Pacific Defense: Arms, Energy, and America's Future in Asia

Kent E. Calder, Author
Kent E. Calder, Author William Morrow & Company $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-13738-0
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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Calder is director of the U.S.-Japan Relations program at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. Here he confirms that energy shortages are becoming acute in northeast Asia because of rapid economic growth and voracious industrial demand-most countries in the region already have to import most of their energy-and warns that these shortages could become the catalyst for regional arms races and nuclear proliferation. In this well-informed study, Calder reviews the explosive potential of the East Asian balance of power, showing how the underlying resource rivalries and the persistent arms race between the two Koreas could provoke major Japanese rearmament. He calls for a reevaluation of the ``slightly incongruous, antiquated realities'' of the U.S. military presence in the western Pacific and emphasizes American policy makers' inadequate understanding of East Asian history, culture and psychology, which has contributed significantly to the static in transpacific communication. His thoughtful study highlights the relationship among economic growth, energy uncertainties and long-term security issues in East Asia, which is of vital interest to the U.S. Maps. (Mar.)
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