Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Role of Asia-Pacific Middle Powers

Yesterday Professor Kim Richard Nossal from Queens University Canada talked on "Asia-Pacific middle powers: cooperation or conflict" at the 
Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs
College of Asia & the Pacific, Australian National University in Canberra. 

Professor Nossal characterized Canada as a "middle power" and appeared frustrated that the current Canadian government had a lack of interest in the strategic situation in East Asia. He concluded we would have to look elsewhere for a middle power to have an impact on the Asia-Pacific (which appeared directed at Australia).

Dr Andrew Carr suggested we are moving to a neo-medieval or multiplex world order, without a few dominant superpowers. A a result smaller states do not have to pick one side or the other, as they did during the cold war. Interestingly Andrew suggests that military force is becoming less of an assurance of winning a war. He suggests that Asia's middle powers will matter, are strong and able to see to their own defense.

Professor High White suggested that military conflict is more likely while the new world order stabilizes. He pointed out that a lesser power doesn't have to win a war against a greater power, just threaten or cause enough damage for the latter to back off. Professor White asked what great powers would go to war over in Asia today. He suggested that Australia could assist by putting its independent views to the great powers, while building collations. He suggests that Australia could help the USA and China with order in Asia. More worryingly, he suggested that China is testing the USA's resolve in the South China Sea.

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