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A thoughtful set of essays on "whither" conservative int'lism below from leading right of center foreign policy'ers.

Here's my contribution:…. Key points follow. 1/
Great power competition back b/c unipolarity over + US allies declining in global power share. Basically about rise of PRC. China is by far largest other state in intl system & will continue to grow. 2/
China is also located in world's increasingly most important region - Asia. Largest section of world econ. China's natural instinct which we are seeing in evidence is attempting to establish hegemony over its region - which is world's most important. 3/
Preventing such hegemony must be the core goal of U.S. strategy. This is because the United States’ fundamental strategic interest is—& has been for a very long time—in denying another even potentially hostile power the ability to dominate one of the key regions of the world. 4/
This is because the power that would flow from such hegemony would allow Beijing to set the terms of trade & rules of the int'l road in ways that would almost certainly be inimical to U.S. prosperity and freedoms. 5/
Over time, it would disfavor American prosperity, generate greater Chinese influence and leverage, and ultimately allow China to shape not only international life but also, indirectly and quite possibly directly, American life itself. 6/
Because of this challenge from China, great power competition is the defining foreign policy matter of our time, and indeed very much also a matter of domestic policy. Other issues are important or threatening, such as terrorism & the prolif of WMD. 7/
But they pale in significance compared to the possibility of China imposing its preferences and will upon East Asia first and then the world at large. Only China can truly change the world in a sustained and dramatic way against our will. 8/
The solution to China’s rise is a classic one: balancing. The United States must affiliate with other states also fearful of Chinese regional hegemony to block Beijing’s attainment of any such goal. Because of its importance, forming, sustaining, and ensuring the effectiveness 9/
...of this coalition must be our paramount foreign policy line of effort. China’s logical strategy, on the other hand, is to divide and conquer— to prevent such a coalition from forming or operating effectively. 10/
To this end, we need to focus on deepening and revivifying our alliance with Japan and greatly expanding and realizing the promise of our partnership with India. These are the two cornerstone states of any coalition designed to check Chinese hegemony. 11/
In addition, we must focus more on bucking up and working with the states of Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia is likely to become a more and more important arena of strategic competition. 12/
At the same time we must do less everywhere else. The scale & sophist of the China challenge is so great that we simply must economize. This does not mean ignoring things in rest of the world-it means husbanding our military resources and efforts, political capital & wealth 13/
Success in this endeavor will bring a stable & advantageous balance of power in the Indo-Pacific in which China will effectively be compelled to behave responsibly. Unlike our past policy, which relied on the better angels of China’s nature, this will look to their interests. 14/
On this firmer basis, China will have every incentive to recognize and respect the interests of the United States and other members of this coalition. 15/
To close, for many years, Americans could focus purely on ideals and high aspirations due to the preponderance of our power. This world is now gone. Things that were taken for granted twenty years ago no longer can be. Instead, we must adopt an approach of principled realism. 16/
We must actively strive to shape the world in order to ensure the continued flourishing of American life. Before anything else, this will mean tending to our own power and aligning with those who share our interest in denying China hegemony over Asia. 17/
Fundamentally, we will have to think and act in power politics terms in order not to have to live in a power politics world. END/
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