Foreign Affairs on Bill Overholt

Were you wondering what to make of a book with a title like Asia, America, and the Transformation of Geopolitics? Foreign Affairs summarizes the book neatly.

This is one of our more daring, and consequently innovative titles this season. Part of all the hubbub and confusion about China and Asia in general, it turns out, stems from our inability to break from our Cold War past. Government officials still use similar terminology, our policies haven’t changed much, and in the end, it only hurts us.

Overholt, of the RAND Corporation, has built his analysis of the relations between the U.S. government and Asian governments around the proposition that officials are slow to change their foreign policy thinking and hence are prone to operate with outdated assumptions. Thus, long after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington continued to act as though the Cold War had not ended.

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