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Questo articolo è stato pubblicato il 28 luglio 2014 alle ore 18:32.
L'ultima modifica è del 15 ottobre 2014 alle ore 14:09.


Instead, the US and its partners need a broader range of responses that would enable them to adopt effective measures that are proportionate to the stakes involved – measures that demonstrate a willingness to impose meaningful costs without triggering counterproductive escalation.

Likewise, America’s military modernization agenda needs balance. Responding to the threat that China’s growing arsenal of advanced weapons poses to many of its assets does not require greatly expanding America’s long-range strike platforms. In fact, doing so would inevitably create incentives for US war planners to emphasize preemptive options in contingency plans and deemphasize American forces’ day-to-day presence in forward areas near China, where they contribute significantly to maintaining deterrence. And it would create a powerful incentive for Chinese war planners to develop further their country’s anti-access/area-denial capabilities.

Continued US engagement in the region requires it to heed the lesson of the Cold War: No technological fix will provide complete invulnerability. Economic and political measures, as well as a sustained US military presence, would be more effective than reliance solely on offensive escalation should the US need to counter Chinese actions that threatened important American interests. Indeed, relying on the capacity to attack the Chinese mainland to defend freedom of navigation and alliance commitments in East Asia could tempt China’s leaders to test America’s willingness to risk Los Angeles to defend the Senkaku Islands.

A more balanced US strategy to increase regional stability requires a judicious combination of resolve and reassurance, and a military posture that reflects this mix. This approach would give the US the best chance to induce China’s leaders to adopt a more cooperative approach to the region’s territorial disputes.

James Steinberg, US Deputy Secretary of State (2009-2011) is currently Dean and Professor of Social Science, International Affairs, and Law at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. Michael O’Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Strategic Reassurance and Resolve: U.S.-China Relations in the Twenty-First Century was recently published by Princeton University Press.

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2014.


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