February 1, 2007  

New strategic partners

The Bush administration’s 2004 Global Posture Review was primarily about reshaping America’s global military footprint for easier deployment in the changed geopolitical environment.

Building new alliances with strategically important countries dovetailed with Washington’s rethink of its global force disposition and gave Japan the chance to take on greater military responsibilities in exchange for a drawdown of U.S. troops. Christopher Griffin analyzes the resulting changes in the U.S.-Japanese alliance against a background in which North Korean antics emphasize the necessity for missile defense collaboration.

Washington’s new alliance with India, meanwhile, acknowledges New Delhi as a nuclear power, but just as importantly marks U.S. recognition of India’s rising economic and military might. Stephen Blank, a professor at the Army War College, concludes the Indo-American deal is strategic in the highest sense in that it transforms the playing field regionally and globally. The alliance has generated a buzz as American industry eyes the $100 billion India says it will spend on military modernization.

But America’s most important strategic alliances remain those partnerships with its traditional European friends. Vago Muradian examines the challenges of maintaining those trans-Atlantic trade ties as Europe shrinks its defense industrial base.