Geruststelling en vastberadenheid in Oost-Azië

WASHINGTON, DC – Nu de territoriale spanningen tussen China en veel van zijn buurstaten langs de Oost- en Zuid-Chinese Zee aanhouden, hebben de Verenigde Staten behoefte aan een meer vastomlijnde regionale strategie. Amerika moet tegelijkertijd zijn eigen belangen dienen, zijn bondgenootschappelijke verplichtingen nakomen en contraproductieve confrontaties of zelfs conflicten uit de weg gaan.

Dat zal moeilijk zijn, vooral omdat het niet duidelijk is wiens aanspraken op allerlei betwiste eilanden en rotspunten moeten worden erkend, en de VS niet van plan zijn een oplossing op te leggen. Tegelijkertijd moeten de VS hun strijdkrachten moderniseren als antwoord op nieuwe uitdagingen – in het bijzonder de opkomst van China. Naarmate China geavanceerde precisiewapens ontwikkelt om een zogenoemde 'anti-access/area-denial'-capaciteit op te bouwen (waarmee het luchtruim kan worden beschermd tegen indringers als robotvliegtuigjes of 'drones') moeten de VS bedenken hoe te reageren op de toenemende kwetsbaarheid van bases en zeestrijdkrachten in de regio.

Er is geen makkelijk antwoord op deze uitdagingen. Nodig is een genuanceerde aanpak, zoals wij die hebben neergelegd in ons nieuwe boek Strategic Reassurance and Resolve.

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