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Rhiannon Neilsen
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How states join coalitions affects the extent to which they are perceived as blameworthy – or praiseworthy – for the outcome of that coalition. By extension, states’ moral reputations can be a contributing factor that dissuades those states from volunteering to join humanitarian interventions, despite the ethical imperative to do so. To highlight this argument, this article considers the Australian and the United Kingdom (UK) governments’ initial reluctance to join yet another United States-led intervention in Iraq to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Continue reading at tandfonline.com.

Please connect directly with Rhiannon Neilsen if you do not have access.

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How states join coalitions affects the extent to which they are perceived as blameworthy – or praiseworthy – for the outcome of that coalition.

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Debak Das
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The new AUKUS security partnership led to an immediate diplomatic fallout between France and the United States. But beyond the concerns about NATO and the Western alliance, or questions about great-power competition in the Pacific, some analysts see another worry: Will sharing nuclear submarine propulsion technology with Australia set back the nuclear nonproliferation regime?

What does this deal mean for nonproliferation? Have such transfers of nuclear submarine technology occurred in the past? Here are four things to know.

Read the rest at The Washington Post

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The new AUKUS security partnership led to an immediate diplomatic fallout between France and the United States. But beyond the concerns about NATO and the Western alliance, or questions about great-power competition in the Pacific, some analysts see another worry: Will sharing nuclear submarine propulsion technology with Australia set back the nuclear nonproliferation regime?

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Oriana Skylar Mastro
Zack Cooper
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This op-ed by Oriana Skylar Mastro and Zack Cooper originally appeared in Australian Financial Review.


Australia’s trials are not the first time Beijing has used economic coercion against another country.

It has become so common that we are becoming desensitised to it. Some notable examples include Beijing’s limitations on rare earth exports to Japan in 2010, Norwegian fish exports in 2010, Philippine tropic fruit exports in 2012, Vietnam’s tourist industry in 2014, Mongolian commodities trade in 2016, and South Korean businesses in 2017. In each case, Beijing sought to achieve a political objective by imposing economic penalties.

This case is different. Beijing has typically been ambiguous about the purpose or nature of its coercive economic statecraft. Despite evidence otherwise, it blamed the Japanese ban on meeting a yearly quota, the Philippine ban on pesticide exposure, the tourism drop to Vietnam on changing Chinese preferences, and the closure of South Korean stores on fire code violations. In Australia’s case, though, Beijing is doing away with these pretenses.

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China has not been shy this time about connecting its punitive actions to its unhappiness with Australian policies. The Chinese foreign ministry has listed a “series of wrong moves” by Australia for the disruption in relations. Beijing’s embassy in Canberra then gave a list of 14 “mistakes” to the Australian press.

These grievances include Australia’s foreign interference legislation, foreign investment reviews, funding for Australian think tanks, and unfriendly media reporting. Some of these criticisms are particularly ironic coming from Beijing, which often objects to foreign interference in other countries’ domestic affairs.

A core component of China’s strategy is a disinformation and propaganda effort designed to paint its moves as merely defensive, a proportionate and legitimate response to actions taken by the other side.

Australia has done nothing ‘wrong’


Let’s be clear: Australia has done nothing “wrong” in promoting and protecting its democratic institutions at home. It should not censor its media, obstruct analysis by outside experts, or shy away from safeguarding its democratic processes.

This time, the current trade restrictions are about more than making an example of Australia or showing smaller powers that they’ll pay if they have something to say about how the Chinese Communist Party governs at home. Beijing’s aims have taken on new proportions. Party leaders are now willing to punish democracies simply for upholding basic democratic principles within their own countries.

The message is clear: curtail some of your democratic principles or pay the price.

The US needs to work with like-minded states around the world to address this new threat. Free countries need to speak out together in Australia’s defence. If democracies do not hang together, they will hang separately. We should articulate that China’s actions are more than a violation of international law; they threaten the health of our democracies at home. Such a reframing would show Beijing that economic coercion will no longer be treated as a low-stakes tactic.

But words are not enough. We need coordinated action. US alliances are designed primarily to deter and defend against military attacks. Chinese actions make clear, however, that there are alternative methods for undermining peace, prosperity and freedom that our alliances do not adequately address. New alliance consultations to protect against economic attack would enhance our deterrence against China.

