East Asian Security: An American Perspective
In NBR Analysis vol. 2, no 1

East Asian Security
An American Perspective

by Donald S. Zagoria
April 1, 1991

Countertrends and uncertainties should not be allowed to obscure the fundamentally bright security environment in the Asia-Pacific region and the new opportunities that are emerging to reduce tensions there.

In the past two years, the rush of stunning events-the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the termination of the Warsaw Pact, and the reunification of Germany and the entry of a united Germany into NATO, and unprecedented cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union-has lead to many analysts to conclude that a new international harmony is upon us.

Unfortunately, the euphoria brought on by the ending of the Cold War has turned out to premature. Many dark countertrends have appeared, including the reemergence of regional antagonisms and ambitions frozen by the Cold War confrontation. The war in the Persian Gulf has taught us that while the end of the Cold War has brought about unprecedented cooperation among adversaries, the dangers to international security remain great. Moreover, there are many uncertainties, chief among them which is the future of Soviet-U.S. relations during a protracted process of Soviet transformation that is bound to be uneven and full of surprises.

Nevertheless, these countertrends and uncertainties should not be allowed to obscure the fundamentally bright security environment in the Asia-Pacific region and the new opportunities that are emerging to reduce tensions there.

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