U.S. Defense Spending and East Asian Security
The U.S. defense budget faces cuts of up to $350 billion over the next decade. And if the bipartisan congressional “super committee” fail to agree on an overall deficit reduction plan, another automatic cut of up to $500 billion looms. With this budget crisis coinciding with recent, major security developments in China, Japan, Korea and throughout Southeast Asia, the time is right to focus on the issues that will be affected, including the key U.S. alliance partnerships, military base questions and arms export decisions.
On October 17, the 21st Century Defense Initiative and the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings hosted a discussion on East Asia in the context of a declining U.S. defense budget. Panelists included: Michael Green of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Georgetown University; Mike Mochizuki of George Washington University; and Brookings Senior Fellow Jonathan Pollack. Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon, director of research for Foreign Policy, moderated the discussion.
After the program, the participants took audience questions.
Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs - The George Washington University
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I question whether the U.K. and EU will become political and economic rivals, as geography, history, financial interests, security concerns, and shared values will necessitate continued close cooperation in some form for the foreseeable future. My bigger concern is the all-consuming nature of Brexit, which could prevent the U.K. especially and the EU from engaging effectively against international rivals. Brexit already dominates debates in London, with a divided Cabinet and parliament having limited bandwidth to engage on global challenges. Even if the U.K. parliament ratifies a Brexit deal, the two sides must then embark on equally complicated and domestically contentious negotiations about their future relationship. In some form, Brexit will afflict Europe for years and risks detracting attention from emerging threats.