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.
Michael Jonathan Green is senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and chair in modern and contemporary Japanese politics and foreign policy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He served on the staff of the National Security Council (NSC) from 2001 through 2005, first as director for Asian affairs with responsibility for Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, and then as special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director for Asia, with responsibility for East Asia and South Asia. Before joining the NSC staff, he was a senior fellow for East Asian security at the Council on Foreign Relations, director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center and the Foreign Policy Institute and an assistant professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses, and senior adviser on Asia in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He also worked in Japan on the staff of a member of the National Diet.
Dr. Green is also a nonresident fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, and a distinguished scholar at the Asia Pacific Institute in Tokyo. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Strategy Group, the America Australia Leadership Dialogue, the advisory boards of Radio Free Asia, Center for a New American Security, and the editorial boards of the Washington Quarterly and the Journal of Unification Studies in Korea. He also serves as a trustee at The Asia Foundation, senior adviser at the Asia Group, and as an associate of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Dr. Green has authored numerous books and articles on East Asian security, including most recently, By More Than Providence: Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific Since 1783 . He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from SAIS and did additional graduate and postgraduate research at Tokyo University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his bachelor’s degree in history from Kenyon College with highest honors. He holds a black belt in Iaido (sword) and has won international prizes on the great highland bagpipe.
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