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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