BY MORE THAN PROVIDENCE: GRAND STRATEGY AND AMERICAN POWER IN THE ASIA PACIFIC SINCE 1783
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BY MORE THAN PROVIDENCE: GRAND STRATEGY AND AMERICAN POWER IN THE ASIA PACIFIC SINCE 1783
5 July @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pmFree
SPEAKERS: Dr Michael Green – Author of By More Than Providence and Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair at CSIS; Dr Alessio Patalano – Reader in War Studies, KCL; and Dr John Hemmings – Director, Asia Studies Centre, HJS
Such has been the impact of Michael Green’s new book that Defence Secretary General Mattis has made it recommended reading within the Office of the Secretary of Defence.
In his work, By More Than Providence, Dr Green – who is one of the US’ most well-known thinkers on the Asia-Pacific – has written a historical masterpiece, which reflects upon the policy choices confronted by various US strategists and discusses the choices they made and the reasons behind them.
Drawing upon archives, interviews, and his roles in the Department of Defence and White House, Dr Green looks at how the US has sought to balance its engagement between China, Korea and Japan at various times, and identifies reoccurring themes in US maritime policy and statecraft. Should the US engage forward or draw defensive lines? And how should the US balance its democratic principles with its desire for trade and economic engagement in the region. In a work that looks at the US application of naval power, alliance-creation, and war-fighting, By More Than Providence is a must-read for anyone dealing with the region.
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to an event with Dr Michael Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and author of By More Than Providence: Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific Since 1783 and Dr Alessio Patalano, who will explore and analyse the recurring themes in US maritime policy and statecraft.
Dr Michael Green – With more than 30 years of senior research and policy experience in the US government, within the White House, the DOD, the National Security Council, CSIS, and Georgetown University, Green is a master of the subject, both at the policy-level and at the academic level. His influence on the issue of the Indo-Pacific and on the creation of the Quadrilateral is well-known among policy circles. He is a non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, and on the advisory board of a number of foreign policy journals and think tanks. He has won awards for his bagpipe playing.
Dr Alessio Patalano is a Reader in War Studies at Kings College London, the Director of the Asian Security and Warfare Research Group, and a Research Associate at King’s China Institute. He is a long-time scholar on maritime power across northeast Asia in the 20th century. He has written widely on the development of Japanese maritime strategy, and on the impact of sea power on international politics in the 20th Century and in the post-Cold War period. He is a Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University Japan.
Dr John Hemmings is the Director of the Asia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society, and an adjunct fellow at the Japan Chair at CSIS. He has written on foreign and security policy in Northeast Asia for nearly 10 years, and had research positions at the Royal United Services Institute and the Asia Foundation. He recently finished his PhD (2017) at the LSE on US foreign policy in the Asia Pacific, namely in the area of alliance-construction. He lived in Japan for five years.
On the 5th of July the Henry Jackson Society had the pleasure of hosting Dr Michael J. Green, Senior Vice President for the Asia and Japan Chair and author of the book “By More than Providence: Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific since 1783”. He was accompanied by Dr Alessio Patalano, reader in War Studies at King’s College London. HJS’s Dr John Hemmings, Director of the Asia Studies Centre, chaired the discussion and together the three lead a thought provoking discussion about Dr Green’s book.
Dr Michael J. Green began by explaining why he chose the year 1783 to start his book. Initially he believed he would start from 1945, after World War II, or 1898, after the Spanish American War. But like much history, the roots of American Grand Strategy in the Asia-Pacific go back much further. Thus Dr Green started with 1783 as the beginning date because that is the year Thomas Jefferson had the earliest evidence of strategic thought about the Pacific.
Dr Green then went onto discuss what a Trump Foreign Policy means for the Asia Pacific. In terms of DIME – Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economy – President Trump has succeeded very well on the “M”, but the rest of the acronym is in disarray. This policy has surprisingly had a positive effect on the American public’s view of alliances as polls indicate that support for alliances in the region are increasing.
The main focus of Dr Green’s talk was the five tensions of American foreign policy in the Pacific. The first tension is that American strategy has always been focused on Europe. Such was evidenced in World War II when Roosevelt agreed with Churchill to attack Germany first even though 80 percent of the American public wanted to attack Japan first. The second tension is whether the centre of American strategy should be continental or maritime. Such was evidenced when the government had to choose between focussing on China or Japan in the 19th century.
The third tension is the question of where to draw the defensive line? In the 1950s Dean Mathis drew America’s defensive line between Korea and Japan which did not include South Korea. North Korea subsequently took advantage of this and invaded the South in hopes that the Americans would back down.
Dr Green finished his speech by addressing the final tensions: free trade versus protectionism and internationalism versus isolationism. Historically the free traders have been in office until now and since 1945 the internationalists have been in office until now. These five tensions are what all administrations have to address moving forward.
Dr Alessio Patalano followed up Dr Green by heaping praise on the book. He took specific interest in how Dr Green combined his diplomatic, intellectual, and strategic history together to form a comprehensive book. Dr Patalano then emphasized that the Asia Pacific is about alliance management, something that Dr Green stresses is a must in his book.
The Henry Jackson was delighted to host the two distinguished guests. Dr Green finished by referencing the great strategic thinker Sir Alfred Thayer Mahan stating the alliances in the region are a privilege and not a right, and only when America bolsters its alliances in the region can it maintain its hegemonic stability in the region.
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