James MattisはDonald Trumpに関してアジアの同盟国に安心させようとしている。 Shangri-La Dialogueで彼は誰からもうらやまれない立場に置かれた。

There was something almost heartbreaking about the questions posed by the audience to the defence secretary, a lean man with a craggy face, the cropped silver hair of a Marine, and a laconic speaking-style. An Australian delegate noted Mr Trump’s dismissive comments about NATO, and his withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a big trade pact, and from the Paris climate accord. Should the region worry that it is seeing the “destruction of the rules-based order”, the Australian asked. A member of the Japanese parliament wondered aloud whether America still shares “common values” with its allies, or just security interests. 


This being a blog rather than a newspaper article, readers may indulge the author for quoting Mr Mattis’s replies at some length. The defence secretary is not a dissident within the Trump administration. He is a loyal servant of a democratically elected president. But in his defence of the post-war order, he was trying to tell his Asian audience that some principles and instincts are so deeply rooted in the American spirit that they can survive the swings and counter-swings of electoral politics. 

at some length:相当詳しく

This, then, is my transcript of Mr Mattis’s unscripted remarks, replying to those questions about the rules-based order. Hear, here, an old-fashioned public servant wrestling with the duty of serving a very different sort of president, but one who won an election promising an “America First” foreign policy. 

Mr Mattis said: “Obviously, we have a new President in Washington, DC, we’re all aware of that, and there’s going to be fresh approaches taken.” But look at Mr Trump’s first foreign trip to the Middle East, he went on, and the president’s call on Arab allies and international organisations to work together on countering terrorism and bringing stability to the Middle East. Later in his reply, he argued that Mr Trump had visited Brussels to demonstrate that he stands by NATO allies “100%”. He further noted that Mr Trump had sent him to Tokyo and to Seoul on his first foreign trip as defence secretary, to make clear America’s commitment to its allies in Asia. 

The middle passage of his reply was the interesting part. He said: “I think we have been engaging the world for a long time. Historically, the Americans have been reluctant to see themselves in that role. We were quite happy keeping between our two oceans, we were happy to stay there, but the 20th century took us out of that. At the same time we recognised, especially the Greatest Generation we called them, coming home from world war two, what a crummy world if we all retreat inside our own borders. How many people deprived of good lives during the Depression, how many tens of millions of people killed in world war two? Like it or not, we are part of the world. That carries through, for all of the frustrations that are felt in America right now with the sense that at times we have carried an inordinate burden. And that is still very deeply rooted in the American psyche, that engagement with the world. To quote a British observer of us from some years ago: bear with us, once we have exhausted all possible alternatives, we Americans will do the right thing.” 

at times:ときには

For all those anxious to see America remain a guarantor of democratic values in Asia, this is a hard moment. For it is the democratic process itself that forces men such as Mr Mattis to twist himself in knots, and to try to convince allies that America stands by certain unvarying principles, even though his commander-in-chief won office by vowing to tear down the status quo. You see, China can murmur to Asian governments now: democracies are unstable and inconstant. 

twist himself in knots:混乱に陥る

Here at the Shangri-La Dialogue, delegates do not hide their relief that America has a principled, clever man as defence secretary. But the Pentagon cannot and should not be the final arbiter of how America balances values and interests in national security and foreign policy. That, ultimately, is the job of the president. And here among the Asian military and security establishment, that thought is not reassuring at all. 




swingby_blog at 21:23コメント(0) 


James MattisはDonald Trumpに関してアジアの同盟国に安心させようとしている。 Shangri-La Dialogueで彼は誰からもうらやまれない立場に置かれた。

James Mattis tries to reassure Asian allies about Donald Trump
At the Shangri-La Dialogue, the defence secretary was placed in an unenviable position
Democracy in America

James MattisはDonald Trumpに関してアジアの同盟国に安心させようとしている。
Shangri-La Dialogueで彼は誰からもうらやまれない立場に置かれた。

Shangri-La Dialogue:IISS(The International Institute for Strategic Studies)(英国国際戦略研究所) が主催するIISSアジア安全保障会議(シャングリラ会合)は、地域安全保障枠組の設立を目的として設置され、毎年シンガポールにおいて、アジア太平洋地域の国防大臣などが多数参加する国際会議であり、地域の課題や防衛協力などが話し合われている。

