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Issues & Insights Vol. 20, CR 2 – Far, Far More Than Meets the Eye: Extended Deterrence in Complex Crises in Northeast Asia

Written By

  • Brad Glosserman Senior Adviser (Non-resident), Pacific Forum


This publication results from research sponsored by the Department of the Air Force, United States Air Force Academy. This material is based on research sponsored by the USAFA and the Pacific Forum International, under agreement number FA7000-19-2-0016. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon.

The opinions, findings, views, conclusions or recommendations contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the USAFA or the U.S. Government.


The Pacific Forum, with support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), brought 41 officials and experts from the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK), along with eight Pacific Forum Young Leaders, all attending in their private capacity, to Maui, Hawaii, Sept. 5-6, 2019 to explore the three countries’ thinking about extended deterrence and prospects for and obstacles to strengthened trilateral security cooperation. A two-move tabletop exercise (TTX) was focused on concerted and coordinated efforts by China and North Korea to revise the status quo in Northeast Asia. Key findings include:

Despite political difficulties, there was little difference among participants regarding assessments of the situation and dynamics in Northeast Asia. They were generally aligned and this was evident in responses to the TTX: they sought to prevent opportunism, provide off-ramps for adversaries, and didn’t rush to connect the incidents.

Official statements notwithstanding, there is rising anxiety in Seoul and Tokyo for a variety of reasons. In the ROK, some concerns focus on the role of nuclear solutions to national security problems. In Japan, the issue is often the US-China balance of power. Tokyo and Seoul remain committed to their alliances with the US, however.

Participants acknowledged that conventional strength among allies and the ability to coordinate more seamlessly strengthened extended deterrence.

There were various views of political decoupling and its impact on strategic decoupling. Despite differences, there was general agreement that political decoupling and poor Japan-ROK relations erode strategic alignment; prevent the three countries from improving deterrence; and provide China and North Korea with a wedge to employ against both alliances.

There continue to be misunderstandings among Asian allies about US relations with NATO and nuclear coordination. Many experts in Japan and ROK believe that they have neither the priority in US eyes nor the best possible nuclear umbrella, and desire a more “NATO-like” nuclear arrangement without full understanding of what that actually entails.

The US should encourage greater allied participation in nuclear policy discussions. Those allies must understand that increased input into discussions means that they will share responsibility for subsequent decisions.

Improving Chinese conventional capabilities demand that US-ally deterrence dialogues spend more time on conventional issues. There was a growing appreciation that the full continuum of military capability from conventional to nuclear, to include allied interoperability, helps under-write extended deterrence. Future developments and cross-domain capabilities will add to this.

There was concern about the impact of new technologies on the warfighting environment in Northeast Asia. While deployments of those technologies are still years to come, security planners must accelerate efforts to anticipate—and counter—those effects. These efforts will be complicated by the increasingly strained fiscal situation in each country.

There was considerable debate about the future and importance of GSOMIA. ROK participants insisted that information sharing would continue even if GSOMIA lapsed, and there was time to save GSOMIA since it didn’t expire until November. US participants argued that TISA is a poor substitute.

The difference in views between Japan and the ROK over GSOMIA was evident at other times in the discussion. There were troubling assertions of national pride, such as insisting on who had to initiate contact for the exchange of information.

As in previous meetings, ROK participants emphasized that they increasingly see China as a potential adversary. They argued that their military planning is not purely focused on the Korean Peninsula and that actions taken to improve ROK defense address regional stability and security, great power competition, and countering incremental revisionism. They are concerned about continued or intensified Chinese economic pressure as they enhance or strengthen the alliance.

There is concern in Seoul about alliance management with the US and the appropriate balance of defense and diplomacy. South Korean participants argue that adjustments in ROK defense policy do not constitute a radical shift in direction or policy.

Japanese security planners no longer assume that they have superiority in the air and maritime domains but focus on maintaining overall superiority via cross-domain operations. Japanese are very concerned about North Korean short- and medium-range missiles.

For deterrence to be credible, adversaries must believe that their threats of escalation are less credible than US threats of escalation. This basic fact assumes growing significance when there is a growing perception that US commitment to the region and allies, more generally, is weakening.

