Despite Afghanistan’s withdrawal, America’s Indo-Pacific allies still trust Biden

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U.S. Foreign Policy Update

American allies in Asia have distinguished President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from the chaos in Afghanistan from Washington’s commitment to its partners in the region, and refuted claims that the withdrawal undermines people’s trust in the will of the United States to defend its friends.

Some commentators predict that after its botched exit, the credibility of the United States will collapse, and China has quickly tried Take advantage of turbulent events As a sign of America’s decline.

But government officials and defense experts in the region told the Financial Times that it was wrong to compare relations between Afghanistan and Washington with the rest of Asia.

Japan has the largest U.S. military power in the region and believes that the Biden administration is willing to cooperate to ensure the security of the Indo-Pacific region and expand the role of the Group of Four including India and Australia. This shows that the alliance is hard.

“The Biden administration reiterated, [the mutual defence commitment] Apply to Senkaku Islands, Applicable to cyber attacks equivalent to armed attacks,” a senior Japanese official said, referring to islands in the East China Sea that are managed by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing.

In Australia, both the government and the opposition have strengthened their commitment to the American alliance.

“I don’t think that the end of the US military operations in Afghanistan will change this situation or have any major impact on the centrality of the alliance,” said Sam Rogovin, director of the International Security Program. The Lowy Institute, a think tank located in Sydney.

He added that part of the reason the United States entered Afghanistan was a reaction to the dramatic picture of the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001. In the comments,” he said.

Security experts say that the US alliance will become more important in responding to threats from an increasingly confident China, which is Biden’s stated goal in his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Faced with threats from China, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris last week used the long-planned visit to Singapore and Vietnam to appease Washington’s partners.

Maejima Kazuhiro, an American political expert at Sophia University in Tokyo, said: “If the withdrawal from Afghanistan means that the United States will transfer resources from the Middle East to East Asia, it is not necessarily negative for Japan.”

South Korea’s retired special forces commander, Lieutenant General Jeon In Beom, said that people in the country who have close ties to the U.S. armed forces maintain a “high degree of trust” in the U.S. military.

Nonetheless, the chaotic exit from Afghanistan has sparked discussions about whether American allies need to do more in the security partnership.

The Taiwan government emphasizes Need to prepare If China realizes the threat of an attack, it will fight. Prime Minister Su Zengzhang said that Afghanistan should learn an important lesson, that is, “No one will help you unless you help yourself.”

For the Japanese conservatives who are pushing to revise the country’s peaceful constitution, developments in Afghanistan will strengthen their argument that the country should take more measures to protect itself.

The U.S. and South Korean forces in a joint military exercise in 2016

The U.S. and South Korean forces during a 2016 joint military exercise © Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

“People who may be overly dependent on the United States may be surprised, but my understanding is that President Biden said it is obvious. It is normal that we need to protect our country,” said Masahisa Sato, the head of foreign affairs of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Toshihiro Nakayama, a foreign policy expert at Keio University, said: “Through what happened in Afghanistan, I think the U.S.-Japan alliance will not continue unless Japan takes the initiative to improve its defense capabilities in order to jointly ensure regional security. With the United States.”

Some observers say that Washington’s failure to win in Afghanistan may also cause allies to think twice before joining the United States in future military operations. A senior official of a U.S. ally said: “In the future, it may be more difficult for the United States to form an alliance that is willing to conduct military operations outside Europe and East Asia.”

In some countries, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan has intensified political divisions. In Taiwan, if Taipei refuses to reunify indefinitely, China threatens to invade Taiwan, and opposition politicians portray the United States as an unreliable ally. “Activity [like] It may happen in Taiwan in Afghanistan,” said Jia Shaoguang, a fringe opposition figure.

These remarks aroused the anger of the ruling party. Since Washington transferred diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, the ruling party has been monitoring the closest relationship with the United States.

In South Korea, incidents in Afghanistan have sparked discord against the tens of thousands of US troops stationed in the country against attacks on North Korea, which possesses nuclear weapons, and intensified the appeals of prominent politicians of the ruling party Military independence.

Opposition groups fired back, saying that the collapse of Kabul highlighted the need for stability in the US alliance and that South Korea is not rushing to take action to control the US-South Korea joint force.

But apart from this domestic political activity, experts also deny that there is a connection between Washington’s alliance and its policies in Afghanistan. Japanese officials said the topic “may be intellectually interesting, but it is not a real comparison.”

As reported by Kathrin Hille in Taipei, Kana Inagaki and Robin Harding in Tokyo, Edward White and Kang Buseong in Seoul, and John Reed in Bangkok

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