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Military cooperation can help an increasingly armed Asia avoid conflicts

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The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt cruises the South China Sea in this picture from the U.S. Navy.   © Reuters

The arms race in Asia will increase the possibility of open conflict in the region, and will require delicate diplomacy as nations are tempted to use the armed forces upon which they have lavished so much national wealth.

     The trends are striking. According to The Military Balance, defense spending in Asia rose 9% to $340 billion between 2013 and 2015. Over the same period, defense spending in the United States fell 6% to $597 billion and in Europe it shrank 12% to $246 billion.

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