April 23, 2014

Pay No Attention to that Panda Behind the Curtain

Featuring Ely Ratner, and Kurt Campbell

Source: Foreign Policy

Journalist Stephen Walt

President Barack Obama is in Asia, ostensibly to reassure U.S. allies that he really does mean it when he says we're "pivoting" to Asia (or "rebalancing," or whatever). Yet even as he attempts to put the focus on Asia, events elsewhere are raising precisely the sort of doubts that he'd like to dispel. And that makes me worry that he'll spend all his time on this trip making promises and flowery speeches, instead of getting some commitments from his hosts. 

This trip, like so many others, takes place amid doubts about U.S. credibility. If the United States and NATO don't do more to help Ukraine, what does that say about our commitment to uphold current territorial arrangements in the South or East China Seas? (Answer: not much, but many people seem to think it does.) But if the United States does do more regarding Ukraine (or Syria), what does that tell U.S. allies about its ability to make Asia a bigger priority and to stick to those priorities when crises emerge elsewhere? No matter what the United States does, its Asian partners are going to raise questions about Washington's staying power and strategic judgment.

Please visit Foreign Policy to read the full article. 

  • Ely Ratner

  • Kurt Campbell

    CNAS Board Chairman and Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Asia Group

    Kurt M. Campbell is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Asia Group, LLC, a strategic advisory and capital management group specializing in the dynamic Asia Pacific reg...