DONALD TRUMP’S America still stands by allies in Asia and Europe, and “I can give you absolute optimism about this issue,” the Secretary of Defence, James Mattis, told an audience of generals, diplomats and security types at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 3rd. His words were stirring, and just what the gathering longed to hear. Perhaps no member of the Trump administration has as much worldwide credibility as Mr Mattis, a former four-star Marine general with no political background, revered by his peers as a ferocious yet learned “warrior monk”. But deep down the room did not believe him. 

revered :深く尊敬する
deep down:心の底では

Mr Mattis is a distinguished man in an unenviable position. His mission here in Singapore is to reassure allies and warn foes that America remains the ultimate guarantor of the rules-based international order that has brought years of nearly uninterrupted peace and prosperity to Asia. But if he does that job too well and insists that America’s global role is unchanged, who will think that he really speaks for President Donald Trump? 

guarantor :保証人

For all its high-tech staging (to ask a question, members of the audience must scan their ID badges on their microphone) the Shangri-La Dialogue has a distinctly pre-modern feel. It could be a conference in 19th-century Vienna, or perhaps the set of a James Bond film from the Connery era. Vietnamese generals stride past Australian admirals in tropical whites; a giant of a Fijian officer waits near a waif-like Saudi delegate, his gold-edged robe denoting princely rank. The tectonic energies unleashed by a rising China, a wavering West and an anxious Asia rumble beneath every meeting. 


American defence secretaries are big news at the Shangri-La. Lexington is travelling with Mr Mattis this week on his official military plane, and even an inward-looking America puts on quite the show. The head of the Pentagon travels the world aboard a doomsday plane, a windowless, radiation-shielded military version of a Boeing 747, filled with the secure communications kit to run a nuclear war from aloft. 

puts on quite the show:ショーを上演する

As soon as the giant plane landed in Singapore and we zipped into the city in a fast motorcade, Mr Mattis was straight into bilateral meetings with prime ministers and ministers of defence, all broadly wanting to ask the same two questions. One, how does Trump’s America see its national security interests in Asia—a question which in June 2017 essentially involves ranking two issues: the urgent threat of North Korea developing a nuclear missile capable of hitting America versus the long-term challenge of a China seemingly intent on becoming a regional hegemon, including by building air bases on contested reefs in the South China Sea? Two, when weighing its interests and values in foreign policy, how much weight does Trump’s America attach to values? 


Mr Mattis used his formal speech to offer a carefully crafted answer to the first question. The short version of his reply is that America takes North Korea very seriously indeed and wants China to do more to rein in the regime there, but will not trade help in that sphere for concessions in the South China Sea that mock international law and the principle that all countries have equal rights regardless of size. The former general noted sharply that the North Korea regime has a “long record of murder of diplomats, of kidnapping, killing of sailors and criminal activity”. 

mock :嘲る

Its attempts to develop nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles are a “clear and present danger,” Mr Mattis added. The Trump administration believes that China will come to see North Korea as a “liability not an asset,” and hopes to see China’s words opposing a nuclear North Korea matched by actions. 


At the same time, Mr Mattis did not soft-pedal his views on Chinese behaviour in the South China Sea. Accusing China of showing “contempt” for the interests of its neighbours, the defence secretary growled that America opposes “countries militarising artificial islands and enforcing excessive maritime claims unsupported by international law. We cannot and will not accept unilateral, coercive changes to the status quo.” 


Speak to American officials, and they insist that it is a false choice to suppose that Chinese co-operation over North Korea can only be bought with concessions in the South China Sea. To simplify, they suggest that this binary choice must be broadened to take in a wide range of other security interests, such as terrorism or global nuclear non-proliferation. They hint that American resolve in the South China Sea, perhaps involving increased freedom of navigation passages by warships and over-flights by airplanes, may demonstrate that as North Korea’s nuclear programme grows more dangerous, America’s appetite for risk will grow in lockstep. 