Washington should also launch a series of discussions with its allies to determine what new institutional mechanisms, commitments, and structures are needed to defend against economic attacks, not just military ones.

We should ensure the ability to take joint reciprocal action against Beijing in the economic realm, particularly to defend smaller countries. China engages in economic coercion because it is effective and relatively risk-free. But if instead like-minded countries responded together when one was attacked economically, this would go a long way in discouraging Beijing from employing such tactics.

Using all the tools of power


A critical first step is mapping dependencies on China and investigating how to limit over-dependence that open democracies to unacceptable economic vulnerability. As in the military realm, we need to enhance our resiliency against attack by avoiding over-dependence on any single import, export, or supply chain decency. This is a task that the so-called D10 (G7 plus Australia, India, and South Korea) should take up early next year.

The good news is a collective response to Chinese economic coercion will be more feasible under a Biden administration. President-elect Joe Biden and his senior advisers have articulated a preference for multilateral responses to Chinese aggression.

And while President Donald Trump relied mainly on military moves to warn and punish Beijing, Biden’s team prefers to make use of all tools of power. For these reasons, there has even been talk of rejuvenating past efforts like TPP. US allies and partners are also likely to see Biden as more reliable, making them more willing to undertake the risky venture of joining forces against Beijing.

The United States, Australia, and other allies and partners tried to welcome China into the international community. This was the right move. It has been good economically for many advanced economies, including Australia and the United States. But there is a flip side to every coin.

Australia has become too vulnerable to the whims of Beijing. And the US has few options to protect against such economic pressure. The incoming Biden administration needs to fundamentally rethink the nature of alliances so that countries like Australia have a third option the next time Beijing forces a choice between freedom and prosperity.

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China’s South China Sea Strategy Prioritizes Deterrence Against the US, Says Stanford Expert

Analysis by FSI Center Fellow Oriana Skylar Mastro reveals that the Chinese military has taken a more active role in China’s South China Sea strategy, but not necessarily a more aggressive one.
China’s South China Sea Strategy Prioritizes Deterrence Against the US, Says Stanford Expert
Battleships patrolling in the open ocean.
Commentary

Beijing’s Line on the South China Sea: “Nothing to See Here”

China’s official denials of growing military capability in the region look a lot like gaslighting.
Beijing’s Line on the South China Sea: “Nothing to See Here”
Oriana Skylar Mastro at a conference
Q&As

Center Fellow Oriana Skylar Mastro Discusses How Her Scholarship and Military Career Impact One Another

An expert on Chinese military and security issues, Mastro also talks about how her learning style informs her teaching style.
Center Fellow Oriana Skylar Mastro Discusses How Her Scholarship and Military Career Impact One Another
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The Biden administration needs to rethink the entire nature of alliances for an era of heavy-handed economic diplomacy from Beijing says Oriana Skylar Mastro and Zack Cooper in an op-ed for the Australian Financial Review.

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More than a century after citizen armies became an international norm, nearly two dozen states actively recruit foreigners into their militaries. Why do these states skirt the strong citizen-soldier norm and continue to welcome foreigners? To explain this practice, we first identify two puzzles associated with foreign recruitment. The first is practical: foreign recruits pose loyalty, logistical, and organizational challenges that domestic soldiers do not. The second is normative: noncitizen soldiers lie in a normative gray zone, permitted under the letter of international law but in tension with the spirit of international norms against mercenary armies. Next, we survey foreign military recruitment programs around the world and sort them into three broad types of programs, each with its own primary motivation: importing expertise, importing labor, and bolstering international bonds. We explain these categories and explore three exemplary cases in depth: Australia, Bahrain, and Israel. Our findings suggest that foreign recruitment can affect a state’s military operations by allowing militaries to rapidly develop advanced capabilities, by reducing the political risk associated with the use of force, and by expanding a state’s influence among former colonial and diaspora populations.

