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La estrategia de Obama en el Lejano Oriente(con artículos en inglés)

Mensaje por ivan_077 el Abril 30th 2014, 04:33


The False Cry of the Pivot Deniers
The rebalancing to Asia is real and the president isn’t there right now to salvage a phantom policy.

BY ELY RATNER
APRIL 25, 2014


Former Vice President Al Gore told a crowd at the University of Hawaii on April 15 that using fake science to mislead the public on climate change is "immoral, unethical, and despicable." Currently on a weeklong trip to Asia, President Barack Obama can probably sympathize, as he faces a cadre of skeptics committed to the idea that one of his leading foreign policy priorities -- the pivot to Asia -- is somehow an illusion.

After a decade of war in the Middle East and South Asia, Obama and his national security team launched a comprehensive set of initiatives in the fall of 2011 to afford greater attention and resources to Asia. The official moniker has since evolved into the "rebalancing" to Asia, but its contents haven't changed much. And its achievements are considerable.

But don't tell that to the Pivot Deniers, who won't talk about Obama's successes on trade and development in Asia, such as the Lower Mekong Initiative, an innovative assistance program strengthening cooperation among Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam; implementing the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement, which the U.S. International Trade Commission estimates will increase U.S. exports by over $10 billion through tariff cuts alone; and striving to complete the most important trade deal in a generation, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Pivot Deniers never mention that the United States has dramatically deepened its engagement with the region's institutions, either: Since 2009, it has joined the East Asia Summit, the premier leaders' forum in Asia; stationed a resident ambassador to the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the region's most important multilateral body; and now regularly attends the ASEAN Regional Forum, which, thanks to high-level U.S. participation, has been ground zero for critical multilateral diplomacy on dangerous disputes in the South China Sea.

They further ignore the diplomatic opening with Myanmar and the substantial progress in revising the U.S. military presence in the region; new agreements that give U.S. troops access to bases in Australia, the Philippines, and Singapore; and the substantial deepening of U.S. engagement with China that has seen more presidential-level meetings, more substantive cooperation on key geopolitical issues like Iran, and more military-to-military engagement than in the previous decade. The deniers almost universally discount that, in more instances than not, U.S. officials and their counterparts in Asia describe bilateral relations as having "never been stronger."

None of that matters to the Pivot Deniers, who refuse to admit that the administration has accomplished more in Asia, and has a more coherent approach to the region than any other part of the world.

So who are these folks? The most prominent group is the hardcore anti-Obamanians who fill the conservative halls of Congress and right-leaning think tanks. Facts have failed to clear the fog of the ever-popular "over-promising and under-delivering" meme of Obama's policy. And despite supporting almost every element of the rebalancing strategy, this crowd nevertheless feels compelled to argue that the policy "doesn't really exist" or, even if it once did, is now "dead." No setback or gaffe is too small to elicit a torrent of obituaries.

A second group of Pivot Deniers appears more emulous than angry. These are the former Bush administration officials who bristled at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's declarations that "the United States is back" in Asia. They contend that everything Obama has done in the region had antecedents in the mid-2000s. These are Bush initiatives, they say -- Obama is just following through.

To them, the rebalancing policy is just a marketing exercise, and a clumsy one at that.

They call the pivot a "myth" or a "misnomer," because the United States never left. But they are wrong. U.S. troops based in Japan and South Korea were sent to backfill in Afghanistan and Iraq; and U.S. policy in Southeast Asia after 2001 centered on fighting the war on terror, rather than building stronger institutions and partnerships. That may have been the right call at the time, but there's no question that it distracted from Asia.

The final group of deniers is a motley crew of op-ed writers, editors, and D.C. pundits who can't resist the easy hook. Here's how it works: Pick your favorite crisis of the day and use a catchy title like, "Forget Asia -- Pivot to Europe" or "The Year the US Pivoted Back to the Middle East" or even "Are We Pivoting to Africa Rather Than Asia?" Then, without actually assessing U.S. policy in the region, simply declare that, "the pivot to Asia appears to have been largely called off." And even if your article has nothing to do with Asia, use a subtitle like, "How the standoff in Ukraine could split NATO and kill the Asia pivot." [Ed. - Sorry, that one's on us.]

