Core-Core and Core-Gap relations in Asia

Courtesty of Tom, this brilliant piece by Henry Kissenger urging a close working relationshipw with China, a country (like the United States) which is in the functioning Core of the world economy.

From 'Threats in the Age of Obama'
From 'Threats in the Age of Obama'

From the article:

The Sino-American relationship needs to be taken to a new level. The current crisis can be overcome only by developing a sense of common purpose. Such issues as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, energy and the environment demand strengthened political ties between China and the United States.

This generation of leaders has the opportunity to shape trans-Pacific relations into a design for a common destiny, much as was done with trans-Atlantic relations in the immediate postwar period – except that the challenges now are more political and economic than military.

Such a vision must embrace as well such countries as Japan, Korea, India, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, whether as part of trans-Pacific structures or, in regional arrangements, dealing with special subjects as energy, proliferation and the environment.

The complexity of the emerging world requires from America a more historical approach than the insistence that every problem has a final solution expressible in programs with specific time limits not infrequently geared to our political process.

Interesting, while “core” countries like India, Japan, and Australia are mentioned in Kissenger’s piece, “Gap” countries North Korea, Russia, and Pakistan are excluded. (Indeed, this exclusion seems purposeful, as Kissenger simply said ‘Korea’ — rhetorically ignoring the Pyongyang regime out of existence.)

Related: Russia’s gap-style competition with other countries in Central Asia. Taiwan’s core-style cooperation with China against piracy.

Threats in the Age of Obama… are coming soon!

In celebration of Mike Tanji’s new edited volume, Threats in the Age of Obama (out very soon), I wanted to share the cover art:


My chapter in the volume deals with 5GW, which is also the theme of an upcoming Nimble edition on 5GW. In celebration both of the chapter and the books, I share two amazing 5GW-themed pieces from Joseph Fouche: “Is 5GW Necessary for a Functioning Republic?” and “Neglected Strategists.”

Russia, deep in the gap

I don’t agree with everything in this page by the Brookings Institution, but it makes the point that Russia was so disconnected from the world’s political and economic systems (that is, so deep in the gap), that it’s invasion of Georgia made sense.

Russia is a disconnected state that falls in the gaps of the world’s economy, similar to Venezuela, Iran, or Angola.

Reversing the Decline: An Agenda for U.S.-Russian Relations in 2009 – Brookings Institution
Building areas of cooperation not only can advance specific U.S. goals, it can reduce frictions on other issues. Further, the more there is to the bilateral relationship, the greater the interest it will hold for Russia, and the greater the leverage Washington will have with Moscow. The thin state of U.S.-Russian relations in August gave the Kremlin little reason for pause before answering the Georgian military incursion into South Ossetia with a large and disproportionate response. Washington should strive to build a relationship so that, should a similar crisis arise in the future, Russian concern about damaging relations with the United States would exercise a restraining influence.

Where I part company with Brookings is in the solution. Brookings seeks to build a liberal internationalist framework with Russia, in the same way that we created international institutions to help keep the peace in Europe. Unfortunately, this institutional or bureaucratic route to peace only works with countries that are already connected into the world economy, anyway.

You can add all the NATO-Russia, NATO-Iran, or NATO-Venezuela cooperation councils you want: without the harder structural and economic adjustments that help integrate markets, it’s all just words.