Ted Galen Carpenter
Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
Jun 26 , 2018
Commentary following the historic Singapore Summit between American President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un framed the meeting as a tremendous success for President Xi Jinping, with results that leave China’s path to hegemony in the Asia-Pacific clear. But another thesis has also reared its head: that the summit’s peaceful outcome has created new obstacles for the PRC.
May 09 , 2018
The initial steps that Kim and Moon have taken are encouraging, and they provide the foundation for a lasting peace on the Peninsula. But they are just initial steps, and many thorny obstacles remain.
Mar 27 , 2018
Recent actions that Congress and President Trump have taken threaten to shatter a crucial, delicate balance in U.S. policy towards Taiwan. Their conduct provokes China and is heightening already worrisome tensions between Washington and Beijing. U.S. officials need to reassess their course of action before it triggers a major crisis in East Asia.
Mar 05 , 2018
South Korea may discover the inherent, potentially tragic, drawback of relying on the security protection that a distant great power provides. Crucial decisions about the ROK’s future will be made in Washington, not Seoul.
Dec 13 , 2017
Worries proliferated during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign that the election of Donald Trump would signal drastic changes in Washington’s foreign policy. Those fears proved mostly unfounded. However, Trump’s public affinity for several authoritarian regimes, regardless of their flagrant human rights abuses should concern all.
Sep 26 , 2017
It is inaccurate to accuse Trump of breaking with decades of U.S. deterrence policy for his threat to totally destroy North Korea. He may have been more blunt than any of his predecessors since Eisenhower left office, but his warning of total destruction was merely an updated version of Ike’s massive retaliation doctrine—this time applied to North Korea instead of the Soviet Union.
Aug 02 , 2017
The worsening relations between the mainland and Taiwan place the United States in an awkward and potentially dangerous position. Washington should retain the right to sell weapons to Taipei so the Taiwanese can deter an attack from the mainland, or if deterrence fails, have a decent chance of repelling such an attack. Conversely, the United States must make it clear to the Taiwanese leadership that, fond as we might be of democratic Taiwan, America will not risk war with China to protect the island and preserve its de facto independence.
May 15 , 2017
The nature of Washington’s alliance network was always based on the assumption that the United States was firmly in charge of policy decisions. The risk inherent to America’s allies from that arrangement is now becoming increasingly evident.
Mar 24 , 2017
Washington’s hawkish posturing is not likely to induce Beijing to incur the risks of greatly increasing its pressure on the North Korean regime. The first step would be to meet Beijing’s longstanding call for Washington to engage Pyongyang in serious, bilateral negotiations.
- Trump’s Testy Telephone Call with Australia’s Prime Minister: A Portent of Washington’s Treatment of
Feb 15 , 2017
Donald Trump’s contentious telephone conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull caused worried reactions in the United States. Washington’s behavior will consist more of abrasive demands rather than requests and quiet diplomacy. Trump’s America First policy means giving highest priority to U.S. interests, not maintaining cordial alliance relations. That is a major change that Washington’s partners in East Asia and Europe will have to face.