Journalists are equally culpable. I get it. Sometimes you need a good narrative and no one -- besides me, perhaps -- wants to read a story titled, "Obama Goes to Asia to Continue Relatively Successful, Long-Term Reorientation of U.S. Foreign Policy." So instead, you go with something foreboding, like "Obama Looks to Salvage Asia ‘Pivot'" or "Obama's Strategic Shift to Asia Is Hobbled by Pressure at Home and Crises Abroad."

The problem is that all of this noise and nonsense has led to serious misreporting from some of the best and most reliable commentators in the business. It's simply not true, as the New York Times suggested on the eve of Obama's departure on April 22, that "the larger diplomatic presence [in Asia] has not materialized." Nor is it true, as the Financial Times reported the same day, that: "The main non-military aspect of the pivot is the drive towards a new Trans-Pacific Partnership." Folks, you're better than that.

Of course, the administration is partially to blame for the shoddy public discourse on U.S. Asia policy. The president still hasn't spoken to the American people about the importance of Asia, and the White House has been overly reliant on speeches and magazine articles rather than offering an official document on what the rebalancing policy actually entails.

But Washington's chattering classes need to do their homework as well. The rebalancing to Asia is real and the president isn't there right now to salvage a phantom policy.
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/04/25/the_false_song_of_the_pivot_deniers_obama_administration_asia

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"No hay mas diferencia entre los hombres que el vicio o la virtud" Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon.

No hay raza inferior; solo hay sujetos inferiores
Bendita se la muerte, porque a nadie le concede lo que no les da a todos los demas;alabada sea la muerte que se yergue piadosa ante el hombre que ha cumplido su deber.
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Pay No Attention to that Panda Behind the Curtain

Mensaje por ivan_077 el Abril 30th 2014, 04:34



It doesn't matter what Obama says -- his Asia trip is all about China.

BY Stephen Walt
APRIL 23, 2014



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.

Frankly, this recurring discussion about U.S. credibility -- including the sincerity of the pivot and the subsequent rebalance -- strikes me as silly. For starters, the United States is still the most powerful military actor in the world -- including Asia -- and it will be for some time to come. One can wonder about the regional balance of power at some point in the future, but not right now. And if China's increased military power is really so alarming, why are countries like Japan, South Korea, and Australia doing so little to bolster their own military capabilities? Either they aren't as worried as they pretend, or they have become accustomed to assuming Uncle Sam will take care of them no matter what. It seems to be easier to complain about U.S. credibility than to dig deep and buy some genuine military capacity.

And there shouldn't be any doubt about the sincerity of the pivot/rebalancing strategy, because U.S. national interests dictate a greater focus on Asia in the years ahead. As former Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and Ely Ratner make clear in a recent article, Asia's growing economic clout and China's emergence mandate an American response. The credibility of the U.S. commitment in Asia doesn't depend on what presidents say or how often they visit, but ultimately rests on whether other states believe that it is in the U.S. interest to be engaged there. If it were truly not in America's interest to be a major strategic actor in Asia, no amount of presidential speechifying or handholding would convince our Asian partners otherwise.

More than anything else, Obama needs to spend his time in Asia explaining to officials there why it is in the U.S. interest to maintain its security position in Asia. This policy is not an act of strategic philanthropy; it is rooted in U.S. self-interest, geopolitics, and America's longstanding desire to be the only regional hegemon in the world. If China continues to rise and develop its military power, it might one day be in a position to strive for regional hegemony in Asia. The United States would like to prevent this, because a balance of power in Asia forces Beijing to focus a lot of attention on regional affairs and prevents it from meddling in other parts of the world (including the Western hemisphere). It's impolitic to say this out loud, but the long-term purpose of the "rebalancing" policy in Asia is to contain the more powerful China that seems likely to emerge in the decades to come. That's what Chinese leaders think, and they're right.

Moreover, the United States also has an interest in discouraging nuclear proliferation in Asia. China already has four nuclear-armed powers on its borders (Russia, Pakistan, India, and North Korea), and several other states might go nuclear if they decided they could no longer count on American security guarantees. As long as nuclear non-proliferation remains a core objective of U.S. foreign policy, it will have a strategic interest in remaining in Asia.

