Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Return of the Arc of Democracy

The recent developments, including a seemingly daily stream of statements from diplomats and military leaders throughout the region, have revived a concept that went out of vogue 10 years ago, the so-called "Arc of Democracy."
The Arc of Democracy was first proposed, as one might guess, by Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, during his first term of office (2006-2007). The basic concept was a quasi-alliance based on shared values among an arc of countries stretching from India in the west to Japan.
All three key countries in the arc – India, Australia and Japan with the US as the backstop – are of course democratic. That supposedly was the glue to keep this fledgling alliance alive. However, it would seem that shared values are not enough. It needs a perceived common threat.

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