Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Troubled Waters: East Asian Security at the Beginning of the Trump Administration

One of the key challenges facing the new Trump administration is the United States position in East Asia. President Obama initiated a Pivot to Asia, a policy of redirecting military and diplomatic resources from other regions to East Asia.
This pivot had several objectives: counterbalance the increased assertiveness of the PRC, especially toward regional American allies and with regard to the South China Sea; counterbalance China's expanding and modernizing military and paramilitary forces; reassure US allies of Washington's commitment to their security; retain America's options in the region by increasing the potential for power projection.
Many analysts and critics say that the pivot was at best only marginally effective. One reason is that unforeseen events in Europe and the Middle East forced the Obama administration to keep more resources there and slow down execution of the pivot.
The Trump administration now faces a series of challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, ranging from Russian and Chinese hegemonial aspirations to the continued threat of North Korea's nuclear arms program.
How will the new president, who brings no experience or background in Asian affairs or national security, handle these challenges? What priorities and policies should he set? This volume addresses the current security and geopolitical environment in East Asia; examines the role international law might or might not play in reigning in Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea; analyzes the success or failure of the Obama administration's Pivot to Asia; and makes concrete policy proposals for the Senate and the Trump administration.

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