Obama 2.0 Confronts Asia

October 2013Barack Obama was broadly successful in the Asia-Pacific during his first term. He’ll have to work harder the second time around. President Obama begins his second term with a new national security team in the making. Although at this time only John Kerry has been confirmed, its seem likely that most, if not all of his key nominees (the former Senator Hagel, John Brennan, Jack Lew) will secure Senate confirmation in the coming weeks. Obama has clearly resolved to make Asia his priority region on foreign-policy front. Has spent more time in East Asia than in any other foreign region. Most Asian leaders have welcomed Obama’s reelection, though political transitions in China, Japan, South Korea increase uncertainties over how long such views will prevail. During its first term, administration managed to make progress in resolving important issues and exploiting valuable opportunities regarding both traditional U.S. allies (as Japan and South Korea), emerging partners (ASEAN). In other cases, as with Russia and India, results have been mixed. But during the next 4 years the administration faces major challenges in Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea,and above all China, for which no easy solutions are available. Pentagon has been able to expand defense cooperation with Southeast Asia, case in Singapore (preparations are currently underway for basing of U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ships at Changi Pier), Indonesia (new arms sales and joint training, education opportunities), Vietnam (expanding engagement to encompass port visits, joint exercises, defense dialogues). Another core element of Asia Pivot is bolstering local militaries’ capacities to deal with lower-level threats. For example, the Obama administration wants to enhance the air and naval capabilities of friendly maritime states so that they can help protect international waterways from pirates and other threats to freedom of the seas, allowing U.S. Navy to focus on higher-end threats. To further this goal, United States is selling 24 F-16C/Ds to Indonesia and coastal ships to Philippines. Similarly, United States is helping countries build stronger ground forces to suppress local terrorists, insurgents. Border security programs also extend to encompass potential movement of nuclear+other dangerous materials to global markets. All these capabilities promote the security of international air and maritime commons, which serve as the foundation of the global economy. Obama administration launched a sustained+largely successful diplomatic campaign to reenergize U.S. relations with ASEAN leaders, who complained they were being neglected under previous administration. Obama’s decision to accede to ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation was received positively by ASEAN leaders, who benefited from the regular meetings with their US counterparts. They welcomed administration’s successful outreach effort regarding Myanmar. Economic ties between ASEAN and United States made major progress when, in November 2012, Obama hosted talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative at meetings of the East Asia Summit and ASEAN in Cambodia. They set October 2013 as the date when they would like to reach an agreement creating a comprehensive regional trade agreement (…..)

Link: http://thediplomat.com/2013/02/21/obama-2-0-confronts-asia/

Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

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