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America Working Hard To Upgrades Its Asian Alliances

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 energized America's Asian alliances.
by Andrea Reimer
UPI Outside View Commentator
Vienna (UPI) Apr 03, 2006
The terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 marked a multifold watershed, not only for the United States, but also for other players, such as India and China. India, as the world's largest democracy, received much more prominence than in the 1990s.

The 'capstone' of the recent developments was the remarkable Nuclear Cooperation Agreement signed by U.S. President Bush and his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during Bush's Asia Tour.

The days before arriving at this agreement clearly showed India's new self-consciousness. Finally, the United States accepted India as nuclear power -- something unthinkable some six years ago. Certainly, the United States recognized India as an important partner, despite the still close relations to Russia.

The most important finding on an analysis of U.S. interests in Asia-Pacific is the fact of their interwoven and intertwined nature. U.S.-India relations need to be embedded into a whole network of interests and relations. The time of zero-sum assessments has passed. A new look will be required in regional strategic estimations. Asia-Pacific and U.S. interests is a good point to start with such a new strategic look on the map.

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 energized America's Asian alliances. Australia invoked the Australia-New Zealand-United States, or ANZUS Treaty to declare that the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks were an attack on Australia itself, following that historic decision with the dispatch of some of the world's finest combat forces for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Japan and South Korea provided unprecedented levels of military logistical support within weeks of the terrorist attack. The United States has deepened cooperation on counter-terrorism with its alliance partners in Thailand and the Philippines and received invaluable assistance from close friends like Singapore and New Zealand. The war against terrorism has proven that America's alliances in Asia not only underpin regional peace and stability, but are flexible and ready to deal with new challenges. To enhance our Asian alliances and friendships, the Untied States will:

-- Look to Japan to continue forging a leading role in regional and global affairs based on our common interests, our common values, and our close defense and diplomatic cooperation;

-- Work with South Korea to maintain vigilance towards the North while preparing our alliance to make contributions to the broader stability of the region over the longer term;

-- Build on 50 years of U.S.-Australian alliance cooperation as we continue working together to resolve regional and global problems--as we have so many times from the Battle of the Coral Sea to Tora Bora;

-- Maintain forces in the region that reflect our commitments to our allies, our requirements, our technological advances, and the strategic environment; and

-- Build on stability provided by these alliances, as well as with institutions such as the Association of South East Asian Nations and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, to develop a mix of regional and bilateral strategies to manage change in this dynamic region.

The United States remains attentive to the possible renewal of old patterns of great power competition. Several potential great powers are now in the midst of internal transition -- most importantly Russia, India, and China. In all three cases, recent developments have encouraged the hope that a truly global consensus about basic principles is slowly taking shape.

The latest U.S. National Security Strategy of 2006 emphasized the importance of the region. China and India received particular attention in the updated NSS. China is encouraged to proceed its path to an open society and a free market economy. India, which has been more in backdrop, received a rather prominent position in the new strategy paper.

(Andrea Reimer is a senior researcher for the Austrian Defense Academy and a frequent contributor to the Munich-based World Security Network. This article is reprinted by permission of WSN.)

(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

Source: United Press International

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