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Abstract: Australia is dealing with nuclear waste disposal issues on two separate fronts.  In 2015, South Australia began to consider expanding their role in the nuclear fuel cycle as a way to leverage their nuclear expertise, based on their extensive uranium mining.  A Royal Commission proposed consideration of the development of a deep geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste from international sources (since Australia has none).  In 2016 Premier Jay Weatherill decided against an international repository after a community-based consultation process also opposed it.  At the same time, the Commonwealth of Australia has revived its search for a low-level radioactive waste disposal site and a storage facility for intermediate-level waste. Again, South Australia is in play, with three sites volunteering their land for further consideration.  As a result, a siting process is ongoing in Kimba and Barndioota, South Australia, with sides both strongly for and adamantly against development of a low-level waste facility in their community.  Both nuclear waste situations have informed and affected the other, but it’s not clear that South Australia is ready to host nuclear waste any time soon in the near future.


Speaker Bio: Allison M. Macfarlane is Professor of Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University and Director of the Center for International Science and Technology Policy at the University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She recently served as Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from July, 2012 until December, 2014. As Chairman, Dr. Macfarlane had ultimate responsibility for the safety of all U.S. commercial nuclear reactors, for the regulation of medical radiation and nuclear waste in the U.S., and for representing the U.S. in negotiations with international nuclear regulators. She was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate. She was the agency’s 15th Chairman, its 3rd woman chair, and the only person with a background in geology to serve on the Commission.

Dr. Macfarlane holds a doctorate in geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor's of science degree in geology from the University of Rochester. During her academic career, she held fellowships at Radcliffe College, MIT, Stanford, and Harvard Universities. She has been on the faculty at Georgia Tech in Earth Science and International Affairs and at George Mason University in Environmental Science and Policy.

From 2010 to 2012 she served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future, created by the Obama Administration to make recommendations about a national strategy for dealing with the nation's high-level nuclear waste. She has served on National Academy of Sciences panels on nuclear energy and nuclear weapons issues. Dr. Macfarlane has also chaired the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the folks who set the “doomsday clock.”

Her research has focused on environmental policy and international security issues associated with nuclear energy. Her expertise is in nuclear waste disposal, nuclear energy, regulatory issues, and science and technology policy. As Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, she pushed for a more open dialogue with the public, for greater engagement with international nuclear regulators and, following the Fukushima accident, for stricter safety protocols at U.S. nuclear reactors. She also advocated for a more family-friendly workplace.  She has spoken on a wide range of topics, from women and science to nuclear policy and regulatory politics.

In 2006, MIT Press published a book she co-edited, Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation's High-Level Nuclear Waste, which explored technical issues at the proposed waste disposal facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Dr. Macfarlane has published extensively in academia and her work has appeared in Science, Nature, American Scientist, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and Environment Magazine.

 

Allison Macfarlane Director, Center for International Science and Technology Policy Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University
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Karl Eikenberry
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President Barack Obama has announced he will send several hundred troops to help secure the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as militants aligned with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria - known as ISIS - take neighborhoods in Baquba, only 44 miles from the Iraqi capital.

Former Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, the William J. Perry Fellow in International Security, is interviewed by the Australian Broadcast Corporation. He says the advances by Islamic militants in Iraq in the last week "have been absolutely stunning." The retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen., however, thinks the ISIS advancement will end quickly. "The bigger worry that we have though is ISIS crossing over to the Iraqi and the Syrian frontier and the possibility of them establishing a sanctuary for international terrorists," Eikenberry says.

You can watch Eikenberry's interview here. and ready an interview in The Australian here.

 

Martha Crenshaw
Photo Credit: Rod Searcey

Martha Crenshaw, a senior fellow at CISAC and its parent organization, the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, is one of the world's leading experts on terrorism. She joined a panel on the public radio program KQED Forum to discuss the political situation and what the militants envision for an Islamic state.

"The ISIS is a group that is even more radical than al-Qaida itself," Crenshaw says.
"Syria provided a launching board for them, which allowed them to become sort of a caliphate linking Syria and Iraq."

Crenshaw estimates there are between 5,000 to 6,000 members of the ISIS fighting in Iraq and that new recruits are coming in all the time. "But the source of their strength is not merely in numbers," she says. They have gained strength through discipline and communicating what an Islamic state would look like.

