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Title: The eagle and the panda : an owl's view from Southeast Asia
Authors: Desker, Barry
Keywords: Social sciences::Political science::International relations
Social sciences::Political science::Political institutions::Asia
Issue Date: 2013
Source: Desker, B. (2013). The eagle and the panda : an owl's view from Southeast Asia. Asia Policy, 15, 26-30.
Journal: Asia Policy
Abstract: The United States' rebalancing to Asia, initially depicted as a "pivot" to the Pacific, is less a swing away from the Middle East and West Asia than a shift of U.S. focus to East Asia, following the winding down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As noted by Singapore's ambassador-at-large Chan Heng Chee, "the U.S. is unlikely to turn its back to problems in the Middle East or on West Asia. Nor is 'return to Asia' an apt term, because the U.S. has never left Asia." From the military perspective, U.S. secretary of defense Leon Panetta observed at the Shangri-La Dialogue in June 2012 that after the withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq and the drawdown of military forces from Europe, rebalancing will result in a shift from a 50:50 to a 60:40 ratio of U.S. naval forces in the Asia-Pacific and Europe.2 However, the Pacific is much larger than the Atlantic, and fiscal constraints will require a decline in overall U.S. military spending in the decade ahead. Rebalancing toward Asia may only mean that the United States maintains current levels of its military presence in Asia while significant declines occur in Europe. The implications of rebalancing for the Asia-Pacific are likely to be multifaceted, spanning the diplomatic, economic, political, and security realms. From Singapore's perspective, rebalancing is a reaffirmation of the United States' long-standing interest in the region. Yet the focus of attention has shifted with different circumstances and administrations. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has paid significant attention to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), engaging the group at its annual meetings and visiting every ASEAN member, while President Obama has attended the East Asia Summit, an ASEAN-centered initiative. Singapore is not alone among ASEAN members in welcoming U.S. rebalancing to Asia.
ISSN: 1559-0968
DOI: 10.1353/asp.2013.0009
Rights: © 2013 National Bureau of Asian Research. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Journal Articles

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