Nationalism: the centrifugal force in Northeast Asia
Puopolo, Paul A.
Buss, Claude A.
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The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union has prompted discussions regarding the possibility of a collective security format for the Asia-Pacific region. Constructing a 'new regional order' under a collective multilateral security organization will be an unrealistic task for policy makers as the world approaches the twenty-first century. Nationalism has resurfaced in the relations of the Northeast Asian countries and will be the primary obstacle to establishing such a security forum. The historical suspicions of these states is evident in their assertiveness regarding the complex territorial disputes, increased military expenditures, economic competition, and dependence on external natural resources. The security environment of Northeast Asia is significantly more hostile and vulnerable to conflict in the future. Although perceptions of a multilateral security framework have been expressed, no Northeast Asian state is willing to forfeit sovereignty in favor of collective security. To protect the United States' vital interests in the region will require acknowledgment of Northeast Asian nationalism and respect for regional insecurities. A reassessment of the existing bilateral alliances and the forging of new bilateral agreements will provide the greatest flexibility for the United States to adjust to the emerging 'new order' in East Asia.
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