PPT 11/14/2011_Is war possible in East Asia?Presentation Transcript
War in Asia? Tokyo, 14 November 2011 Temple University, Japan Campus Robert Dujarric Director, Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies Temple University, Japan Campus, Tokyo [email_address] www.tuj.ac.jp/ic as
Sad truth: War – always in fashion Yesterday
Defining “War in Asia”
Point of origin: East Asia.
Type: Major conflagration.
Core conflict: China vs. USA/Japan.
Other participants: Unlimited.
Geographical limit: none.
Theaters: Land, Air, Sea, Space, Cyber-space.
Time frame: Unknown.
Could it be a “major war?”
Is China a peer competitor to the US/Japan?
Military potential untested and unclear.
Could be a “paper tiger” but far from sure.
Possibility of a “major war” not insignificant.
Key questions to answer
Is such a war possible? Arguments against.
Economic interdependence makes war impossible
Human nature is violent. “Make money not war” like “make love not war” is not universally accepted.
Historical evidence disproves hypothesis.
Theoretical underpinnings defective.
Nuclear deterrence precludes a Sino-US war.
Empirical data set too small and ambiguous.
Theory interesting but not convincing.
Non-nuclear Cold War not preordained.
Who wants war? No one but…
US goal: incorporate China into (US) global system.
Not consistent with Chinese objectives.
US (and Japan) won’t accept radical systemic change.
South China Sea
US (maritime issues)
Possible fuses (2)
Domestic (in China and other countries):
Nationalism used for domestic political gain.
Additional risk factors
Who’s in charge in China?
Cumulative effect of multiple crises.
Perception US weakness.
Reflections – from Clausewitz
No one in his senses ought to start a war without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve and how he indents to conduct it.
War is now untrammeled by any conventional restraints and has broken lose in all its elemental fury.
No other human activity is so continuously or universally bound up with chance.