For all of these reasons, America's Asian partners shouldn't question the U.S. commitment to maintain its military presence in Asia and its security commitments to its various Asian partners. This policy is rooted in geopolitics and America's own strategic interests. Obama could do everyone a favor if he explained this to his hosts in simple, clear, and forceful terms, and reminded them that the U.S. security presence has been a powerful bulwark of regional stability for decades.

Unfortunately, such assurances might not be enough. As I've noted before, managing relations with our skittish Asian partners is going to be a challenging task in the years ahead. Not only do some key U.S. allies keep quarreling with each other -- as Japan and South Korea are wont to do -- they tend to be unhappy no matter what Washington does. If the United States focuses its sights elsewhere and doesn't give Asia lots of love and attention, they complain they are being neglected. (With the exception of India, this accusation was partly true during the Bush years). But if the United States re-engages and tries to do more, then its allies fret that the United States is "remilitarizing" the region and threatening to ignite a new Cold War. They also use renewed U.S. attention as an excuse to free-ride some more.

I suspect Obama will try to walk a very fine line this week. He'll do his best to reassure his hosts that the United States is serious about devoting more time and energy to Asia, while denying that any of this is directed at Beijing. He'll make it clear that he wants to see a peaceful and stable Asia in which all nations can grow richer, and he'll pretend that serious geopolitics is "so last century." Above all, he'll try to convince America's Asian allies that Washington still has their back, but that it won't act in ways that might raise the temperature in the region.

But I wonder if it's time for a slightly different conversation. Obama should tell his hosts that the United States is committed to maintaining a balance of power in Asia and preventing Chinese hegemony down the road, for the reasons listed above. But maybe he could also find a way to remind them that while the United States cares about the Asian balance of power and about its allies' security, it cannot and should not care more about this than these countries do themselves. He might gently suggest to his hosts that although the United States prefers to lead a network of strong and reliable Asian allies, it could do without those allies if it absolutely had to.

In other words, the credibility of America's Asian alliances is more our allies' problem than ours.

Helping maintain a balance of power in Asia may be in our interest but it won't be cheap, and providing the necessary level of assistance ought to be worth a lot to our Asian partners. Instead of flying off to Asia just to hold their hands, I hope Obama will also remember to ask them what they are going to do for us, and for themselves.

Photoillustration By FP
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/04/23/obama_asia_trip_pivot_china_japan_south_korea

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"No hay mas diferencia entre los hombres que el vicio o la virtud" Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon.

No hay raza inferior; solo hay sujetos inferiores
Bendita se la muerte, porque a nadie le concede lo que no les da a todos los demas;alabada sea la muerte que se yergue piadosa ante el hombre que ha cumplido su deber.
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Can East Asia Move Past Its History Problem?

Mensaje por ivan_077 el Mayo 8th 2014, 01:38


Can East Asia Move Past Its History Problem?




Can Washington take advantage of an unusual opportunity to advance both its strategic and normative interests?
Jennifer Lind

May 7, 2014
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In East Asia, distrust and failed cooperation is often blamed on the region’s “history problem.” To date, that conversation has emphasized Japan’s failure to atone for its World War II-era atrocities, how this poisons contemporary relations, and how Japan must show greater contrition in order to make things right. Sometimes the United States is exhorted to pressure Tokyo for more apologies.

The United States should help its allies and partners deal with the region’s history problem, and in doing so, can take advantage of an unusual opportunity to advance both its strategic and normative interests. Washington has a national security interest in strengthening its relations with Tokyo; in encouraging close ties between Japan and other American partners, especially South Korea; and in thwarting Chinese efforts to use history to drive a wedge between Japan and its neighbors. Furthermore, the United States has a normative interest in drawing attention to human rights abuses in East Asia today.

U.S. national security and normative interests overlap—and yet Washington has so far missed the opportunity to advance them in this case. That’s because it’s a challenge on the one hand to focus on contemporary human rights abuses without making survivors of World War II-era violence feel as if their suffering is being forgotten or marginalized. And it’s a challenge on the other hand to focus on those events to a sufficient degree without unfairly singling out Tokyo.

