The United States has long extended its “nuclear umbrella” to protect its allies in East Asia, including Japan, South Korea and Australia. In doing so, Washington has sought both to deter potential aggressors and to provide reassurance to allies, in part to keep them from developing nuclear arms of their own. The U.S. extended deterrent posture has over the past 20 years adjusted from the Cold War to address new challenges to the region’s security—specifically a nuclear-armed North Korea.
On February 24, the Arms Control Initiative and the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at Brookings hosted a discussion of the history of and contemporary challenges facing the U.S. extended deterrence posture in East Asia. Senior Fellow Richard Bush, director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, discussed his new Arms Control Initiative series paper, “The U.S. Policy of Extended Deterrence in East Asia: History, Current Views and Implications.” Georgetown University Professor Victor Cha addressed specific problems that U.S. deterrence policy must address today in the region.
Brookings Senior Fellow Steven Pifer, director of the Arms Control Initiative, moderated the discussion. After the program, the panelists took audience questions.