The Asian security landscape is unsettled. The region is quickly becoming multipolar. Hedging strategies — even by U.S. allies — are now commonplace. Intra-regional trust remains low amid myriad territorial and strategic disputes. And Asia’s regional institutions remain unwilling to take on the tasks of security governance because member states will not allow it. These trends signal a region in flux, raising doubts about the sustainability of the prevailing order based on U.S. liberal hegemony. But on what basis will the next “wave” of order proceed? Absent U.S. hegemony, it remains less than obvious what, if any, guiding principle or concept of order will permit states of different resource endowments, positions (geographically and functionally), and ambitions to predictably and peaceably co-exist in the future.
Van Jackson is a senior editor at War on the Rocks. He is an associate professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) and an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). The views expressed are his own. Please check out his podcast, Pacific Pundit.
Image: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Shane Duhe