United States of America’s Foreign Policy in the Security of Asia-Pacific Region
By Nassef M. Adiong
This paper will examine the determining factors through the questions posited in the course outline regarding a gradual change of focus of U.S. foreign policy from terrorism to citing fomenting predictions and future tenses that China would be a ‘threat’ in the Asia-Pacific region as well to the world. Utilizing ‘Hedging,’ one of foreign policy’s options, as the tool or instrument to achieve its purpose, carry-out goals, and implement policies.
In 2000, Pres. George W. Bush labeled China as the United States’ leading strategic and military competitor. (Twining 2007) In his rhetoric, what changes in U.S. strategic and defense relationships in the Asia-Pacific region, if any, are needed to respond to major developments in the region, particularly China’s emergence as a major power, the continuing potential for inter-state conflict, and the struggle against militant Islamists? (Vaughn 2007)
What are the bases of U.S. foreign policy in Asia-Pacific region?
This is solely based on advancing American interests, which is to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community. (U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Policy Agenda) American interest is dissected into three parts: domestic, regional and global. Domestic in terms of sustainable growth with an economy that provides an equitable distribution of goods and services to as many as possible. Regional in terms of arrangements in areas of immediate interest and proximity to the U.S. that provides aid and trade. And global in terms of maintaining supremacy or ‘power’ status; U.S. has interests and responsibilities everywhere. (Hung-mao & Tun-jen 2000)
The 2006 National Security Strategy is confounded upon two pillars: 1) Promoting freedom, justice, and human dignity. 2) Confronting the challenges of their time by leading a growing community of democracies. U.S. seeks to create a world of economic openness and gradual political economic integration. Washington still insists that only U.S. global dominance and leadership can bring this about, and that this necessitates American military supremacy. (Thacker-Kumar & Campbell 2006)
Most important, democracy promotion and security cooperation among like-minded democracies will remain a central objective of American foreign policy in Asia because those elements magnify American power and facilitate US goals. The democratization of nearly every major power in the Asia-Pacific region, with the critical exception of China, creates a solid foundation for trans-Pacific cooperation based on a set of norms and values. Democracy is America's greatest source of soft power in Asia, uniting it with states as diverse as Indonesia and Mongolia, and with great powers like Japan and India, based on a shared belief in representative government and rule by law. (Green & Twining 2008)
How should one characterize the nature of U.S. foreign policy?
One might see U.S. as having a predominant role to be the main balancer against potentially dangerous forces in both Europe, Asia and as well in the Middle East for the sole purpose of maintaining a decent and secure world order (peace). Or perceive as a neocolonial and empirical state in terms of hegemony in economy, culture, and military strength globally. While in other spectrum, U.S. hegemonic grand strategy has been challenged by Waltzian balance of power realists who believe that the days of U.S. primacy are numbered and that other states have good reason to fear unbalanced U.S. power. (Layne 2006)
By looking the United States as a benevolent hegemon that focuses on how U.S. intentions and actions (and perceptions thereof) affect other states, and blends balance of threat theory, hegemonic stability theory, and liberal theories of international relations. You recognized that there are circumstances in which other states might come to fear the United States and seek to counter it. Whether others accept U.S. hegemony or oppose it depends, therefore, on how the United States is perceived to exercise its power. (Layne 2006)
To what extent does security as a general consideration inform U.S. foreign policy?
With the realization that the world has changed and that vital American interests are at stake, there has been a shift in traditional international alliances. Immediate post-9/11 relations between the U.S. and both Russia and China have focused on various areas of cooperation, although basic disagreements continue. (Thacker-Kumar & Campbell 2006) Both the principal policy objective and the success or failure of a military operation is crucial factors determining the level of citizen support in its aftermath. (Eichenberg 2005) And the main foci of debate were the lengthening Iraq War and homeland security concerns.