US security strategy in Asia and the prospects for an Asian regional security regime
The US–Japan alliance serves as the cornerstone of US security strategy in East Asia. The Bush administration remains supportive of efforts by Japan to become a more “normal” nation and is expected, during its second term, to continue to encourage Tokyo to play a more active role in regional security (while refraining from open pressure or from meddling in the debate over constitutional revision). The Pentagon's ongoing Global Force Review will likely result in some modest adjustments in the US military footprint in Japan, but with no lessening of Washington's overall commitment or ability to respond to regional crises. Meanwhile, Washington will continue to support institutionalized multilateral mechanisms (including sub-regional efforts that do not include the US) as useful means to promote regional security and coordinate counter-terrorism efforts, while relying on ad hoc coalitions (or unilateral actions if necessary) to address specific threats to its own security or to the security of its allies.