President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have hinted that the United States will increasingly shift its attention to Asia. The CATO Institute’s Justin Logan came to the World Affairs Council of Houston to discuss the likelihood of such a shift and the implications if such a shift occurs.
While discussing his doubts about whether such a pivot would actually take place, Logan discussed theory (realism v. idealism) and policy. Logan is particularly concerned about the United States’ ability to continue to subsidize the defense of Asian countries. Japan, for example, spends only 1% of its GDP on defense. The US, meanwhile, spends about 4%. He argues that Asian countries will only beginning paying for their own defense when the United States stops doing so.
His arguments were provocative, and his Q & A was entertaining. When asked if he adopted “idealism” or “realism” in arguments with his wife, he responded, “In arguments with my wife I take the position of Switzerland, and opt for complete neutrality.”
He also spent some time with us prior to the presentation, foreshadowing his presentation and giving us advice. Many thanks to the World Affairs Council for its generosity and to Mr. Logan!