There is widespread agreement that the US should deploy new missiles in Asia to redress a balance of power that is shifting against it. Few seemed eager to have them in their own country, however.

While public opinion opposes new weapon deployments, the US and its partners must stress that new weapons are conventional, not nuclear.

In any regional crisis, the US and allies both in and beyond the region must be alert to opportunistic exploitation by other adversaries.

TTX Move 1

A Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force warship monitoring a suspected DPRK illicit ship to ship transfer of goods near Chinese waters is attacked and it attacks an underwater contact in response. An ROK surveillance aircraft monitoring the situation while in the KADIZ collides with a PLA fighter and is lost. North Korea begins preparing for a nuclear weapon test. Chinese saber-rattling intensifies as Beijing-Pyongyang relations markedly improve.

The primary question for any Chinese act considered to be a provocation is whether it is an isolated incident or part of a broader attempt to rewrite the regional status quo. If the latter—or if any country is determined to do so—the general view was that the US and its allies should “escalate to de-escalate”: take decisive measures to convince the adversary that those governments will not tolerate such actions.

Participants paid little attention to North Korean nuclear test preparations; apparently, such tests have been normalized.

While all participants believe that a case must be made to the United Nations Security Council and that it is vital to win over international public opinion, there is little hope that the UNSC will censure provocative behavior by China or North Korea.

While participants were concerned that excessive reaction to a provocation might escalate a crisis, there was also fear that publics would demand more substantial responses.

TTX Move 2

China tries to exclude all countries from waters near Shanghai as it searches for a lost submarine. It mobilizes nuclear forces and denounces the US and its alliances. North Korea seizes Yongpyeong Island and launches a missile that flies over Japan and detonates a nuclear explosion in the Pacific Ocean. 

Participants concluded that these events belied a coordinated effort by China and North Korea to break the US alliance system and impose a Sino-centric security order. If that interpretation is correct, then the US and its allies must be prepared to risk escalation to convince those adversaries of US and allied resolve.

Allies warned that they were studying closely the US response to the nuclear detonation and would base their policies on the nature of that response.

ROK participants warned that a possible US nuclear response risked contaminating the peninsula, rendering it uninhabitable—especially if North Korea responded in kind. US participants responded that restraint would impose significant costs on allies—conflict termination would take much longer.

Cascading and/or connected incidents create powerful demands on limited resources.

In a complex crisis, little attention was paid to how signals sent to one adversary might be (mis) interpreted by another adversary. Posturing forces to prepare to fight vs initial signaling can be entirely different—in terms of what, how much and where those forces are sent. The same postured forces provide messages in multiple directions and for different purposes.

There was general agreement that participants did not pay sufficient attention to nonmilitary means of compelling adversaries or changing their decision-making calculus. This underscored the need for true “whole of nation” efforts.

Strategic and operational level planning considerations:

  • Alliance coordination is especially difficult when each ally is dealing with a separate contingency at the same time. The impact of such coordination is not even given the existing regional force posture and roles and missions assigned. Japan is more critical to US-ROK alliance operations than South Korea is to US-Japan alliance operations.
  • Improved operational concepts—ways—will complement improvements in capability and capacity—means. The diminished visibility of conceptual ways may not contribute to deterrence as compellingly as more visible capability and capacity improvements, however.
  • US military strategy—shifting from multiple MCO-constructs to a more limited, and sequential, approach—may encourage adventurism by third parties in a crisis, or contribute to miscalculation by aggressors perceiving advantage and opportunity (whether real or imagined).
  • Allies noted that Russia is playing an increasingly visible role in Northeast Asia, acknowledging that it would likely be a factor in any regional crisis. Even if not directly involved in that contingency, there is concern that Moscow may exploit a crisis by acting opportunistically in another theater, most likely Europe.
  • There is growing allied concern regarding the appearance of increasing alignment of China and Russia in foreign policy and strategic interests. Unlike previous years, there was more emphasis on coordination and cooperation between Beijing and Moscow than on potential conflicts between them. Allies have noted the continued and growing sophistication of Chinese and Russian coordinated operations since 2016.

