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notions are true. However, they don't remove the serious security concerns that Japan or the Southeast Asian countries would feel should China and the PLA obtain hegemonyover the western Pacific and the commerce that runs through it. China, Korea, Russia,and others would likewise become alarmed should Japan, in its perceived self-defense, become a substantial missile and nuclear weapons stateand rebuild its navy to protect its overseas interests. The result wouldvery likely beseveral multisided and unstable security competitionsthat would leave decision makers inthe region with great uncertainty and little response time during crises. One would hope that the destruction caused by the twentieth century's wars and by the even greater destructive potential of modern nuclear weapons would provide a deterrent to aggressive behavior by today's statesmen. But while fear of the modern capacity for destruction may provide a deterrent to some leaders,for others, this same fear is leverage to be used against adversaries during a crisis.We may hope that we live in a more enlightened era, but that hope may be a consequence of the post-World War II Pax Americana era in Europe and East Asia that has lasted so long and that now seems taken for granted by many. U.S. policymakers will thus have to choose whether to shoulder the costs of maintaining an ever more expensive forward presence or to take the risk of allowing the Asia-Pacific region to construct its own self-enforcing stability, with the knowledge that if that effort should fail,the consequences to the United States and the rest of the world would be ruinous.
External NPT ImpactKills the NPTSantoro and Warden, 15—senior fellow at the Pacific Forum CSIS AND usedto debate David and John, “Assuring Japan and South Korea in the Second Nuclear Age”, The Washington Quarterly 38:1 - Yes Soko prolifU.S. assurance of allies exists along a spectrum, and Washington must carefully balance its desire to reduce allied anxiety against other interests. There are some allied interests that the United States—rightly—does not deem worthy of risking war. But if the gap betweenthe United States and its allies becomes too large, allies will lose faith in U.S. assurance, which could have disruptive consequences. In the worst case scenario for the United States, Japan or South Korea mightchoose to bandwagon with U.S. competitors in the region. Another slightly better, but still deeply troublesome, possibility is for Tokyo and Seoul to develop nuclear arsenals of their own, which wouldlikely evisceratethe remaining credibility of theNuclearNonproliferation Treaty (NPT). In either case, a loss of confidence in the United States as a reliable security guarantor in Northeast Asia would send reverberations across the entire U.S. alliance system.