Sunday, November 05, 2006


Decay of US power creates dangerous vacuum in Asia

One of the few conservatives in the media who takes the time to educate himself says we should worry: Russia, worried about the vulnerabilities of its thinly-populated Pacific regions, is trying to draw Japan into its strategic orbit through huge oil and gas deals in Sakhalin and eastern Siberia. Moscow still sees Manchuria as essential to its Far East security. Japan's new conservative prime minster, Shinzo Abe, produced an immediate improvement of previously strained relations with Seoul and Beijing, and a welcome agreement to drop sterile recriminations over WWII. Bush's lost wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their mammoth costs, have already begun to undermine U.S. power in Asia. North Korea is calling America a "paper tiger." This weakening of the North Pacific security system occurs just when a steady American hand is essential. Washington and its Asian allies face the most serious and difficult strategic challenge of the past 50 years: Managing China's emergence as a regional and world power, while dealing with an assertive India and declining American power. Not since 1903 have the interests of the north Asian powers appeared so in confluence.
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