Recommended actions:

  • Within each alliance, establish a Nuclear Policy Group, a bilateral defense ministerial-level mechanism (akin to the NATO NPG), that would provide guidance on nuclear policy and review plans, exercises, and national developments for that alliance.
  • Widen agenda in Northeast Asia deterrence dialogues to factor conventional forces.
  • Expand trilateral exchanges and exercises (from command post-level to field-level) focusing on the coordination required to successfully address single and multiple regional crisis situations.

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主要所見&提言 日米韓三国間戦略対話の会議報告書マウイにて

パシフィック・フォーラム は、アメリカ防脅威削減 局(DTRA)の支援の下、拡大抑止、および三国 間安全保障協力の強化に対する見通しと障壁 になるものについて米韓日三国の考えを探求す る会議を 2019 年 9 月 5, 6 日にハワイ州マウイ 島にて開催し、米国・韓国・日本から、41 名の 専門家・政府関係者の参加者に加え、8 名の パシフィック・フォーラムのヤングリーダーが、それぞ れ個人の立場で参加した。北東アジアの現状を 見なおすため、中国と北朝鮮の協力、協調努 力に焦点を当て、2 ムーブ卓上演習(TTX)が 行われた。主要所見は以下の通りである。

政治的困難にもかかわらず、北東アジアの状況 と力学の評価に関して参加者間でほとんど違い がなかった。それらは概して平行しており、彼らは ご都合主義を防ぎ、敵に出口を与える方法を模 索し、早急に事件を関連付けて考えることはしな いというのが TTX での回答で明らかになった。

公式声明にもかかわらず、ソウルと東京ではさま ざまな理由で不安が高まっている。韓国では、い くつかの懸念は国家安全保障問題に対し核の 解決策としての役割に焦点を当てている。日本 では、米中の力のバランスがしばしば問題になる。 しかし、東京とソウルは、米国との同盟関係の維 持に尽力する。

参加者は、同盟国間の従来の強みとよりスムー ズに調整する能力が拡大抑止力を強化したと 認めた。

政治的分離とその戦略的分離への影響につい ては、さまざまな見方があった。

違いはあるものの、政治的分離と日韓の貧弱な 関係が戦略的協力を損ない、三国の抑止力の 向上を防ぎ、中国と北朝鮮に三国の同盟関係 に割って入る余地を与えるという一般的な合意 があった。

米国の NATO との関係や核調整について、アジ アの同盟国の間で誤解が続いている。日本と韓 国の多くの専門家は、自分たちが米国から見て の優先順位も最高の核の傘も持たないと信じて おり、実際に何が伴うかを十分に理解せずに、よ り「NATO のような」核配置を望んでいる。

米国は、核政策の議論への同盟国の参加を促 進するべきである。同盟国は、議論への発言の 増加は、その後の決定に対する責任の共有を 意味することを理解する必要がある。

中国の従来の能力の増加に伴い、米国同盟の 抑止対話において従来型の問題に、より多くの 時間を費やすことが求められる。同盟の相互運 用性、従来型から核までの全ての軍事力が拡 大抑止の支持に役立っているとの認識が高まっ ている。

北東アジアの戦闘環境に対する新しいテクノロジ ーの影響について懸念があった。これらのテクノロ ジーの展開はまだ何年も先だが、安全保障計画 者はこれらの影響を予測して対処するための取り 組みを急ぐ必要がある。

これらの努力は、各国のますます緊迫した財政 状況により複雑になるだろう。

GSOMIA の将来と重要性についてかなりの議 論があった。韓国の参加者は、GSOMIA が破棄 されても情報の共有は継続する、そして 11 月に GSOMIA が破棄されなかったため、まだ破棄を 防ぐ時間があると主張した。米国の参加者は日 米韓情報共有協定(TISA)は代替としては弱い と主張した。

GSOMIA をめぐる日本と韓国の見方の違いは、 議論の過程で明らかになった。情報交換をする にあたりどちらがリードすべきか、など国家のプライ ドの厄介な主張があった。

以前の会議と同様に、韓国の参加者は、中国 を潜在的な敵国としてますます意識していること を強調した。彼らの軍事計画は朝鮮半島に純 粋に焦点を合わせておらず、韓国の防衛を改善 するために取られた行動は地域の安定と安全、 大きな権力競争、そして漸進的な修正主義に 対抗すると主張した。

