potentially spurring dangerous countermeasures. Finally, there is the risk that other Asian allies could feel excluded from multilateral initiatives among the United States, Japan, Australia, andor India. This report may not be updated.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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