Northeast Asia--Cultural Influences on the U.S. National Security Strategy

  • June 01, 2004
  • Mr Larry B Rogers

The U.S. core interests and National Security Strategy are founded on Western cultural operatives that assume all nation-states will respond to its influences in a predictable manner. When states do not respond appropriately, we assume they are either recalcitrant or irrational. A decade ago, this approach towards the states of the Northeast Asia region was highly effective as their economic or military dependency upon us, or their fear of both, usually forced them to respond within the scope of our objectives. Today, we no longer have the preponderance of economic or military power in the region, and old tactics will not continue to work effectively. Even within those states considered our allies, tolerance of what is deemed an abrasive U.S. presence is decreasing while anti-Americanism is growing. To continue to maneuver successfully to attain and sustain our interests requires that we carefully consider the perspectives, biases, and influences of these cultures to devise strategies that provide the most effective application of our elements of national power. This paper will discuss the Northeast Asian regional cultures, our current security strategy in regards to them, and recommendations for addressing regional cultural influences to meet our objectives and protect our interests.