Yesterday's enemies, today's allies

10:15 . 24/01/2023 Salı

Abdullah Muradoğlu

Abdullah Muradoğlu graduated from Marmara University’s public administration and political science program in Istanbul. He has been active in the press and media for more than 15 years. Since 1997, he has written myriad exclusive reports, research articles, interviews, history pages, and columns for Yeni Şafak. He was deemed worthy of an award by the Journalists Association of Turkey in the 2004 Turkey Journalism Achievement Awards. He has published four biographical books and held various positions in non-governmental organizations.

Abdullah Muradoğlu

In my previous column titled "The Enemy Abroad", I argued that with the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the American hawks were in search of a "new enemy". I also drew attention to the view that this new enemy could be "Rising Japan". Likewise, I briefly mentioned that Edward Luttwak defended this view in his book titled “Endangered American Dream: How to Stop the United States from Becoming a Third-World Country and How to Win the Geo-Economic Struggle for Industrial Supremacy” published in 1994.

In World War II, the U.S. and Japan were the parties that fought fiercely in the "Pacific region". In August 1945, Japan surrendered under severe conditions after the United States dropped atomic bombs on two Japanese cities. The Japanese army was purged, an anti-war Constitution was made on the terms of the United States. Under the new Constitution, Japan also renounced the "use of force" as a means of resolving international disputes. .Japan's defense was under the umbrella of the U.S. Currently, there are approximately 50,000 US troops at bases and facilities in Japan.

Japan, under the US umbrella, soon became one of the largest economies in the world. Even the Americans were startled by Japan's technological rise. Japan was also a member of the G7, founded in the 1970s and known as the "Rich Club". The G7, consisting of the U.S., Canada, England, Germany, Italy, France, and Japan, represented the opposing front of the "Eastern Bloc" led by the Soviet Union, namely the "Western World" during the Cold War period.

After the Soviet Union withdrew from the scene, the American hawks pointed to Japan, which was in the same club as the U.S., as the 'new enemy', but this yeast did not take hold. Japan was not a peer-to-peer power on the scale that the United States might present as the new enemy. As an island country with extremely limited defense power, Japan both left its ambitions for regional hegemony in the past, and there was a terrestrial "counter-power" that was an obstacle in the region. This counter-power was the People's Republic of China, which, after breaking its alliance with the Soviet Union, became close to the United States.

During the Cold War period, the Soviet Union was in conformity with the definition of the "worthy enemy" of the U.S., ideologically, economically, and militarily, as well as the breadth of its geographical area. After the Cold War, the new enemy for the American hawks had to be of the size and strength that the "American Military Industrial Complex" wanted. Since Japan was not suited for the role, the hawks turned quickly, pointing their index finger at China this time. Edward Luttwak joined this choir with his book "The Rise of China" published in 2012.

Having escaped being the new enemy of the U.S. in the 1990s, Japan is now welcomed as a "main ally of the U.S." in the context of a "military power balancing strategy" against China in the Asia-Pacific. New alliance agreements between Washington and Tokyo also include the implementation of recent changes to Japan's security and defense strategy documents. To sum up, Japan is changing its position since 1945.

The staunch anti-Chinese hawks in the United States view the agreements with Japan as forming an alliance to deter China's attempts at regional hegemony in the Indo-Pacific. Claiming that "Emerging China" is stronger than the Soviet Union, the hawks argue that the defense expenditures of the U.S. should be increased in a way that will defeat China. According to the hawks, who vehemently reject the view that China is a military power that the U.S. can easily deal with, the "Asia-Pacific" region now plays the role of "the Europe of the old Cold War".

On the other hand, hawks argue that the weapons given to Ukraine are melting the US stocks. The hawks, who argue that this will encourage China to invade Taiwan, want the aid to Ukraine to be stopped. According to the hawks, China is watching the depletion of stocks in Ukraine with pleasure and benefits from the prolongation of the war. Saying that the weapons supplied to Ukraine are the ones that Taiwan needs, the hawks want Taiwan's defense capacity to be developed as the first priority of the United States and to further increase the military power of the United States in the Indo-Pacific. The hawks are happy with the alliance with Japan, but they find it lacking.

#Cold War
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