The United States and its partners can square this circle by reframing the conversation about East Asia’s history problem. The conversation about Japan’s World War II atrocities should be fit within the historic sweep of human rights abuses in East Asia. In the past, human rights violations were committed by colonizers and combatants like Japan, the United States, and others; but today are committed by authoritarian governments against their own peoples.

Why Apologies are Unproductive

The apology frame is a dead end for three reasons. First, Japan has apologized. A lot. Although critics will protest that Japan only offered half-hearted apologies, this is unfair. For example, former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, often described as a far-right nationalist because he visited Yasukuni shrine, also visited Seoul’s Seodaemun prison. This was where, during Japan’s rule of the Korean peninsula, colonial authorities incarcerated, tortured, and killed Korean independence leaders and their family members. Today the prison features a museum that explicitly details Japanese atrocities, and a monument to Korean independence leaders.

Koizumi laid a wreath at the memorial and offered his “heartfelt remorse and apology for the tremendous damage and suffering Japan caused the South Korean people during its colonial rule.” Koizumi commented that after he viewed the prison exhibits, “I felt strong regret for the pains Korean people suffered during Japanese colonial rule. As a politician and a man, I believe we must not forget the pain of [Korean] people.”

Koizumi’s apology was far from isolated. Another prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, gave an important apology during a trip to South Korea. He said:

“During Japan's colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula, the Korean people were forced to suffer unbearable pain and sorrow in various ways. They were deprived of the opportunity to learn their mother tongue at school, they were forced to adopt Japanese names, forced to provide sex as ‘comfort women’ for Japanese troops, forced to provide labor. I hereby express genuine contrition and offer my deepest apologies for my country, the aggressor’s, acts.”

Because these statements accepted Japanese guilt, enumerated Japanese crimes, and were offered at symbolic locations, they were powerful apologies by any standard. And other Japanese leaders have offered several other impressive statements, including Tomiichi Murayama’s 1995 apology that subsequent governments (including Shinzo Abe’s) have reaffirmed.

The Japanese people know that their leaders have apologized, so when those gestures are ignored and Tokyo is repeatedly asked to apologize again, many people protest. They argue that Chinese and South Korean leaders are not truly interested in reconciliation, but are wielding the history weapon to score domestic political points at Japan’s expense.

A second reason why the apology frame is so counterproductive is that political apologies, particularly interstate apologies, are usually quite controversial domestically. People often describe apologies as a medicine that will have healing effects. Perhaps sometimes they will. But like any medicine, apologies also have side effects, which are sometimes toxic.

Apologies prompt domestic political opponents to stand up and protest. When, for example, in 1994 Prime Minister Murayama offered an impressive apology, one of the conservative cabinet members in his coalition government objected. Sakurai Shin said, “I do not think Japan intended to wage a war of aggression. . . . It was thanks to Japan that most nations in Asia were able to throw off the shackles of colonial rule under European domination and to win independence.”

This is a pattern we’ve seen many times in Japan: when a leader gives an apology, or when a candid textbook is released, conservatives speak out and put forward a different narrative about the country’s history. And this is why Japan’s critics argue that Tokyo has not apologized, when in fact the problem is not the absence of apologies, but the backlash they often provoked.

Many people often compare Japan with Germany, whose leaders apologized often. However, German conservatives did not react by justifying or denying Nazi violence. But such restraint is extremely rare, and indeed a look around the world shows that political apologies (particularly international ones) usually provoke backlash. While some people advocate greater reflection about the country’s past violence, others argue that this dishonors national heroes and undermines patriotism. In doing so, they often justify or minimize past abuses, to the chagrin of victims.

Such dynamics are readily apparent in the United States, where apology to Japan for the atomic bombings would be politically inflammatory; even a museum exhibition on the subject produced fierce backlash. In 1995, the Smithsonian created a museum exhibition on the Enola Gay aircraft (which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima). A self-reflective script that depicted Japanese suffering on the ground prompted outcry from veterans and Congressional leaders. One veteran called it an “insult to every soldier, sailor, marine, and airman who fought in the war against Japan.” Veterans protested that the atomic bombings had ended the war and ultimately saved lives on both sides; they urged the Smithsonian to display the Enola Gay “proudly and patriotically.” Ultimately, a unanimous Senate vote forced the exhibit’s revision.