Listen to KQED panel discussion here.

  

Arash Aramesh, a national security analyst at Stanford Law School, discusses the crisis through the prism of Iran on Al Jazeera English.

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President Obama and Mitt Romney meet for their third debate to discuss foreign policy on Monday, when moderator Bob Schieffer is sure to ask them about last month's terrorist attack in Libya and the nuclear capabilities of Iran.

In anticipation of the final match between the presidential candidates, researchers from five centers at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ask the additional questions they want answered and explain what voters should keep in mind.


What can we learn from the Arab Spring about how to balance our values and our interests when people in authoritarian regimes rise up to demand freedom?  

What to listen for: First, the candidates should address whether they believe the U.S. has a moral obligation to support other peoples’ aspirations for freedom and democracy. Second, they need to say how we should respond when longtime allies like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak confront movements for democratic change.

And that leads to more specific questions pertaining to Arab states that the candidates need to answer: What price have we paid in terms of our moral standing in the region by tacitly accepting the savage repression by the monarchy in Bahrain of that country's movement for democracy and human rights?  How much would they risk in terms of our strategic relationship with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia by denouncing and seeking to restrain this repression? What human rights and humanitarian obligations do we have in the Syrian crisis?  And do we have a national interest in taking more concrete steps to assist the Syrian resistance?  On the other hand, how can we assist the resistance in a way that does not empower Islamist extremists or draw us into another regional war?  

Look for how the candidates will wrestle with difficult trade-offs, and whether either will rise above the partisan debate to recognize the enduring bipartisan commitment in the Congress to supporting democratic development abroad.  And watch for some sign of where they stand on the spectrum between “idealism” and “realism” in American foreign policy.  Will they see that pressing Arab states to move in the direction of democracy, and supporting other efforts around the world to build and sustain democracy, is positioning the United States on “the right side of history”?

~Larry Diamond, director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law


What do you consider to be the greatest threats our country faces, and how would you address them in an environment of profound partisan divisions and tightly constrained budgets? 

What to listen for: History teaches that some of the most effective presidential administrations understand America's external challenges but also recognize the interdependence between America's place in the world and its domestic situation.

Accordingly, Americans should expect their president to be deeply knowledgeable about the United States and its larger global context, but also possessed of the vision and determination to build the country's domestic strength.

The president should understand the threats posed by nuclear proliferation and terrorist organizations. The president should be ready to lead in managing the complex risks Americans face from potential pandemics, global warming, possible cyber attacks on a vulnerable infrastructure, and failing states.

Just as important, the president needs to be capable of leading an often-polarized legislative process and effectively addressing fiscal challenges such as the looming sequestration of budgets for the Department of Defense and other key agencies. The president needs to recognize that America's place in the world is at risk when the vast bulk of middle class students are performing at levels comparable to students in Estonia, Latvia and Bulgaria, and needs to be capable of engaging American citizens fully in addressing these shared domestic and international challenges.

~Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation


Should our government help American farmers cope with climate impacts on food production, and should this assistance be extended to other countries – particularly poor countries – whose food production is also threatened by climate variability and climate change?

What to listen for: Most representatives in Congress would like to eliminate government handouts, and many would also like to turn away from any discussion of climate change. Yet this year, U.S. taxpayers are set to pay up to $20 billion to farmers for crop insurance after extreme drought and heat conditions damaged yields in the Midwest.

With the 2012 farm bill stalled in Congress, the candidates need to be clear about whether they support government subsidized crop insurance for American farmers. They should also articulate their views on climate threats to food production in the U.S. and abroad.

Without a substantial crop insurance program, American farmers will face serious risks of income losses and loan defaults. And without foreign assistance for climate adaptation, the number of people going hungry could well exceed 15 percent of the world's population. 

~Rosamond L. Naylor, director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment


What is your vision for the United States’ future relationship with Europe? 

What to listen for: Between the end of World War II and the end of the Cold War, it was the United States and Europe that ensured world peace. But in recent years, it seems that “Europe” and “European” have become pejoratives in American political discourse. There’s been an uneasiness over whether we’re still friends and whether we still need each other. But of course we do.

