The US and the history wars in Asia

Jeffrey Bader, former senior director for Asia at the National Security Council earlier in the Obama administration, has drawn attention for remarks criticizing comments made by Abe Shinzō and other Japanese leaders about Japan's wartime past. As Kyodo reports:Bader...also warned the U.S. government could be more "vocal" if Japan reviewed past statements in which the …

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Cognitive biases and the rise of China

Harvard's Alastair Iain Johnston has a must-read article in the Spring issue of International Security in which he dissects the spread of a meme of China's "new assertiveness" spread among policy analysts, the media, and scholars in the US in 2010. (Available for free as a pdf, at least for the time being.)As Paul Pillar notes, …

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Resisting the urge to "just do something" in US foreign policy

Edward Luttwak has a brief piece at Foreign Policy in which he praises the restraint with which the Obama administration has approached the ongoing conflict in Syria. Luttwak argues that the importance of managing China's rise means that the US should get out of the business of determining the nature of political regimes in the Middle …

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More on the Roos appointment

Considering the appointment of John Roos and other Obama donors to ambassadorial posts, David Rothkopf makes a strong argument against the relevance of ambassadorships in the first place:For really important relationships, we need permanent high-level representation. But those relationships are comparatively few and in those cases, we need a special breed of highly empowered, highly …

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The birth of the post-1996 alliance

Prime Minister Aso Taro has arrived in Washington in advance of his meeting with President Barack Obama Tuesday.Despite Obama's welcoming Aso as the first foreign leader to meet with him in Washington, and despite Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Tokyo last week, the Japanese establishment continues to fret about the new administration's approach …

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