More recently, in 2009, President Obama offered some self-reflective, respectful words to U.S. allies and partners in speeches in Strasbourg and Cairo—about regrettable U.S. arrogance and lack of appreciation toward Europe and about the troubled relations between the United States and the Islamic world. Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and other conservatives subsequently decried the President’s diplomacy as an “apology tour.” (Romney also lamented it in his memoir, entitled: No Apology.)

In 2010, the Obama administration debated the idea of the president visiting Hiroshima and making a reconciliatory gesture or statement. But it demurred, understanding that such a gesture would have triggered an outpouring of contradictory statements from U.S. conservatives, complicating relations with an important ally. U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos was sent instead to attend the sixty-third anniversary of the bombing that August—his respectful (and silent) presence was hailed as a success in deepening U.S.-Japan reconciliation.

Beyond the United States, calls for reflection about past violence have prompted outcry in Austria, Britain, France, Israel, and pretty much everywhere. Apologies produce backlash because of democratic politics that we can all understand: making them, in general, a poor tool for reconciliation.

The third reason to abandon the focus on apologies in East Asia relates specifically to U.S. strategic goals. The emphasis on Japan’s World War II abuses drives a wedge between Japan and its potential allies, and pushes those potential allies toward China and North Korea. This contravenes the U.S. interest of encouraging amity and political-military cooperation among its partners. Furthermore, American pressure for more Japanese apologies angers Tokyo, souring U.S.-Japan relations.

One can only speculate why the conversation about East Asia’s past came to be framed around apologies. (This was not the case in Western Europe, where Germany’s postwar partners did not seek them.) But let us abandon this framing now: it does nothing but antagonize Japanese conservatives and moderates, and sustain—rather than soothe—the region’s history problems.

Human Rights in East Asia

The conversation about history in East Asia should be reframed around human rights. Doing so would advance U.S. strategic objectives described above; it would also advance America’s normative objectives (normally compromised in deference to national security goals) of drawing attention to human rights violations in East Asia today.
The abuse of human rights has occurred in different waves. Earlier there was the wave of American and European colonialism in which the British carved up China; France colonized and inflicted tremendous violence upon Indochina; and the United States during its colonization of the Philippines killed hundreds of thousands of people and committed terrible atrocities. Americans can and should acknowledge this violence. As we are always telling Tokyo, it’s the right thing to do.

The next phase of human rights abuses in Asia occurred during interstate wars. The United States killed and otherwise abused hundreds of thousands of Japanese, North Koreans, and Vietnamese in the course of fighting twentieth-century wars in East Asia. And of course Japan is a major perpetrator in this period. It is guilty of terrible abuses of human rights, such as its repression in Korea; its mistreatment of POWs and use of forced labor; the Imperial Army’s use of sexual slavery; and medical experiments on Chinese POWs and civilians (Unit 731).

This brings us to the present, in which human rights are abused today by governments mistreating their own people. The Chinese government abuses dissidents, restricts political rights, and violently represses secessionist movements. In North Korea, the Kim regime killed, through famine caused by economic dysfunction, upwards of a million North Koreans. It rewards regime loyalists and punishes, incarcerates, tortures, or executes those who are less trustworthy—along with their family members.

By contrast, Japan and other liberal nations in the region are model global citizens. While imperfect, they participate in international organizations; they govern by rule of law; they believe in due process; they make their people prosperous and free. They devote their time, resources, and talents to promoting human rights around the world.

A virtue of this framing is that it no longer unfairly singles out Japan. It draws a sharp distinction between the human rights-abusing Japan of the past, and the exemplary Japan of the present; it also distinguishes between countries that used to commit human rights abuses and countries that today continue to deny basic human rights to their people.

In sum, the United States can indeed help its allies and partners deal with East Asia’s history problem, and a major contribution would be to reframe that problem. To the extent that people want to talk about past violence, the conversation should not focus exclusively on Japan’s World War II crimes and what makes Japan unable to apologize, but should include human rights abuses that all countries committed.

