Asia, America, and the Transformation of Geopolitics

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Asia, America, and the Transformation of Geopolitics
By William H. Overholt
Cambridge University Press, 2007
366 pp. $24.99
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Overholt, of the RAND Corporation, has built his analysis of the relations between the U.S. government and Asian governments around the proposition that officials are slow to change their foreign policy thinking and hence are prone to operate with outdated assumptions. Thus, long after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington continued to act as though the Cold War had not ended. People anxious to get recognition in official circles found it useful to employ the vocabulary and concepts of those who had been successful in the post-World War II debates. Bureaucratic arrangements that had served well during the Cold War stayed in place, and indeed expanded, as is the nature of bureaucratic institutions. Even now, Overholt sees a United States that continues to hold on to Cold War assumptions in its relations with China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.