In his public speech on June 3rd, Mr Mattis probably did as good a job as he could of answering that first question about interests. He was limited in what he could do when it came to the second query, about values. 




swingby_blog at 20:38コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


サウジアラビアがカタールと断絶する この王国はイランやイエメンと同様にこの隣国との緊張を高めている。

Saudi Arabia cuts off Qatar
The kingdom is raising tensions with its immediate neighbours as well as with Iran and Yemen
Jun 5th 2017


SAUDI ARABIA and its satellites have repeatedly put their neighbour Qatar on notice, but never as severely as this. In 2014, they temporarily recalled their ambassadors from the tiny, rich Gulf statelet: but on June 5th, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain announced they were not only severing diplomatic relations with Qatar, but their air, sea and land links too—meaning that Qatar’s only land border is to be closed. Panic buying is already reported in Qatari shops. Qataris must leave Saudi Arabia within days, and will henceforth be denied entry. For good measure the ambitious young Saudi defence minister and deputy crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, expelled Qatar’s 1,000-strong force from the coalition he leads against rebels in Yemen. 

For good measure:更にその上

Qatar is the world’s second-largest exporter of natural gas and will host the football World Cup in 2022, and it has sought to exert influence across the region. Saudi news outlets say the measures are reprisals for Qatar’s support for terrorism, including al-Qaeda. That said, other Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, have also had to fend off claims that they—or their citizens—have helped to fund jihadists. 

reprisals :報復行為

There are broader and older grievances at play, rooted in geopolitics and the place of Islam in politics. For decades, Saudi and Emirati officials have blamed Qatar, which protrudes like a sore thumb from the western Gulf, for breaking ranks with the Saudi-dominated six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). 

at play:進行中の
sore thumb:ひどく目立つ
breaking rank:結束を乱す

Qatar is one of three GCC states that still maintains cordial relations with Iran (Kuwait and Oman are the other two). Its emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, was quoted expressing reservations about Saudi Arabia’s increasingly belligerent posture against Iran. Qatar also sponsors and provides sanctuary to the Muslim Brotherhood, particularly irking the UAE, which deems the Brotherhood a terrorist group. And it also funds and hosts Al Jazeera, a broadcaster that offers a platform to Arab dissidents everywhere but in Qatar, and which fanned the flames of revolution and armed revolt during the Arab Spring. 


For all their ambition, the Al Thanis have little appetite for confrontation. Qatar’s foreign ministry has meekly expressed “deep regret” at the severing of ties. In recent years Qatar has scaled back its public support for the Brotherhood. As tensions mounted in recent days it ejected senior members of the Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood, Hamas, and repatriated a dissident wanted in Saudi Arabia. It has disclaimed a headline criticising Saudi Arabia’s stance on Iran, and described the quote attributed to the emir as “fake news”. 


But the isolation is unlikely to end soon. Saudi Arabia has yet to define its demands for restoring ties, and Qatar can expect little solace from other Arab states. Most of them are likely to welcome Qatar’s comeuppance. Egypt’s president and his fellow generals still fume at Al Jazeera for opposing their overthrow of the Brotherhood’s elected president in 2013; so Egypt quickly joined Saudi Arabia in cutting its links with Qatar. Yemen’s Saudi-supported government, and the UAE-backed authority in eastern Libya also declared they are following suit. 


Historically, Qatar looked overseas for protection against Saudi bullying. The British kept the Saudis from extending their rule to its coastal protectorates in the 1920s. More recently, Qatar has reached out to an unlikely assembly of Israel, Iran, Turkey and America for support. Of late, though, its alliances have seemed to fray. Israel has deepened its security relationship with Qatar’s rivals, the UAE, and to a lesser extent, Saudi Arabia. 

