October 7, 2008, Michael Green

(Click to enlarge) Dr. Michael Green discusses U.S.-Asia relations from the view of the U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate John McCain at the East-West Center in Washington on October 7, 2008.

Challenges and Opportunities in U.S.-Asia Relations: The View from the McCain Camp

(Washington DC) October 7 – Regardless of who wins the U.S. presidential elections on November 4, 2008, Asia will present the new American president with on-going and new challenges and opportunities. At a seminar at the East-West Center in Washington, Michael Green, adviser to the McCain campaign and former Senior Director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council (NSC), explained how a McCain administration will address the challenges and opportunities to the United States posed by an increasingly important Asia region.

Strengthening American alliances, expanding trade, denuclearizing North Korea, enhancing the centrality of democracy and human rights, and focusing on Asia in the context of a global U.S. role are the centerpieces of Senator John McCain's approach to this vital region. No wholesale shift on Asia policy is needed, Green noted, as U.S. influence in Asia has been positive for much of the past decade.

Regardless of who is elected in November, Green emphasized that Asia policy will likely take a backseat to the largest foreign policy issues in Washington: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Troubles in Pakistan and with Iran are also likely to subsume much of the next president’s attention on the foreign policy front.

Nevertheless, the McCain camp hopes to make incremental progress on issues such as negotiating high quality free trade agreements with Asian partners, getting the right balance of multilateral diplomacy and pressure on North Korea, establishing an Asian security environment around China that is stable and predictable, maintaining APEC as the premier forum for the U.S. president to meet with Asian counterparts while encouraging other multilateral efforts in Asia such as the Asian Regional Forum (ARF) and establishing a forum for democratic countries to advance their interests and norms.

This event continued the East-West Center in Washington seminar series focusing on U.S. and Asian views of the U.S. presidential elections.

Dr. Michael Green is a Senior Adviser and holds the Japan Chair at CSIS, and also is an associate professor of International relations at Georgetown University. He served as Special Assistant to the president for National Security affairs and Senior Director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) from January 2004 to December 2005.