Europe and the European Union share with the United States of America the most fundamental values, such as individual freedom, freedom of speech, freedom to live and work where you choose. There’s a shared respect of basic human rights. There are big differences with the Chinese, and big differences with the Russians. When you look around, it’s really the U.S. and Europe together with robust democracies such as Canada and Australia that have the strongest sense of shared values.

So the candidates should talk about what they would do as president to make sure those values are preserved and protected and how they would make the cooperation between the U.S. and Europe more effective and substantive as the world is confronting so many challenges like international terrorism, cyber security threats, human rights abuses, underdevelopment and bad governance.

~Amir Eshel, director of The Europe Center


Historical and territorial issues are bedeviling relations in East Asia, particularly among Japan, China, South Korea, and Southeast Asian countries. What should the United States do to try to reduce tensions and resolve these issues?

What to listen for: Far from easing as time passes, unresolved historical, territorial, and maritime issues in East Asia have worsened over the past few years. There have been naval clashes, major demonstrations, assaults on individuals, economic boycotts, and harsh diplomatic exchanges. If the present trend continues, military clashes – possibly involving American allies – are possible.

All of the issues are rooted in history. Many stem from Imperial Japan’s aggression a century ago, and some derive from China’s more assertive behavior toward its neighbors as it continues its dramatic economic and military growth. But almost all of problems are related in some way or another to decisions that the United States took—or did not take—in its leadership of the postwar settlement with Japan.

The United States’ response to the worsening situation so far has been to declare a strategic “rebalancing” toward East Asia, aimed largely at maintaining its military presence in the region during a time of increasing fiscal constraint at home. Meanwhile, the historic roots of the controversies go unaddressed.

The United States should no longer assume that the regional tensions will ease by themselves and rely on its military presence to manage the situation. It should conduct a major policy review, aimed at using its influence creatively and to the maximum to resolve the historical issues that threaten peace in the present day.

~David Straub, associate director of the Korea Studies Program at the Walter H. Shorentein Asia-Pacific Research Center

 

Compiled by Adam Gorlick.

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When Asia’s leaders gather in Honolulu next week for the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Americans will get a glimpse of the Obama administration’s hyperactive Asia agenda. While America has always been a Pacific nation, the Obama administration is now beginning to match the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region with America’s own brand of energy and leadership.

Before President Barack Obama alights on the tarmac in Honolulu, he will have prepared the way to lead anew in Asia. Among a number of significant “firsts” for our nation in the region are:

  • President Obama in 2009 became the first U.S. president ever to attend a meeting with all 10 leaders of the nations that comprise the Association of South East Asian Nations.
  • The United States in 2010 became the first non-ASEAN country to establish a dedicated Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta.
  • Hillary Clinton was the first secretary of state in a generation to make Asia the destination of her first foreign trip.
  • Secretary Clinton also launched the “Lower Mekong Initiative,” a first-of-its-kind agreement between Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States to enhance cooperation in the areas of water and forest management, education, and health.

Now, President Obama will arrive in Honolulu to, among other things, attempt to get APEC nations to agree to lower tariffs on renewable energy products. He will also continue to negotiate the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Obama administration initiative with eight Asian nations, with the objective of shaping a broad-based regional trade pact that would include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Look for announcements of Japanese participation and a framework for the TPP agreement to be announced alongside the APEC summit.

After the APEC summit, President Obama will travel to Bali and attend the East Asia Summit, a fairly new 18-nation security forum—becoming the first U.S. president to attend this annual meeting.

All this activity is especially dramatic following eight years of low-key engagement where Asians griped about missed meetings and America’s strategic attention was focused almost exclusively in the Middle East. But most importantly, there is a well-thought out strategy for re-engagement—a strategy based on renewing long-time allies, engaging seriously newly emerging powers with an eye on preserving stability in the Pacific, while building stronger economic ties to boost American trade, job creation, and long-term economic prosperity at home.

Our stalwart ally Japan was rocked by this year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, and America is assisting in its recovery. Our alliance remains strong, and Japan continues to be an increasingly active U.S. partner in global affairs.

