Managing the U.S.-Japan Alliance: An Examination of Structural Linkages in the Security Relationship (Second Edition)

Dr. Jeffrey W. Hornung
December 17, 2019

Download Managing the U.S.-Japan Alliance: An Examination of Structural Linkages in the Security Relationship (Second Edition).

Recent changes on both sides of the Pacific Ocean have helped make the U.S.-Japan alliance the strongest it has ever been. This book explores the structural linkages in the U.S.-Japan alliance among the institutional actors–both policy and operational–that communicate and coordinate with one another.

Originally published by Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA in 2017, the 2019 edition includes a new preface by author Dr. Jeffrey W. Hornung. As he writes in the new preface, “While there have been a few minor changes to organizational charts since this report was first published in April 2017, the primary roles and responsibilities of the organizations, how these organizations coordinate policies and security-related issues, and where lines of responsibilities interact remain the same.”

The book provides an examination of structural linkages in the U.S.-Japan alliance aiming to answer the central question: Are the existing structures of communication and coordination optimized for managing alliance relations? The book seeks to provide insight into the black box of bilateral decision-making by examining all the relevant actors in the national security sphere, how they interact, and any inherent structural challenges that may exist. Following a presentation of key actors in the national security sphere in both Japan and the United States is a description of how these actors communicate and coordinate with one another.

Hornung finds that while the existing structures of communication and coordination are generally effective, they are not optimized for managing alliance relations. Alliance managers face an array of challenges. This text divides these challenges into situations of peacetime and crisis and conflict and concludes with policy recommendations meant to overcome these challenges.

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