This book examines the strategic balance in Asia and the increasing levels of trade and interdependence in the region, assessing the implications for the United States.
Asian states have, for now, concluded that U.S. hegemony is robust and can provide the public goods that no other Asian country is yet willing to provide. Asian states have high expectations of peace in the future, and are committed to the use of political means to resolve disagreements.
China has quietly reoriented its foreign policy to emerge as a new advocate of soft power. It's all part of an international charm offensive that could threaten U.S. interests abroad, but could also – if properly exploited by other nations – transform the Asian giant into a more responsible member of the world community.
In a short period of time, China has become a major donor and investor in Africa, and it has begun to play a major role in domestic African politics. In fact, China has so quickly amassed power in Africa that it now rivals the United States, France, and international financial institutions for influence - and potentially damages Africa's economic and political renaissance.
In four key regions—East Asia, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and Latin America—a combination of factors has created a new, fluid alliance that could potentially oppose the U.S. and other democracies. In all four regions, countries that have flirted with democracy since 1989 have begun to turn their backs on it. And, in all four regions, authoritarian regimes have a new weapon: oil.
Though Thailand has tried to crack down on child sex and other crimes by foreigners, even when the Thai police do make an arrest, they often cannot hold onto their man. In 2003 alone, Thai authorities fired 18 cops for their complicity in trafficking, and police often take cuts from brothels.
By the end of 2005, Timor seemed relatively stable, and appeared to have developed a vibrant civil society and a nascent democracy. Today the entire nation has collapsed into an orgy of communal violence. The reason is that Timor could never broaden its economic growth, very much created by the UN. The idea of Timor as a success story has vanished, providing a lesson for future UN operations.
An African child dies of malaria nearly every 30 seconds, and the disease is estimated to cost Africa as much as $12 billion in lost gross domestic product each year. The cost of providing the necessary drugs for the world's malaria sufferers is negligible by the standards of the rich world, yet leadership has been noticeably absent from Washington.