Relations with South Korea are better than they have ever been. The U.S. Congress just passed a historic free trade agreement, opening the South Korean market for a wealth of American goods. Twice in two years the Obama administration (over Chinese objections) deployed the USS George Washington to the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan to conduct exercises with South Korea in response to North Korean aggression. Last month, President Obama welcomed President Lee Myung-bak for a state visit, the first in 10 years by a South Korean president.

President Obama will visit Australia next week to announce a deepened military cooperation pact—building once again on a long-standing alliance. This follows on Secretary of State Clinton’s signing last year of the Wellington Declaration, a roadmap for deepening and expanding the bilateral relationship between the United States and New Zealand.

The Obama administration also is engaging more closely with emerging powers.

The administration in 2010 launched the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, which has broadened and deepened relations with New Delhi to include issues from cybersecurity and terrorism to negotiations over a bilateral investment treaty and energy cooperation. Obama also launched the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership, including a series of agreements that will help defense and trade relations. The administration is also working carefully behind the scenes with Myanmar’s new leadership to urge liberalization there.

All of this brings us to China. The flurry of Asian activity makes sense in its own right to further U.S. economic, cultural, and strategic interests, but it is also a component of U.S. policy toward China. The Obama administration’s China policy involves increasing America’s ability to compete with China, working with China where fruitful, and pushing back when China’s actions cross the line. While the U.S.-China relationship is never easy, the administration has avoided major crises and managed to sell Taiwan the largest arm sales packages in any two-year period over the past 30 years without a major breach of relations with Beijing.

Indeed, where cooperation is possible, it is underway. A joint clean energy research center with China is now open, more U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials are based in China to monitor the safety of food and drugs coming to the U.S. market. What’s more, the Obama administration has had some significant success working with Beijing on the nuclear activities of North Korea and Iran, though it has followed a one step forward, two steps back pattern.

The U.S. needs to be engaged in Asia to ensure that China’s rise contributes to stability and prosperity in the region. In 2010, for example, when China made a series of aggressive moves related to the South China Sea, Secretary of State Clinton joined with her counterparts from Southeast Asia, including countries close to China such as Vietnam in what has been called a “showdown,” to make clear their desire for a peaceful, multilateral approach to the conflicting territorial claims there. China backed off its more forward actions and most strident rhetoric.

Similarly, the United States is creating incentives for China to conform to international law and standards. That’s why the Obama administration is negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade pact with high standards to join. The idea is build consensus in the region about a coherent set of regulations that might push China in a helpful direction. TPP rules, for example, are likely to prohibit state-owned enterprises from getting government subsidies not available to privately owned companies, an issue on which Washington has been pushing Beijing hard, with only slow progress to show for it.

These sorts of initiatives are not part of a strategy of “containment” of China, which is not possible or desirable. No Asian country would ever sign up to an anti-China alliance—each, in fact, wants to strengthen its relationship with Beijing. But at the same time, they want America to stick close by. Even if containment were possible, America benefits more from a strong, prosperous China than a weak and resentful one.

Can America afford all this Asian engagement? We have to and we will. The coming years will demand strategic choices. The next time you hear someone complaining about U.S. troops leaving Iraq, remind them that the United States is now investing more wisely and more constructively in the most important region of the world.

Nina Hachigian is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

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Nina L. Hachigian
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What is the problem?
Progress towards reducing nuclear dangers is currently hampered by entrenched divisions between Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty members and non-members, and between Western and non-aligned states. Longstanding differences between Australia and India typify this problem.

What should be done?
New partnerships and platforms for dialogue would expand the space for agreement and new thinking. An unconventional diplomatic partnership between India and Australia could be a test bed for the larger challenge of how to bridge old divides on nuclear and security issues.

Early steps in such a partnership would include a leaders' statement identifying common aims in reducing nuclear dangers. Nonproliferation export controls could be a primary area of cooperation. Canberra should promote Indian involvement in the so-called Australia Group on chemical and biological weapons export controls, including to raise comfort levels between New Delhi and other nonproliferation arrangements.

A new bilateral nuclear dialogue could consider the prevention of illicit nuclear transfers at sea, the negotiation of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, the security of nuclear energy growth in Southeast Asia, the reduced role of nuclear arms in defence postures, and recommendations from the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament sponsored by Australia and Japan.

