Naval War College Review


The incorporation of Asia into the West- ern-dominated international system is critical for the United States. At present, the United States is reacting to events in Asia instead of shaping them. This is the fundamental message of Fire in the East, an important book by Paul Bracken of Yale University. Asia, extending from Israel to North Ko- rea, has become increasingly visible since the end of the (primarily Eurocentric) Cold War. Discussions of Asian strength, however, have been flawed. Japan has struggled economically for ten years, and it still lacks political and military power. The intent of Chinese modernization and its impact on the world community re- main subjects of controversy. The 1998 “Asian Flu” wracked the economies of the infamous “Little Tigers,” thereby di- minishing their statures.