ASIAN MARITIME STRATEGIES

Navigating Troubled Waters
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Binding:Hardback
Published:October 15, 2013
by Bernard D. Cole (Author)

Asian Maritime Strategies explores one of the world’s most complex and dangerous maritime arenas. Asia, stretching from the Aleutian Islands to the Persian Gulf, contains the world’s busiest trade routes. It is also the scene of numerous maritime territorial disputes, pirate attacks, and terrorist threats. In response, the nations of the region are engaged in a nascent naval arms race. In this new work, Bernard Cole, author of the acclaimed The Great Wall At Sea, examines the maritime strategies and naval forces of the region’s nations, as well as evaluating the threats and opportunities for cooperation at sea. The United States Navy is intimately involved in these disputes and opportunities, which threaten vital American economic, political, and security interests.

The most useful geographical designation for maritime Asia is the “Indo-Pacific” and Cole provides both a survey of the maritime strategies of the primary nations of the Indo-Pacific region as well as an evaluation of the domestic and international politics that drive those strategies. The United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, China, the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Iran, the smaller Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf states are all surveyed and analyzed. The United States, Japan, China, and India draw the most attention, given their large modern navies and distant strategic reach and the author concludes that the United States remains the dominant maritime power in this huge region, despite its lack of a traditionally strong merchant marine. U.S. maritime power remains paramount, due primarily to its dominant navy. The Chinese naval modernization program deservedly receives a good deal of public attention, but Cole argues that on a day-to-day basis the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, as its navy is named, is the most powerful maritime force in Far Eastern waters, while the modernizing Indian Navy potentially dominates the Indian Ocean.

Most telling will be whether United States power and focus remain on the region, while adjusting to continued Chinese maritime power in a way acceptable to both nations. No other current or recent work provides such a complete description of the Indo-Pacific region’s navies and maritime strategies, while analyzing the current and future impact of those forces.

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Product Details
  • Subject: Strategy, Tactics, Operations
  • Hardback : 320 pages
  • Illustrations: 1
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (October 15, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1591141621
  • ISBN-13: 9781591141624
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 20.28 oz
Praise
  • “Cole’s treatment of a very complicated and multi-layered topic is admirable and very readable. The reader runs the risk of getting lost occasionally in some of the UNCLOS discussions as indeed, he is summarizing years of legal wrangling in a few words, but nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Cole manages to weed through all the rhetoric and present an objective view of Asia today and Asia tomorrow. This book’s value lies in its highly readable and well-researched text that gives the reader an appreciation for Asian maritime issues and how they influence global affairs.”—Starshell, Naval Assn. of Canada
  • “Bernard Cole has written a comprehensive, and even magisterial, examination of the maritime strategies and navies of East and South Asia, with the navies of the Persian Gulf included for good measure… This is an impressive and unparalleled work on Asian maritime strategy that deserves to be widely read.” —H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews
  • “As an introductory primer into naval development in the Indo-Pacific this book by one of the world’s leading experts on the region is literally second to none and at the very reasonable price at which the Naval Institute Press have managed to make available, this book will be a sure-fire success. I shall certainly be recommending it to all my students.”—The Naval Review
  • “Cole analyzes the Indo-Pacific region, currently engaged in an arms race and describes the navies and maritime strategies of the nations, noting that the United States still is the pre-eminent power but is adjusting to the changing strategic environment.”—Seapower
  • "Bernard D. Cole's latest contribution to scholarship should grace the desk of any serious student of international relations in what the author broadly refers to as the Indo-Pacific region. His The Great Wall at Sea has served for years as a highly respected source on the history and modern emergence of China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Cole, a retired Navy captain and long-time professor at Washington's National War College, speaks with authority once again in Asian Maritime Strategies. Bernard Cole has written a comprehensive, well documented, and impressively argued work highlighting the importance of maritime power in the Indo-Pacific region."—The Northern Mariner
  • “Another timely and successful book by Cole! He combines unique credentials—naval officer, historian, teacher, specialist in Asian navies—to make a strong bid to join the historic giants of geostrategy on whom he impressively builds—Mackinder, Mahan, and Corbett.”—Rear Adm. Eric McVadon, USN (Ret.) Senior Advisor and Director Emeritus for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis
  • “Cole concludes with the best summary of the areas of maritime conflict and cooperation in the region that I have read. Cole’s conclusions and predictions for the future are solid and worth the attention of both interested readers and national policymakers.”—ADM. DENNIS BLAIR, USN (RET.), former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command, and Director of National Intelligence
  • “No serious student of naval strategy in the twenty-first century can afford to be without this lucid analysis of the Pacific and Indian Oceans’ marine geography and geopolitics. Cole has crafted an indispensable aid to understanding naval dynamics in the region that is now at the center of world affairs.”—AMBASSADOR CHAS W. FREEMAN JR., former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs

Bernard D. Cole is a professor at the National War College in Washington, DC. The author of two other books, he was a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy for thirty years.

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