With what money?
“The pressures imposed by China’s rise must be understood in context of another structural shift: the maturation of the American grand strategy. As we have argued, the United States is transitioning from a grand strategy grounded in direct, tight and costly control of the balance of power in other regions to one in which the United States relies more heavily on regional partners to maintain the balance of power on its behalf. Certainly, this strategy will not unfold uniformly across all parts of the world. The United States historically has sought to exert tighter control over its Asian allies than those in Europe, working largely through bilateral rather than multilateral alliance frameworks, in part to deflect those allies’, and especially Japan’s, ambitions. The Asian “pivot” initiative, though progressing slowly, suggests the United States will seek to maintain a more robust diplomatic and security presence in the Asia-Pacific region for the time being.
Nonetheless, as Japan’s lurch toward military normalization and a more proactive regional security posture attests, the United States’ approach to East Asia is evolving in line with its maturing grand strategy. Simply put, military normalization and expansion in Japan would not happen without at least tacit approval from the United States.”
Prelude to a Japanese Revival is republished with permission of Stratfor.