Of late:最近は
to a lesser extent:それ程ではないが

American support may also be less certain. Qatar hosts the largest American base in the Middle East, al-Udeid. Located on the road to the Saudi border, Qataris have long viewed it as their best defence against invasion by land. But many Qataris now fear that America under Donald Trump might be less a regional referee than a Saudi cheerleader. Last month Mr Trump chose Riyadh, the Saudi capital, as the first foreign destination of his presidency, and in return was greeted with Saudi pomp and arms contracts. His foreign policy advisers are reckoned to maintain close ties with Muhammad bin Zayed, the UAE’s de facto ruler, who has been urging America to move its forces there from Qatar for years. 

less certain:それほど確かではない
de facto :事実上の

Qatar could look to Turkey, which shares its favourable view of the Muslim Brotherhood and opened a base in the sheikhdom last year. Given his troubles at home, though, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, might shy from a confrontation with the Al Sauds. That leaves Iran. The two countries jointly manage South Pars, the world’s largest gasfield. In addition, says a cleric close to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran has a defence pact with Qatar which commits it to the latter’s defence in the event of a Saudi attack. Already, Iranian officials have offered to send food shipments across the Gulf. Saudi Arabia’s impetuous actions risk further driving Qatar into the arms of Iran, and increasing the danger of armed confrontation with Shia state. In response to nervousness about both outcomes, oil and gas prices are rising. 




swingby_blog at 23:07コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


Otto Warmbierの許しがたい死に方 北朝鮮へのアメリカ市民の旅行禁止がもうじき起こりそうだ。

The outrageous death of Otto Warmbier
A travel ban for American citizens to North Korea may be in the offing
Jun 20th 2017

Otto Warmbierの許しがたい死に方

“HOW safe is it? Extremely safe!” So read the guidance for North Korea on the website of Young Pioneer Tours when Otto Warmbier, a 21-year-old American student, signed up for a five-day trip to North Korea in December 2015. The travel company based in China is one of a handful that offer tightly marshalled circuits around mostly beautified bits of the impoverished gangster state. “Despite what you may hear,” it continued, “North Korea is probably one of the safest places on Earth to visit.”

marshalled :集める

Mr Warmbier was arrested the following month at the airport in Pyongyang, as he was leaving, and accused of attempting to steal a propaganda placard. This counts as an “anti-state crime” in North Korea, since without political slogans to inspire them, workers might slack off. He was tried in March 2016, and sentenced to 15 years’ hard labour. “I have been very impressed by the Korean government’s humanitarian treatment of severe criminals like myself,” he said during a televised confession.


The North Korean authorities released him “on compassionate grounds” on June 13th, in a vegetative state. He was flown home to Ohio, where he died six days later. American doctors who treated him after his arrival said he was suffering from a catastrophic brain injury, probably sustained shortly after his trial. Their analysis was based on two MRI scans provided by the North Koreans, who reportedly said that Mr Warmbier had been in a coma for over a year.

vegetative :植物状態

All other aspects of his 17-month-long detention at the hands of the regime are murky. The placard he was accused of removing was in a staff-only corridor at the Yanggakdo hotel in Pyongyang, where he had been staying (North Korea released grainy footage of what it said was Mr Warmbier removing it and placing it on the floor). In a tearful statement of apparent confession, Mr Warmbier said he had tried to take it as a “trophy” for an American church.


The North Korean government would not let Swedish diplomats acting on behalf of America, which does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea, visit Mr Warmbier after his trial. Yet it was quiet diplomatic shuttling that appears to have helped secure Mr Warmbier’s eventual release, culminating in a meeting in New York on June 6th between Joseph Yun, America’s special representative for North Korea, and North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, Pak Kil Yon. In that meeting Mr Yun learned of Mr Warmbier’s failing health. Within a week he flew to Pyongyang with a medical team.


According to Mr Warmbier’s parents, the North Koreans told their American counterparts that his coma was induced by a sleeping pill that he took after contracting botulism, a food-borne illness. American doctors treating Mr Warmbier say they found no evidence of the disease in his body; nor, as some had suspected, of beatings or other physical abuse. They suggest that a heart attack may have cut his supply of oxygen. It is one of a multitude of puzzling questions about the case. Why did North Korea admit that Mr Warmbier had been in a comatose state for over a year but lie about its cause? And why did it originally keep quiet about the coma and treat him for a year before coming clean?


