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Title: The Prospects of the US Alliance System in Asia: Managing from the Hub
Authors: 陳秉逵
Contributors: Issues & Studies
Keywords: Hub-and-spoke ; US-Japan alliance ; US-Australia alliance ; US-ROK alliance ; the Quad
Date: 2020-09
Issue Date: 2020-11-16 14:42:01 (UTC+8)
Abstract: This paper examines the implications of the United States' "hub-and-spoke" alliance system in Asia. It argues that the US enjoys a bargaining advantage in the current bilateral security relations with its Asian allies. In contrast to a multilateral alliance, the US can better prevent free riders and joint resistance in its bilateral relations. It can effectively restrain the behavior of its allies and compel them to accommodate American interests. The hub-and-spoke system helps the US consolidate its policy influence over the Asian allies, supervise inter-alliance cooperation, and increase defense cooperation between allies and non-allies. This paper uses episodes of defense cooperation between the US, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and India to illustrate the American alliance management techniques since 2016. During this time, the US allies have increasingly participated in regional security affairs due to US demands and guidance rather than autonomous decisions. Facing strong US pressure, allies have found it hard to challenge the US under the hub-and-spoke system despite common grievances. This leads to two implications for the future: First, the US allies may have less autonomy in their foreign policies, restraining their ability to pursue neutral positions and policies in regional affairs such as the South China Sea dispute. Second, the US may discourage or even undermine the emergence of multilateral security institutions in Asia. The US is likely to maintain the "hub-and-spoke" system to safeguard its strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific.
Relation: Issues & Studies, 56-3, p1-34
Data Type: article
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