But more importantly, the conversation should emphasize how Japan, the United States, Britain, Australia, France, and other liberal democracies have moved past that; how today they treat their own people well, and demonstrate respect for human rights. And the conversation should highlight current human rights abuses in East Asia, which are principally being done by illiberal governments against their own people.

Foreign policy analysts have long lamented how the United States pursues national security interests at the expense of a human rights agenda. In East Asia today, by changing the frame about the region’s history wars, the United States faces an unusual opportunity to advance both.

Jennifer Lind is associate professor of government at Dartmouth College, and the author of Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics (Cornell Univ. Press, 2008). Follow her on Twitter: @profLind.

Image: Flickr/Official Page of the Republic of Korea
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/bringing-europe-re-balancing-toward-asia-10386
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"No hay mas diferencia entre los hombres que el vicio o la virtud" Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon.

No hay raza inferior; solo hay sujetos inferiores
Bendita se la muerte, porque a nadie le concede lo que no les da a todos los demas;alabada sea la muerte que se yergue piadosa ante el hombre que ha cumplido su deber.
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Bringing Europe into Re-Balancing Toward Asia

Mensaje por ivan_077 el Mayo 8th 2014, 01:39


Bringing Europe into Re-Balancing Toward Asia



Last month at a policy game hosted by the Körber Foundation in Berlin, teams of American and European practitioners and scholars met to examine the possibility of a crisis related to the maritime territorial disputes in East Asia blowing up. The game followed a build-up of tensions, such as contretemps over flag-raisings on disputed islands and collisions with fishing vessels, in the region prior to an island seizure by Beijing. Regardless how distant the possibility of such a provocative Chinese action might appear, the policy game highlighted divergences between the United States and its European allies as well as the steps toward bringing both sides closer together over security in East Asia.

Washington has invested a lot of diplomatic effort into the region since the re-balancing toward Asia was announced by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in October 2011. Despite criticism that defense cuts would undermine the policy, the Obama administration has pushed ahead on a number of fronts, advancing U.S. policy diplomatically and economically. And President Obama’s recent trip to the region highlighted the stakes and clarified U.S. commitments to security in the region.

With concerns about resourcing the re-balancing and the credibility of U.S. defense commitments as well as other measures that might be used to push provocateurs back into their shell, it behooves U.S. policymakers to think creatively about other tools and resources that might be leveraged for the region. One of the places to look is Europe and deep Trans-Atlantic partnerships based in shared visions of progress.

If the Körber Foundation’s policy game serves as any guide, Europeans are willing to support U.S. security policy in East Asia, but are unable to make an immediate impact beyond diplomatic support in the UN and other international fora. The pressure European states can bring against an aggressive, not merely assertive, China or other provocative regional actors primarily comes through their collective strength in international institutions and a consumer market of 450 million people—now China’s largest trading partner.

European support stems from at least a few sources. First, some European states see themselves as having a global role for reasons of history, role in international institutions, and worldwide economic interests. They see themselves as international stakeholders with wide-ranging interests in the current international order and the needs of a large consumer market.

Second, European states and the United States share similar interest in international institutions and international law. During the policy game’s discussion of interests, the shared interest in a rules-based order to encourage predictability in state behavior, confidence building, and shared views of dispute resolution. Agreement on this issue was clear, especially because of the very different types of governments in the region.

Third, the Europeans belief in the importance of predictable and rules-based interstate relations creates a parallel concern that aggression and violation of agreed upon principles requires a clear response. This point is particularly important to understand and is one that this author did not appreciate adequately until arriving across the Atlantic. This is not a carte blanche to pursue unconstrained security policies, but rather a sense, echoing Thomas Schelling on deterrence, that there should be no uncertainty about a response but uncertainty about the degree.

Washington must engage on both the EU and the national levels prior to any East Asian crisis for two reasons. First, European support in East Asia cannot be taken for granted. Second, European policy tools, for the most part, cannot be deployed immediately to diffuse a crisis or put pressure on China.

Among the different parties at the policy game, no two country teams seemed to agree on a shared standard for what constitutes a crisis requiring a response or how provocative a regional actor apart from China could be before European support would vanish. Once a crisis breaks out, the pressure of the situation will prevent adequate coordination and it will be too late to build a common understanding of the problems that need to be resolved.

