By More Than Providence: Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific Since 1783

By More Than Providence: Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific Since 1783

by Michael Green


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Soon after the American Revolution, certain of the founders began to recognize the strategic significance of Asia and the Pacific and the vast material and cultural resources at stake there. Over the coming generations, the United States continued to ask how best to expand trade with the region and whether to partner with China, at the center of the continent, or Japan, looking toward the Pacific. Where should the United States draw its defensive line, and how should it export democratic principles? In a history that spans the eighteenth century to the present, Michael J. Green follows the development of U.S. strategic thinking toward East Asia, identifying recurring themes in American statecraft that reflect the nation's political philosophy and material realities.

Drawing on archives, interviews, and his own experience in the Pentagon and White House, Green finds one overarching concern driving U.S. policy toward East Asia: a fear that a rival power might use the Pacific to isolate and threaten the United States and prevent the ocean from becoming a conduit for the westward free flow of trade, values, and forward defense. By More Than Providence works through these problems from the perspective of history's major strategists and statesmen, from Thomas Jefferson to Alfred Thayer Mahan and Henry Kissinger. It records the fate of their ideas as they collided with the realities of the Far East and adds clarity to America's stakes in the region, especially when compared with those of Europe and the Middle East.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231180436
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 01/15/2019
Series: A Nancy Bernkopf Tucker and Warren I. Cohen Book on American-East Asian Relations
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 760
Sales rank: 787,795
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Michael J. Green is senior vice president for Asia and Japan chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and director of Asian studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He served on the staff of the National Security Council from 2001 through 2005.

Table of Contents

Note on Korean, Chinese, and Japanese Terms
I. The Rise of the United States
1. "A Theatre for the Exercise of the Most Ambitious Intellect": Seeds of Strategy, 1784–1860
2. "How Sublime the Pacific Part Assigned to Us": Precursors to Expansion, 1861–1898
3. "I Wish to See the United States the Dominant Power on the Shores of the Pacific": Grand Strategy in the Era of Theodore Roosevelt
II. The Rise of Japan
4. "Leave the Door Open, Rehabilitate China, and Satisfy Japan": Defining the Open Door, 1909–1927
5. "Between Non-resistance and Coercion": The Open Door Closes, 1928–1941
6. "We Have Got to Dominate the Pacific": Grand Strategy and the War Against Japan
III. The Rise of the Soviets
7. "The Overall Effect Is to Enlarge Our Strategic Frontier": Defining Containment in the Pacific, 1945–1960
8. "Anyone Who Isn't Confused Really Doesn't Understand the Situation": Asia Strategy and Escalation in Vietnam, 1961–1968
9. "An Even Balance": Nixon and Kissinger's Redefinition of Containment in Asia, 1969–1975
10. "The President Cannot Make Any Weak Moves": Jimmy Carter and the Return of the China Card, 1977–1980
11. "To Contain and Over Time Reverse": Ronald Reagan, 1980–1989
IV. The Rise of China
12. "The Key to Our Security and Our Prosperity Lies in the Vitality of Those Relationships": George H. W. Bush and the Unipolar Moment, 1989–1992
13. "Engage and Balance": Bill Clinton and the Unexpected Return of Great-Power Politics
14. "A Balance of Power That Favors Freedom": Strategic Surprise and the Asia Policy of George W. Bush
15. "The Pivot": Barack Obama and the Struggle to Rebalance Asia
Conclusion: The Historical Case for Asia Strategy

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