Yokosuka, August 2016
As a visiting scholar at the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Command and Staff College, I visited a Japanese destroyer Izumo in August 2016 to receive briefings on Japan's latest naval war capabilities.
Book Project Based on My Dissertation “Exploitative Friendships: Manipulating Asymmetric Alliances”
This project aims to contribute to current U.S. foreign policy debates over whether America should maintain its security commitments to its allies around the world. The project offers a new paradigm for understanding weak states’ alliance behavior in the context of asymmetric international security alliances.
It asks: When weak states ally with stronger states, what explains differences in the junior party’s approach to the alliance relationship? Why do some junior allies show their strong willingness to coordinate their military policy with their senior partner, whereas others distance themselves from their partner? Why do some allies deliberately grow more dependent on their senior partner for security, while others pursue their own nuclear or conventional deterrent to reduce their dependence?
I also study the behavior of nuclear latent states – i.e. states that have acquired advanced nuclear technologies but stopped short of developing nuclear weapons, such as Iran and perhaps a future Saudi Arabia. Specifically, I examine whether the achievement of such advanced nuclear capabilities emboldens state behavior in crisis bargaining, because states may use a threat to develop nuclear bombs as a bargaining leverage. Today, nearly half of the current developing countries are within the reach of advanced nuclear technologies. So how achieving nuclear latency might affect their behavior should be a serious concern.
INTERNATIONAL POLITICS IN EAST ASIA
I also have a work-in-progress paper on Japanese security policy including its nuclear strategy. Japan does not intend to develop indigenous nuclear weapons anytime soon, but it has a strategy to use its latent nuclear capabilities (advanced civil nuclear technologies) for national security purposes.
Over the years, I have interviewed senior Japanese policymakers and top government officials to discuss recent salami-slicing changes in Japanese security legislations. Japan as an antimilitarist country is now in the rearview mirror. More changes are on the horizon.