Asia's New Age of Instability

Asia’s four pillars of stability, bulwarks of a highly successful regional system crafted and fostered by America, are all crumbling. The region’s future will be shaped and defined by the struggle to replace those pillars.

Issue: Nov-Dec 2012

A CENTRAL theme in the Obama administration’s recent foreign-policy narrative has been that the United States is returning to Asia after a decade of distractions in the Middle East. It is easy to argue that Asia should be America’s highest foreign-policy priority. After the financial crisis, Asia emerged as the growth dynamo on which the hopes for the revival of the American and global economies are pinned. At the same time, this very economic dynamism produces huge bilateral trade deficits and is largely responsible for the steady decline of American manufacturing. And Asia is home to the United States’ most serious strategic competitor: China.

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