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Where Does Northeast Asia Fit in the Bush Administration Foreign Policy?

The 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks shocked the world twice: first, their unimaginable method of attack and, second, the U.S. response in their wake. Doctrines, policies, and actions that emerged were quite different from the past for the United States. Many countries were unsettled, and world opinion became adversarial toward the United States. Changes that occurred during the first term of the Bush administration and their repercussions are puzzling and harmful to the twenty-first-century world. This paper reconstructs, first, the new grand strategy that was boldly suggested by the Bush administration and characterized as a “neoimperialist” general platform for U.S. foreign policy; it then considers the application of the strategy to Northeast Asia.1 Last, the paper seeks a new paradigm for collaboration that is essentially a way “back to the future.” The United States needs to step up to the challenge of being the sole superpower, which bestows a certain responsibility for the global public good. It does not mean simply exercising hard military power against rogue states; it also means shaping the international environment for a desirable future. The rest of the world also needs to know how to respond: cooperate, voice, or counterbalance.

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