Saturday, January 08, 2005

Francis Fukuyama Checks In on Asia

Francis Fukuyama is at it again, taking the long view in a Foreign Affairs article on Asian multilateral organizations. He writes about how Cold War-era organizations will no longer cut it in rapidly changing East Asia, and how the hub-and-spoke relationship between the U.S. and regional players will change toward a network model. He has some longer-term ideas for East Asia that may please both internationalists and neoconservatives:

The final and perhaps most urgent reason for the Bush administration to re-envision its approach to Asian diplomacy has as much to do with the United States' status in the world as with its standing in eastern Asia. The Iraq war has isolated Washington in unprecedented ways and convinced a large part of the world that the United States--not Islamist terrorism--is the biggest threat to global security.

To climb out of this hole, the White House needs to start thinking creatively about legitimacy and international organizations. Considering that it has already snubbed the UN and refused to participate in the International Criminal Court or the Kyoto Protocol, Washington must now consider alternatives to international cooperation that better suit its interests. The United States will be better served by endorsing a series of overlapping and occasionally competitive multilateral organizations than by putting all its eggs in a single basket such as the UN.

For whatever reason the New York Times is running it here.

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