On past precedent, it seems likely that the harm done to Mr Warmbier was unintended. Although 18 American citizens have been detained by North Korea over the past two decades (and ten since Kim Jong Un, its leader, took power five-and-a-half years ago), they have rarely been hurt. Foreign travellers are typically held either on espionage charges or for “hostile acts” against the North Korean state—bilingual Bibles left in bathrooms, for example. Yet these prisoners are mainly kept as bargaining chips in the hope of negotiations. Matthew Todd Miller, who sought political asylum in North Korea but was sentenced to six years of hard labour, said in an interview after his release six months later that he was permitted to keep his iPhone to listen to music, among other privileges. Kenneth Bae, who was charged with proselytising, was allowed to read his Bible in captivity. (Both men were released in late 2014.)


Mr Warmbier’s case will fuel growing calls in America for a ban on travel to North Korea, for which a bill was proposed in May by two congressmen. About 1,000 Americans, or roughly one-fifth of all tourists to North Korea, visit the country every year (although America’s government strongly advises against it). Young Pioneer Tours, which also organises travel to former Soviet gulags, Chernobyl and Iran (or, “destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from”, as it brags), says it will no longer take Americans to North Korea.


Uri Tours and Koryo Tours, two other travel companies also based out of China that organise tours to North Korea, say they are reviewing their position on the matter. Backers of a ban say that such tours do “nothing but provide funds to a tyrannical regime”. Yet revenue from tourism, estimated at $30m-40m a year, is only a small sliver of even the North’s backward economy. Those who support interaction say that an embargo simply helps the North Korean government to shut out the outside world.


Mr Warmbier’s sad fate will be taken as yet another instance of American vulnerability to Mr Kim’s regime, says Scott Snyder of the Council on Foreign Relations, an American think-tank. Concern about the North’s zeal to develop a missile that can hit continental America has mounted in recent months. Coming so soon after the news of his death, security talks between America and China (one of the North’s few backers) on June 21st in Washington, DC, will be charged. South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, called for the swift return of the three Americans and six South Koreans still detained there. Even if travel restrictions are put in place, talks like those conducted by Mr Yun may still continue, says Mr Snyder—indeed, cooler heads will argue that they are more necessary than ever.




swingby_blog at 19:52コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



A U.S. Warplane Shot Down a Syrian Jet. Here's Why That's a Big Deal
Jared Malsin
Jun 19, 2017


An American fighter jet shot down a Syrian government bomber in the eastern part of the country on Sunday, in one of the clearest signs yet of an open conflict between the United States and the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The downing of the Syrian plane raises the possibility of future fighting between pro-Assad forces and U.S. forces that are deployed in Syria in support of Syrian militias battling the Islamic State. During the first six years of the Syrian crisis, the United States supported rebel groups fighting Assad, but avoided direct conflict with his forces. That changed on April 6 when U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base in response to a chemical attack that killed more than 70 people including civilians. Now, it has engaged in air-to-air combat in Syria for the very first time.

Russia, whose armed forces offer critical support to the Assad government, threatened retaliation. In a statement, the Russian defense ministry said it would regard any U.S. coalition aircraft detected west of the Euphrates river in Syria as legitimate targets. The ministry called the downing of the Syrian jet "a cynical violation of Syria’s sovereignty." Moscow also shut down the "deconfliction" channel designed to prevent midair contact between Russian and American warplanes in the skies over Syria. 

cynical :けちのついた・冷笑的な
midair :上空

As a result, the shooting down of the jet suggests a redrawing of the contours of the Syrian conflict. As the United States deepens its involvement in the ground war against ISIS in eastern Syria, it finds itself in direct conflict with the government in Damascus, and possibly with Moscow. The incident raises the risk of a wider, regional conflagration as the U.S. Assad, Russia, and Iran maneuver for control and influence in territory reclaimed from ISIS in eastern Syria.


The U.S. military said that it shot the Syrian plane down in order to protect American-backed Syrian militia forces from an attack by pro-regime troops. It military has now struck pro-regime forces at least four times, including the cruise missile strike on Shayrat airbase in Syria’s Homs province in April. The shooting down of a jet marks an escalation, however, as conflict spirals among rival powers for control of eastern Syria. In its campaign to dislodge ISIS, United States supports the SDF, a Kurdish-majority militia force who now control a major portion of northeast Syria. Supported by an estimated 1,000 U.S. Army soldiers and marines, those forces are currently advancing on ISIS’ de facto capital in the city of Raqqa.