彼らは同盟の強調や強化をもたらす、中国の経 済的圧力の継続または激化を懸念している。

ソウルでは米国との同盟管理と防衛と外交の適 切なバランスについて懸念がある。韓国の参加 者は、韓国の防衛政策の調整は方向や政策の 根本的な転換を構成するものではないと主張し ている。

日本の安全保障計画者は、航空および海上の 領域に優位性があるとはもはや考えていないが、 クロスドメイン作戦を通じて全体的な優位性を 維持することに集中している。

抑止力が信頼できるものになるには、敵対者は 激化の脅威は米国のそれよりも信憑性が低いと 信じる必要がある。この基本的な事実は、地域 や同盟国に対する米国の取り組みが弱まってい るという認識が高まっていて、且つ信憑性の重要 性が高まっていることを前提としている。米国はそ れに対してシフトしている力のバランスを是正する ためにアジアに新しいミサイルを配備するべきであ るという広範な合意がある。しかし、それを自国 に持ちたがった人はほとんどいなかった。

世論は新しい兵器の配備に反対しているが、米 国とそのパートナーは、新しい兵器が核兵器では なく従来のものであることを強調しなければなら ない。

いかなる地域的危機においても、米国とその地 域内外の同盟国は、他の敵にこの機会を都合 よく利用されることを警戒しなければならない。

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주요 결과 및 정책 제언

마우이 한미일 전략 대화

퍼시픽 포럼은 미국 국방부 국방위협감소국 (DTRA: Defense Threat Reduction Agency)과 미국 공군사관학교PACSS (Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts on Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction)의 지원을 받아 41 여 명의 한미일 전문가들과 8 명의 퍼시픽 포럼 영 리더(Y oung Leaders)들을 초청해, 2019 년 9 월 5 일~ 6 일간 핵 확장억제, 한미일 안보협력 전망 및 장애물에 대해 논의했다. 또한 중국과 북한이 협력해 동북아내 질서를 깨뜨리려고 하는 도발 상황을 가장한 2 단계 모의훈련/워게임 (TTX)을 실시했으며, 주요 결과는 다음과 같다.

참가국들간 정치적 대립상황에도 불구하고 동북아 상황과 역학에 대한 평가에 있어 참가자들간 이견은 거의 없었고, 이것은 TTX 참여 과정에서 분명하게 나타났다. 참가자들은 기회주의를 방지하고, 적들에게 위기를 피할 수 있는 기회를 제공했고, 성급하게 개별 사건을 연결짓지 않았다.

한일 정부의 공식적 입장은 아니지만, 양국내에서 여러 가지 이유로 불안감이 커지고 있다. 특히 한국에서는 국가 안보 문제 해결에서 핵무기가 맡는 역할, 일본에서 문제는 미중간 힘의 균형 문제에 관해 염려하고 있다. 그러나 한국과 일본이 미국과의 동맹에 충실한 점에는 변함이 없다.

참가자들은 동맹들의 재래식 전력 강화 및원활한동맹조정능력이확장억제를 강화할 수 있다는 점을 인정했다.

정치적 디커플링, 또한 정치적 디커플링이 전략적 디커플링에 대한 영향에 대해 여러 가지 의견이 있었다. 조금씩 차이는 있으나 정치적 디커플링과 한일 관계 악화가 전략적 협력 및 한미일의 억제력 강화에 방해가 되며중국과북한이한일양자및한미일 삼자 동맹에 대항하는 것을 도울 수 있다는 점에 의견을 같이 했다.

아시아내 미국의 동맹국들 사이에서 미- 나토간의관계및핵협력에대한오해가 가시지 않았다는 점도 확인되었다. 한일 전문가들은 미국이 아시아보다 유럽과의 동맹을 우선시하며 미국이 아시아에 제공하는 핵우산도 최상의 수준이 아니라고 평가하며, 나토와 같은 핵 협력을 희망한다고 밝혔다. 그러나 이는 미-나토간 핵 협력의 실제에 대한 구체적인 이해에 기반한 것은 아닌 것으로 보인다.

