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America Is Turning Asia into A Powder Keg

Author: Van Jackson

Affiliation: Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), and Centre for Strategic Studies

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place: October 22, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Opinion Article

Word Count: 2693


Keywords: Nuclear Proliferation, Asia, United States, North Korean.


The article narrates the threat of sophisticated missile technology, which is proliferating among US friends and foes alike across Asia. Nuclear powers are undertaking extensive nuclear modernization. Democratization is filibustering and, in some cases, rolling back. And the economic influence of the United States is declining while that of China is mounting.  The United States is not the cause of these disconcerting tendencies, however its excessively militarized approach to Asia is making them worse. By surging troops and military hardware into the region and cheering its allies to enlarge their arsenals, Washington is heightening tensions and increasing the risk of an avoidable conflict. Moreover, by handling the Chinese and North Korean military threats as Asia’s only real glitches, the United States is ceding the economic playing field to Beijing and relinquishing its ability to address inequality, climate change, and other underlying causes of regional insecurity through nonmilitary means. Washington’s over-militarized approach not only increases the risks of war and arms racing but also reduces the prospects for stability and prosperity in Asia. The game that matters most in the region does not involve armies and navies but rather development, trade, and investment. Yet the US has largely neglected Asia’s economic needs, allowing China to make enormous gains at its expense.

By. Maryam Khan, CIGA Research Associate



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