Remembering disagreements from the last decade, the differences in what counted as violations of the rules requiring what kind of response was at the heart of disputes over Iraq. The separation of perspectives across the Atlantic may not have been bridgeable for 2002–2003, but both sides might have structured a way forward on constraining and deterring an Iraqi threat.

On a related point, the Europeans appeared to be remarkably unhappy with the status quo in East Asia and are looking for some way to change the systemic interactions and emerging security dilemmas. The United States, however, has priced minor altercations—for example, fishermen confrontations, island landings—and the state of low-level competition/pressure into its policy calculus, allowing a kind of laissez faire attitude to the dynamics that is neither too concerned, nor bent upon a solution.

Dealing with the status quo elements of the early phases of the game, the European teams wanted to address the basic fundamentals of relations in East Asia—even including some transactional quid-pro-quo ideas of the kind that make Americans jittery. As scary as such tradeoff proposals might be, they are more reflective of the urge to change the unstable, seemingly conflict-destined, systemic interactions than a concrete policy proposal.

The Atlantic divide offers an opportunity to bring complementary perspectives together to deal with the challenges Washington identifies in East Asia. Because of the immense U.S. national resources that can be brought to bear in short order, Americans have a tendency to focus on debating what tools work best today rather than looking out over weeks and months. This shortens the timeline of U.S. thinking, and diminishes the potential importance of intermediate-range policy options in the dialogue. By contrast, European states lack those resources for East Asia to make an immediate impact and, therefore, must take a longer view of any crises or militarized disputes if they want to be relevant to its resolution.

The Transatlantic partnerships already have the functionality embedded to deal with the challenge of coordinating policy and intelligence. However, to make this valuable partnership function effectively to meet the challenges of the Asia-Pacific, both sides need to discuss in a practical way the rules and evidence of crisis, provocation, and responsibility as well as potential responses.

With U.S. policy toward Asia so entrenched—engaging China for “strategic reassurance” or to encourage it becoming a “responsible stakeholder”, reinforcing the U.S. alliance and reassuring partners as well as plugging the U.S. economy into the most dynamic part of the global economy—engaging the Europeans offers a useful chance for “peer review” and a dispassionate appraisal of U.S. policy in the region. Even if final answers cannot be found for the questions raised here, the learning process for the next time Washington calls on Europe to support the liberal international order will be invaluable.

Peter Mattis is a Fellow in the China Program at The Jamestown Foundation and a Ph.D. candidate in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge.

Image: White House Flickr.
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/bringing-europe-re-balancing-toward-asia-10386

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"No hay mas diferencia entre los hombres que el vicio o la virtud" Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon.

No hay raza inferior; solo hay sujetos inferiores
Bendita se la muerte, porque a nadie le concede lo que no les da a todos los demas;alabada sea la muerte que se yergue piadosa ante el hombre que ha cumplido su deber.
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Re: La estrategia de Obama en el Lejano Oriente(con artículos en inglés)

Mensaje por Lanceros de Toluca el Mayo 10th 2014, 23:54

Reitero, se debe de hacer una Alienza del Pacifico. A imagen y semejanza de la OTAN. Japon seria el pilar de esa fuerza, junto con Corea del Sur y Australia y Nueva Zelanda A esta se integrarian Filipinas, quizas Taiwan, Malasia, Tailandia.
Japon deberia empezar a hacer labores humanitarias en estos paises con el fin de ganarse su aprecio...como lo hace EUA

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Re: La estrategia de Obama en el Lejano Oriente(con artículos en inglés)

Mensaje por ivan_077 el Mayo 25th 2014, 23:17

seguroq ue jalan con tailandia. mi novia dice que les caen mal los chinos por la misma razon que les caen mal a los filipinos, vietnamitas, mongoles, etc...

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Re: La estrategia de Obama en el Lejano Oriente(con artículos en inglés)

Mensaje por Lanceros de Toluca el Mayo 26th 2014, 00:42

Obviamente, por manchados.

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Re: La estrategia de Obama en el Lejano Oriente(con artículos en inglés)

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