What is International Security?
International security involves the measures taken by different independent nations and organizations established internationally to ensure safety and peaceful mutual survival. These organizations include the United Nations. The measures taken by these organizations and countries include conducting conventions and signing of treaties, actions that fall under diplomatic agreements and military action. International security leads nations to form alliances and these are mostly formed in close borders like continents. Some examples of close-border alliances formed to maintain international security include the Asian alliance. However, this alliance is also characterized with much competition between member nations when it comes to security and dominance issues (Cha, 2011).
The Asian continent is home to three of the world’s greatest powers – China, India and Japan. The other two powers, the United States and Russia, have great interaction with the Asian powers and lie geographically just beyond the Asian borders. Asia is enriched with demographic numbers, with it holding over fifty percent of the world’s total population. These numbers are steadily increasing and they are set to reach an all time high of over fifty percent by the next thirty years. When it comes to the economy, the Chinese and Indian nations have solely accounted for over half of the growth of the globe for the past ten years (Ellings & Hathaway, 2010).
In terms of military might and skills in the Asia-Pacific area, the four major players include the United States, North Korea, Russia and China. The four nations are nuclear weapons states. The countries in the Asian-Pacific area have had the largest defense budgets in the world with the United States leading in the purchase of arms with a budget of about a hundred and fifty billion dollars. This budget covers a period of ten years only. The defense programs of the region are also growing significantly. The Asian-Pacific region has the best combination of regional economic growth, diversification of culture and religion of its major population and the resource growth, creation and consumption within the next century. The combination therefore comes with dominance not only in politics but also in global defense (Emmot, 2010).
Considering the facts stated above, it would be correct to state that the Asian-Pacific security strategies and politics shall affect international security and these shall be influenced by global structures and events. Security analysts have the view of global security as careful power equilibrium between states that practice dominance in their domestic regions but are also obsessed with the removing of one another from exercising global dominance (McInnes & Rolls, 1994). In the not so far future, the United States and China are predicted to have a power struggle for global hegemony and the main area of control shall be Asia. This shall most likely lead to a dominance arm wrestling match between the two powers.
The scenario above is authenticated by the competition that has been observed over the years between the expanding organization NATO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This is because NATO has been cultivating links with four of the Asian stronghold countries – New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and Australia. On the other hand, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is led by Russia and China – two of the largest contenders for the global dominance positions. The region needs to cultivate a better power-balancing strategy that would help in the implementation of better regional relationships on a diplomatic level. This would help in greatly reducing the tension and therefore improve the global security especially in the Asia-Pacific region (Mastanduno, 2003).
The regional security in Asia is quite different from global security. These two levels of security however have an overlap since the regional level security is as important as the one on the global level in determination of the stability of the region in terms of security. However, the dynamics of the security of the Asia-Pacific region have stronger links to the global level of security. This has an opposite effect since it would be expected that the links of the global to regional security would be stronger than the regional to global ones. This means that the security of the globe would less likely be affected greatly by the security level of a region. However, in the case of the Asia-Pacific region, the security level of the region significantly affects the security of the globe (Tow, 2009).
Cha, V. D. (2011, January). Complex Patchworks: Alliances as Part of Asia’s Regional Architecture. Asia Policy, 11, 27-50.
Ellings, R. J., & Hathaway, R. M. (2010, January). The Need for Policy-Relevant Asia Studies. Asia Policy, 9, 1-43.
Emmot, B. (2010). Rivals: How the power struggle Between China, India and Japan will Shape Our Next Decade. Washington, D.C.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
McInnes, C., & Rolls, M.G. (1994). Post-Cold War security issues in the Asia-Pacific region. New York, NY: Routledge.
Mastanduno, M. (2003). International relations theory and the Asia-Pacific. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Tow, W. T. (2009). Security Politics in the Asia-Pacific: A Regional-Global Nexus? New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
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