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Taylor and Francis Online
Published in Pacific Review, 28(3) 2015: 367-90.
United States’ foreign policy towards the Asia-Pacific region is set to be fundamentally altered by two developments in Washington’s defence policy. The first is the so-called pivot towards the region in terms of overall defence strategy. The second, occurring at roughly the same time, is a move towards a far greater role for advanced conventional weaponry in the US defence posture. We analyse the interaction of these two trends and discusses a central tension between short and long-term challenges, suggesting that, contrary to current developments, either a freeze in the deployment of these weapons programmes or a return to a strategy underpinned by traditional notions of deterrence may well be necessary.