Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Think Tankin' Japan Men

Dr. Michael Auslin is the American Enterprise Institute's Japan hand. He has a solid résumé for a young gun in Washington : a former Associate Professor of History at Yale University; a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader; a Marshall Memorial Fellow ; and a Fulbright and a Japan Foundation Scholar. He is AEI's Great White Hope, their candidate for the ultimate honor in Asian Policy Studies: the right to be called "the new Michael Green."

Which makes his latest thought piece a bit...problematic. If you were to ask "the Japanese" what they would want "the United States" to be using as the template for their relationships with the countries of East Asia, "Mongolia" would probably not be the first word to issue forth from Japanese lips.

As for Dr. Auslin's lament that realism as a guide for policy is insufficiently active and inspired -- I think that the last eight years of U.S. foreign policy, when realism has been given short shrift, have ended up being a bit too active and inspired, if you know what I mean.

On the other side of the globe -- and on quite a different level of thinking -- Tanaka Hitoshi has almost singlehandedly redeemed the AJISS Commentary newsletter with an essay outling a simple set of low-cost actions the next U.S. admnistration could undertake to improve its standing in East Asia and the world. Of course, the "Abductees Now; Abductees Forever" crowd will find Tanaka's prescriptions lacking in pointless vindictiveness and ineffective grandstanding -- but you just cannot please everybody, you know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"the ultimate honor in Asian Policy Studies: the right to be called "the new Michael Green."