The U.S. Military Role in a Changing Asia

Preparing for the 21st Century A Documented Briefing

by Norman D. Levin, Paul Bracken

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This report presents the results of an examination of U.S. and U.S. military roles in a changing Asia. The document argues that trends in both Asia and United States are stimulating a new kind of regional dynamic that, left unattended, could adversely affect U.S. interests. Based on this trend analysis, the study concludes that the United States needs a new strategy of comprehensive security--a strategy of access that involves maintaining alliances and forward presence; using the military indirectly to create a foundation for coalition activities; fostering and directing a regional security dialogue; encouraging alternative development paths to restrain proliferation; and using arms control to bolster U.S. presence, establish regional equilibrium, and lock in the current U.S. advantageous strategic position. Such a strategy involves adding some military roles to prevent regional imbalance and realignments, to provide regional presence for rapid response and humanitarian assistance, to provide a catalyst/forward trigger for U.S.-led coalitions (including the UN), and to help exploit Asian dynamism and strengthen U.S. leverage.

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