Asia’s new map

The Australian is reporting that a dramatic expansion of the United States’ alliance system with Japan and Australia may be in the offing: The Japanese Government and US Vice-President Dick Cheney are keen to include the growing economic and military power of India in the already enhanced “trilateral” security arrangements, locking together the three most ...

603285_070315_asiamap_05.jpg
603285_070315_asiamap_05.jpg

The Australian is reporting that a dramatic expansion of the United States' alliance system with Japan and Australia may be in the offing:

The Japanese Government and US Vice-President Dick Cheney are keen to include the growing economic and military power of India in the already enhanced "trilateral" security arrangements, locking together the three most powerful democracies of the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Cheney gave the Japanese proposal new life on his recent visit to Japan and Australia after sections of the Bush administration rebuffed the plan. He raised the idea in talks with John Howard in Sydney two weeks ago after discussing the plan with the Government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

The Australian is reporting that a dramatic expansion of the United States’ alliance system with Japan and Australia may be in the offing:

The Japanese Government and US Vice-President Dick Cheney are keen to include the growing economic and military power of India in the already enhanced “trilateral” security arrangements, locking together the three most powerful democracies of the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Cheney gave the Japanese proposal new life on his recent visit to Japan and Australia after sections of the Bush administration rebuffed the plan. He raised the idea in talks with John Howard in Sydney two weeks ago after discussing the plan with the Government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

Obviously, there would be a lot of hurdles to overcome, but extending security arrangements to eventually involve India would make a lot of sense. It would give the giant democracy incentive to continue its responsible regional behavior. Giving the rising power a seat at the table, moreover, would be a powerful message to other states that security and stability are not only developed country concerns or responsibilities.

Most importantly, it would open the door to better cooperation in and around the straits where the Pacific and Indian Oceans meet. The Indian Navy is nothing to shake a stick at; they’ve even got an aircraft carrier, with plans for two more by 2010. And they can cooperate with smaller states on much better terms, and with much less historical or geopolitical baggage, than can the U.S., Japan, or Australia. A big obstacle, though, would be making any arrangement not appear to be aimed at encircling China, because any arrangement would, well, encircle China.

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