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Hedging, Over Commitment, and the Escalating Risk of Conflict in Southeast Asia

Date

2020-10-16

Authors

Marston, Hunter
Bruce, Thomas

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

The Diplomat

Abstract

Throughout U.S. President Donald Trump’s four years in office, the risk of war in Asia has been alarmingly high. From nuclear brinkmanship with North Korea, to ongoing disputes over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, to escalating Chinese threats to Taiwan’s security, there are numerous potential flashpoints in Northeast Asia that will demand the next administration’s resources and attention – all amid the overarching great power competition with China. While these threats remain pressing, the next administration would be wise to shift its attention to Southeast Asia, which has emerged as the epicenter of U.S.-China rivalry and more likely site for superpower conflict. Although the potential for smaller powers to kick off a localized conflict should not be ruled out, the real danger stems from the likelihood of the United States and China overreaching by misreading ambiguous alignment of smaller powers in Southeast Asia as they compete for influence and allies.

Description

Keywords

Citation

Source

The Diplomat

Type

Newspaper/magazine article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

Free Access via publisher website

License Rights

DOI

Restricted until

2099-12-31