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Amandeep Singh Gill
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Interest in nuclear disarmament has grown rapidly in recent years. Starting with the 2007 Wall Street Journal article by four former U.S. statesmen-George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry, and Sam Nunn-and followed by endorsements from similar sets of former leaders from the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Australia, and Italy, the support for global nuclear disarmament has spread. The Japanese and Australian governments announced the creation of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament in June 2008. Both Senators John McCain and Barack Obama explicitly supported the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons during the 2008 election campaign. In April 2009, at the London Summit, President Barack Obama and President Dmitri Medvedev called for pragmatic U.S. and Russian steps toward nuclear disarmament, and President Obama then dramatically reaffirmed "clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons" in his speech in Prague.

There is a simple explanation for these statements supporting nuclear disarmament: all states that have joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are committed "to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament." In the United States, moreover, under Clause 2 of Article 6 of the Constitution, a treaty commitment is "the supreme Law of the Land." To af1/2rm the U.S. commitment to seek a world without nuclear weapons is therefore simply promising that the U.S. government will follow U.S. law.

A closer reading of these various declarations, however, reveals both the complexity of motives and the multiplicity of fears behind the current surge in support of nuclear disarmament. Some declarations emphasize concerns that the current behavior of nuclear-weapons states (NWS) signals to non-nuclear-weapons states (NNWS) that they, too, will need nuclear weapons in the future to meet their national security requirements. Other disarmament advocates stress the growth of global terrorism and the need to reduce the number of weapons and the amount of fissile material that could be stolen or sold to terrorist groups. Some argue that the risk of nuclear weapons accidents or launching nuclear missiles on false warning cannot be entirely eliminated, despite sustained efforts to do so, and thus believe that nuclear deterrence will inevitably fail over time, especially if large arsenals are maintained and new nuclear states, with weak command-and- control systems, emerge.

Perhaps the most widespread motivation for disarmament is the belief that future progress by the NWS to disarm will strongly influence the future willingness of the NNWS to stay within the NPT. If this is true, then the choice we face for the future is not between the current nuclear order of eight or nine NWS and a nuclear-weapons- free world. Rather, the choice we face is between moving toward a nuclear- weapons-free world or, to borrow Henry Rowen's phrase, "moving toward life in a nuclear armed crowd."

There are, of course, many critics of the nuclear disarmament vision. Some critics focus on the problems of how to prevent nuclear weapons "breakout" scenarios in a future world in which many more countries are "latent" NWS because of the spread of uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing capabilities to meet the global demand for fuel for nuclear power reactors. Others have expressed fears that deep nuclear arms reductions will inadvertently lead to nuclear proliferation by encouraging U.S. allies currently living under "the U.S. nuclear umbrella" of extended deterrence to pursue their own nuclear weapons for national security reasons. Other critics worry about the "instability of small numbers" problem, fearing that conventional wars would break out in a nuclear disarmed world, and that this risks a rapid nuclear rearmament race by former NWS that would lead to nuclear first use and victory by the more prepared government.

Some critics of disarmament falsely complain about nonexistent proposals for U.S. unilateral disarmament. Frank Gaffney, for example, asserts that there has been "a 17 year-long unilateral U.S. nuclear freeze" and claims that President Obama "stands to transform the ‘world's only superpower' into a nuclear impotent." More serious critics focus on those problems-the growth and potential breakout of latent NWS, the future of extended deterrence, the enforcement of disarmament, and the potential instability of small numbers-that concern mutual nuclear disarmament. These legitimate concerns must be addressed in a credible manner if significant progress is to be made toward the goal of a nuclear-weapons-free world.

To address these problems adequately, the current nuclear disarmament effort must be transformed from a debate among leaders in the NWS to a coordinated global effort of shared responsibilities between NWS and NNWS. This essay outlines a new conceptual framework that is needed to encourage NWS and NNWS to share responsibilities for designing a future nuclear-fuel-cycle regime, rethinking extended deterrence, and addressing nuclear breakout dangers while simultaneously contributing to the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.

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Daedalus
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Scott D. Sagan
Scott D. Sagan
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