The coalition said it struck the Syrian plane in order to protect allied forces in a “show of force.” Following the initial Syrian airstrike, the coalition also said it contacted the Russian military, which supports Assad’s forces, in order to de-escalate the situation. The statement did not mention the fate of the pilot of the Syrian aircraft. “The Coalition's mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” the statement added. “The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat.” 


In a communique carried by state media, the Syrian military called the downing of the plane an act of “flagrant aggression,” adding that it “reveals the evil intentions of the U.S. in administrating terrorism and investing it to pass the U.S.-Zionist project in the region.” Assad, who has stated that his aim is to retake all of Syria, has never granted his consent to the expanding U.S. military operation against ISIS. Sam Heller, a Beirut-based analyst at The Century Foundation tells TIME that the government attack on SDF forces on Sunday is a sign that Assad aims to disrupt the U.S.-led campaign in eastern Syria. “All the initiative is on their end,” he says. “What we do is likely to continue to be entirely reactive, and then hopefully it doesn’t accidentally escalate into something that is larger and impossible to control,” he adds in a phone interview.


In another sign of rising tensions, Iran fired missiles into Syria, saying it struck ISIS targets in response to a gun and bomb rampage carried out by the group in Tehran on June 7. Iran is a key supporter of the Assad regime, although there was no indication the missile strike was related to the downing of the Syrian plane. The incident also underscores a strategic dilemma for U.S. commanders and officials handling Syria. Even if the American-backed campaign succeeds in expelling ISIS from its territories in Syria, the Assad regime will remain in its rump state, and the larger Syrian civil war will remain unresolved. “Stomping on ISIS is not a vision for a future Syria,” says Heller.


Throughout eastern Syria, the United States is competing with Damascus for control of territory seized from ISIS. Assad’s forces declared a key victory on June 9 when they reached the Syrian-Iraqi border northeast of al-Tanf, where the U.S. garrison is located. The maneuver effectively blocked American-backed Syrian rebels from advancing north against ISIS, thwarting future gains in that region for America’s allies.


Former U.S. President Barack Obama called on Assad to step down in 2011 as a popular uprising consumed Syria during a year of revolt across the Arab world that ejected the autocratic leaders of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen. As Syria's revolution turned to war, the U.S. sided with armed opposition groups, but stopped short of directly attacking Assad's forces. Bolstered by Iranian, Russian, and other foreign support, Assad managed to halt and reverse some of his losses, recapturing the crucial city of Aleppo in December 2016, effectively ending the rebels' hopes of winning the war outright.


In 2014 the United States launched a campaign of airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, shifting the focus of American policy away the binary conflict between Assad and the rebel groups, and toward the fight against ISIS, which is now concentrated in the eastern half of the country.Speaking on Monday Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov chided the United States for not cooperating with the Assad government in its operations against ISIS. “Any actions ‘on the ground’, and there are many participants there, including those who carry out military operations, should be coordinated with Damascus," he said, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.





swingby_blog at 18:36コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


習近平は何を求めているのか。 中国の指導者は母国を世界の歴史上、最も重要で、最大の国になることを決意している。(3)

Such bureaucratic reshuffling is not usually a portentous event. But in Xi’s case it underscores Beijing’s deadly serious commitment to building a modern military that can take on and defeat all adversaries—in particular the United States. While Chinese military planners are not forecasting war, the war for which they are preparing pits China against the U.S. at sea. Xi has strengthened the naval, air, and missile forces of the People’s Liberation Army crucial to controlling the seas, while cutting 300,000 army troops and reducing the ground forces’ traditional dominance within the military. 


Chinese military strategists, meanwhile, are preparing for maritime conflict with a “forward defense” strategy based on controlling the seas near China within the “first island chain,” which runs from Japan, through Taiwan, to the Philippines and the South China Sea. Fielding “anti-access/area-denial” (A2/AD) military capabilities that threaten U.S. carriers and other capital ships, China has been steadily pushing the U.S. Navy out of its adjacent seas in case of conflict. An authoritative 2015 RAND study found that by the end of 2017 China will have an “advantage” or “approximate parity” in six of the nine areas of conventional capability that are critical in a showdown over Taiwan, and four of nine in a South China Sea conflict. It concludes that over the next five to 15 years, “Asia will witness a progressively receding frontier of U.S. dominance.” 