미국은 동맹국들이 미국의 핵정책에 대한 논의에 더 적극적으로 참여하도록 장려해야 하고, 동맹국들은 이러한 논의에 참여할 경우 그 과정에서 정해진 결정에 대한 책임이 수반한다는 점을 이해해야 한다.

중국이 재래식 전력을 제고하고 있는바, 미국과 동맹국들간의 억제 관련 논의는 재래식 전력에 대해 더 관심을 기울어야 한다. 동맹간 상호 운용성을 포함, 재래식에서 핵전력을 아우르는 군사능력전반에걸친역량강화가확장 억제에 도움이 된다는 인식이 점차 높아지고 있다. 향후 역량 개발 및 다영역 작전도 확장 억제 강화에 도움이 될 것이다.

동북아의 전투 환경에 새로운 기술이 미 치는 영향에 대한 우려가 제기되었다. 이러한 기술의 확산은 여전히 수년이 걸 릴 것이지만 안보정책가들은 앞으로 변화할 상황을 예측하고 이에 대응하기 위한 노력을 가속화 해야 한다.이러한 노력은 각국의 재정 압박으로 인해 어려움을 겪을 수 있다는 점도 고려해야 할 것이다.

GSOMIA 의 미래와 중요성에 대한 심층 적인 논쟁도 있었다. 한국 참가자들은 11 월만료까지아직 GSOMIA 를살릴 수 있는 시간이 있고, 혹시 GSOMIA 가 만료되더라도 정보 공유가 계속될 것이 라고 주장했다. 그러나 미국 참가자들은 3 자정보공유협정 (TISA: Trilateral Information Sharing Arrangement)가 GSOMIA 를 대신 할 수 없다고 주장했다.

GSOMIA 에 대한 한일간 이견은 여러 차례 드러났다. 때때로 정보교환을위해누가먼저
연락을 취해야 하는지 등 국가의 자존심 문제가 거론되기도 했다.

이전 회의에서와 같이 한국참가자들은 한국에서 중국을 잠재적인 적으로 간주 하는 경향이 강해지고 있다고 주장했다. 그들은 군사 전략이 한반도를 벗어나 역내 안보 확보, 강대국간 패권경쟁, 세계 질서를 바꾸려는 도전에 대응하도록 설계 되었다고 주장했다. 그들은 한미동맹 유지 및 강화를 저지하기 위한 중국의 경제적 압박이 지속 혹은 심화되는 것에 대해 우려하고 있다.

한국에서는 한미 동맹의 관리 및 국방과 외교간 적절한 균형에 대해 우려하고 있다. 한국 참가자들은 한국 국방 정책을

조정하는 것이 한국의 급격한 정책 변화를 의미하지는 않는다고 주장했다.

일본의 안보 전략가들은 일본이 더 이상 영공 및 해상에서 군사적 우위를 유지하고 있다고 보지는 않지만 다영역 작전을 통해전반적인 전력의 우위를 유지하는데 중점을 두고 있다고 밝혔다. 또한 일본은 북한의 단, 중거리 미사일에 대해 대단한 우려를 표명했다.

억제력이 효력이 있기 위해서는 적들로 하여금 미국이 확전(escalation)을 불사할 위협이 그들이 확전을 불사할 위협보다 더 신빙성이 있다고믿어야 한다. 이는동북아 지역 및 동맹국에 대한 미국의 방어 의지가 약화되고 있다는 인식이 제고되고 있는 현재 더 주목할 일이다.

미국이 아시아 지역에 미사일을 추가 배치하여 세계의 힘의 균형상 미국의 힘의 우위를 유지하고자 하지만, 이들 국가들이 미국의 미사일을 자국에 배치하기를 꺼려하는 것으로 보인다.

아시아 국가들 내에서 새로운 무기 배치에 반대하는 여론을 잠재우기 위한 노력의 일환으로 미국과 동맹국들은 배치될 무기들이 핵무기가 아닌 재래식 무기임을 강조해야 한다.

향후 아시아 지역내 위기 발생시 미국과 아시아 역내외 동맹국들은 위기 속에서 이득을 취하려는 적국들의 기회주의적인 행태를 경계해야 한다.

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