For close to sixty years, the United States has maintained alliances with Japan and South Korea that have included a nuclear umbrella, guaranteeing their security as part of a strategy of extended deterrence. Yet questions about the credibility of deterrence commitments have always been an issue, especially when nuclear weapons are concerned. Would the United States truly be willing to use these weapons to defend an ally?
In this book, Terence Roehrig provides a detailed and comprehensive look at the nuclear umbrella in northeast Asia in the broader context of deterrence theory and U.S. strategy. He examines the role of the nuclear umbrella in Japanese and South Korean defense planning and security calculations, including the likelihood that either will develop its own nuclear weapons. Roehrig argues that the nuclear umbrella is most important as a political signal demonstrating commitment to the defense of allies and as a tool to prevent further nuclear proliferation in the region. While the role of the nuclear umbrella is often discussed in military terms, this book provides an important glimpse into the political dimensions of the nuclear security guarantee.
As the security environment in East Asia changes with the growth of North Korea's capabilities and China's military modernization, as well as Donald Trump's early pronouncements that cast doubt on traditional commitments to allies, the credibility and resolve of U.S. alliances will take on renewed importance for the region and the world.
Columbia University Press
Country of Publication:
Series: Contemporary Asia in the World
20 October 2017
Professional and scholarly
AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Extended Deterrence and the Nuclear Umbrella2. The Nuclear Umbrella and Extended Deterrence During the Cold War3. The Threats That Drive the Nuclear Umbrella: China and North Korea4. Japan and the U.S. Nuclear Umbrella5. South Korea and the U.S. Nuclear Umbrella6. The U.S. Nuclear Umbrella: Planning, Capabilities, and Credibility7. Implications for Security and Extended Deterrence in Northeast AsiaNotesSelected BibliographyIndex
Terence Roehrig is professor of national security affairs and director of the Asia-Pacific Studies Group at the U.S. Naval War College. His books include The Prosecution of Former Military Leaders in Newly Democratic Nations: The Cases of Argentina, Greece, and South Korea (2001); From Deterrence to Engagement: The U.S. Defense Commitment to South Korea (2007); and, with Uk Heo, South Korea Since 1980 (2010) and South Korea's Rise: Economic Development, Power, and Foreign Relations (2014).
Reviews for Japan, South Korea, and the United States Nuclear Umbrella: Deterrence After the Cold War
Terence Roehrig offers an excellent evaluation of extended-deterrence strategies, bringing together theory and policy in their historical context in a readable fashion. -- T. V. Paul, James McGill Professor of International Relations, McGill University