Anti-Access/Area Denial :接近阻止・領域拒否  米国に敵対する国や勢力が用いる軍事戦略で、自国や紛争地域への米軍の接近や、そうした地域における米軍の自由な行動を阻害すること。

As it slowly muscles the United States out of these waters, China is also absorbing the nations of Southeast Asia into its economic orbit and pulling in Japan and Australia as well. It has so far succeeded without a fight. But if fight it must, Xi intends China to win. 


Will Xi succeed in growing China sufficiently to displace the U.S. as the world’s top economy and most powerful actor in the Western Pacific? Can he make China great again? It is obvious that there are many ways things could go badly wrong, and these extraordinary ambitions engender skepticism among most observers. But, when the question was put to Lee Kuan Yew, he assessed the odds of success as four chances in five. Neither Lee nor I would bet against Xi. As Lee said, China’s “reawakened sense of destiny is an overpowering force.” 


Yet many Americans are still in denial about what China’s transformation from agrarian backwater to “the biggest player in the history of the world” means for the United States. 


As a rapidly ascending China challenges America’s accustomed predominance, these two nations risk falling into a deadly trap first identified by the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. Writing about a war that devastated the two leading city-states of classical Greece two and a half millennia ago, he explained: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” 

Thucydides:ツキジデスの罠:古代ギリシャ当時は、アテネが台頭し、覇権を握るスパルタの間で長年にわたる戦争が勃発した。 転じて、急速に台頭する大国が既成の支配的な大国とライバル関係に発展する際に、それぞれの立場を巡って摩擦が起こり、当初はお互いに望まない直接的な抗争に及ぶ様子を表現する。現在では、国際社会のトップにいる国はその地位を守るために現状維持を望み、台頭する国はトップにいる国につぶされることを懸念し、既存の国際ルールを自分に都合が良いように変えようとするパワー・ゲームの中で、軍事的な争いに発展してしまう現象を指す。

In 2015, The Atlantic published “The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?” In that essay I argued that this historical metaphor provides the best lens available for illuminating relations between China and the U.S. today. Since then, the concept has ignited considerable debate. Rather than face the evidence and reflect on the uncomfortable but necessary adjustments both sides might make, policy wonks and presidents alike have constructed a straw man around Thucydides’s claim about “inevitability” and then put a torch to it — arguing that war between Washington and Beijing is not predetermined. 

straw:藁人形 議論のすり替え

At their 2015 summit, Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping discussed the trap at length. Obama emphasized that despite the structural stress created by China’s rise, “the two countries are capable of managing their disagreements.” At the same time, they acknowledged that, in Xi’s words, “should major countries time and again make the mistakes of strategic miscalculation, they might create such traps for themselves.” 

at length:長時間に渡り
traps for themselves:自分自身が罠にはまる

I concur: War between the U.S. and China is not inevitable. Indeed, Thucydides would agree that neither was war between Athens and Sparta. Read in context, it is clear that he meant his claim about inevitability as hyperbole: exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis. The point of Thucydides’s trap is neither fatalism nor pessimism. Instead, it points us beyond the headlines and regime rhetoric to recognize the tectonic structural stress that Beijing and Washington must master to construct a peaceful relationship. 

fatalism :運命論
tectonic :地殻変動の

Will the impending clash between these two great nations lead to war? Will Presidents Trump and Xi, or their successors, follow in the tragic footsteps of the leaders of Athens and Sparta or Britain and Germany? Or will they find a way to avoid war as effectively as Britain and the U.S. did a century ago, or the U.S. and the Soviet Union did through four decades of Cold War? Obviously, no one knows. We can be certain, however, that the dynamic Thucydides identified will intensify in the years ahead. 

intensify 増大する

Denying Thucydides’s trap does not make it less real. Recognizing it does not mean just accepting whatever happens. We owe it to future generations to face one of history’s most brutal tendencies head on and then do everything we can to defy the odds. 



swingby_blog at 21:22コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



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