It has come to everyone’s attention, but maybe not to the attention of those who are not fond of watching news, that the United States will focus much of its attention to the Pacific. It would be vital to know that some decades ago, its military and economic focus were concentrated on the Middle East region. Some of the notable evidences of this would be the United States’ war against Afghanistan and Iraq, and the recent death of an international terrorism group (Al Qaeda) leader, Osama Bin Laden, after the United States conducted a raid on a fortified house where he had been discovered hiding. It is high time for the United States to focus its attention on the top and rising economies of countries in the Pacific and divert its stabilizing attitude towards the region, instead of being helplessly enmeshed in the issues of destabilization in the Middle East.
Among all the supplemental essays about foreign policies provided, the one entitled Keeping up with Asia by author Funabashi (2008), published by the Journal of Foreign Affairs, struck me the most. Even though it was published some 5 years ago, the issues discussed and the assumptions and analysis by the author still remains relevant today. In fact, Funabashi (2008) provided a clear and perfect description of the United States’ move and how they treat their transition towards the Asia Pacific region some five years ago. Now, that is what I personally perceive as sheer analytical and predicting power. This is actually one of the reasons why I chose to read, review, and discuss about this paper. It tackles one of the current and most relevant—because of the fact that it is all about transition, issues about foreign policy, the one that stimulates foreign ministers and government leaders’ politics-filled minds. It has been long established that the chaotic situation in the Middle East has significantly improved and stabilized, thanks to the efforts of the United States in their war against terrorism. Now, we can consider this problem solved. But the thing is, the world has another problem related to foreign policy that it has to deal with, and it so happened that the United States is one of the key players that could lead other players towards the solving of that problem—the conflicts that exist between countries in the Asia Pacific region, and the growing tensions that could, in the future, escalate into a full-scale war, should things spiral down and go towards the bottom. This is one of the biggest issues the world is facing today. China’s rise as an economic and military superpower and their aggressive stance with regards to territorial issues in the region has caused alarm in the international community. This article is not only analytical and unbiased; it also deals with the latest issues that we face today. It seems that the author knows how things will go years after he published the paper.
The article is not a peer or scholarly reviewed one. But even so, it still carries some weight because of the credibility of the author and how his analysis and predictions during the time of writing, appears to be true now. The author successfully proves his claim by using the cause and effect relationship, although in this case, this strategy was used indirectly; and also by using the Toulmin method of introducing arguments. First, he presented data, followed by a claim, and then by a warrant.
The Toulmin Method
I have used the Toulmin method in writing papers that aimed to present arguments several times before. All I can say about this method is that is enables me to relay my thoughts logically and systematically. In a way, I think it also helps whoever would read my paper decipher what was in my head when I was writing the paper. It is a good thing that this method was invented. I will definitely use this method in the future. In fact, I am planning to use it whenever I can because of all the methods I used; this one seems to be one of the fool-proof and linear ones.
Funabashi, Y. "Keeping Up with Asia." Affairs (2008): 110-125.