The Bush administration has committed itself to the effort to construct a new framework for stability and security suitable to the new, post-Cold War environment, a framework that will encompass to the maximum extent possible cooperation with others. How might a view of the East Asian security environment, and especially the view of U.S. friends and allies there, inform the effort to deploy ballistic missile defenses, pursue nuclear reductions, and adjust arms control strategies? How might a view of the challenges of long-term nuclear threat reduction in the region inform U.S. policy development? This paper begins with a survey of the debate about the requirements of security and stability in East Asia after the Cold War. It identifies four different camps, each with its own definition of stability, as: a balance of power, principally between China and the United States; continued progress toward a regional security order based on cooperative or common security principles; the absence of significant defections from existing strategic alignments; preservation of the nuclear status quo. For analytical purposes, this study defines East Asian strategic stability as a balance that permits changing relations of power among states in the region without war; reassures states that significant departures from the status quo are unlikely, or at least predictable, and can be managed so that they are not disruptive or particularly threatening; enables progress toward more cooperative approaches to security; and reassures states in the region that they need not more aggressively hedge against unanticipated strategic developments. The study also discovered among American experts a lack of consensus about the relationship between stability and security in the region. The conventional wisdom holds that stability and security are common gods and that, from an American perspective, a more stable Asia makes America more secure. But that perspective is not shared by all. Note: This document has been added to the Homeland Security Digital Library in agreement with the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD (PASCC) as part of the PASCC collection. Permission to download and/or retrieve this resource has been obtained through PASCC.
IDA Paper P-3641
2001, 2002 Institute for Defense Analyses. Posted here with permission. Downloaded or retrieved via external web link as part of the PASCC collection.