Handbook on the United States in Asia
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Handbook on the United States in Asia

Managing Hegemonic Decline, Retaining Influence in the Trump Era

Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan

The centre of gravity in today’s global economy arguably now resides in Asia. As a result of this, the maintenance of geopolitical and economic security in Asia has become pivotal to global stability. This indispensable Handbook examines the crucial and multifaceted role of the United States as a force in the region that has been, and continues to be, necessary for the continuation of Asian prosperity.
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Chapter 17: Constraints and opportunities in the US defence posture in Asia

Yee-Kuang Heng


This chapter argues that what appear to be an insurmountable and growing set of constraints may in fact, in some cases, be an opportunity for Washington to extend its influence and further consolidate security relationships in the region. The US defence posture in Asia is characterized by a set of so-called “hub and spoke” relationships and networks with formal treaty allies (Japan, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Australia, the Philippines). In addition, there are also long-standing quasi-allies (notably Singapore), or occasional partner states such as Malaysia and India that either host ad hoc US military deployments or participate in exercises together. This chapter evaluates the constraints and opportunities for the US defence posture through these three sets of US partners – formal treaty allies, quasi-allies and more ad hoc partners.

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