US Grand Strategy and Its Implications for the Asia-Pacific Region

Date of Graduation

Spring 2007


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Bradley Thayer


Expanding its power and influence not only in the Western hemisphere but also around the world, the United States for more than 50 years has pursued some elements of primacy as a grand strategy both globally and regionally. In the post-9/11 era, however, the United States appears to have adopted some elements of offshore balancing in the Asia-Pacific region; it has tried to deal with international and regional affairs there mainly through indirect means. The more the United States pursues a global strategy of primacy in a unipolar world, the more it appears to make a shift toward regional offshore balancing in order to respond to political, diplomatic, military, and geopolitical and technological realities. Evidence for this is found in two key aspects of the U.S. tendency to deal with regional affairs. First, the most glaring evidence can be found in the significant changes to the posture of the U.S. military forces in the Asia-Pacific region. Second, there is at least one instance in which it seems that the United States in adopting a buck-passing strategy by largely depending upon the regional powers to deal with regional issues. The United States could adopt a form of offshore balancing regionally to help it maintain and further pursue a strategy of global primacy in the post-9/11 era because of drastically changed military, political, diplomatic, geopolitical, and technological factors in the early part of the twenty-first century.


grand strategy, primacy, offshore balancing, Asia Pacific region, United States, Japan, South Korea, PRC

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Kyoko Nakamura