The United States has enduring economic, political, and strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific region. The region accounts for 25 percent of the global economy and nearly $600 billion in annual two-way trade with the United States. Asia is vital to American prosperity. Politically, over the past two decades, democracy has taken root in and spread across the region. Former authoritarian regimes in the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan have been transformed into vibrant democracies. For over a century, U.S. strategic interests have remained constant: access to the markets of the region, freedom of the seas, promotion of democracy and human rights, and precluding domination of the region by one power or group of powers. While major war in Europe is inconceivable for at least a generation, the prospects for conflict in Asia are far from remote. Hostilities that could involve the United States could arise at a moment's notice on the Korean peninsula and in the Taiwan Strait. This paper will focus on four key areas that require early attention by the Bush administration--the U.S.-Japan Alliance, the Korean peninsula, China-Taiwan, and Indonesia--and suggest elements of a strategy for addressing policy challenges effectively.
Strategic Challenges for the Bush Administration: Perspectives from the Institute for National Strategic Studies, p.3-10