31 October, 2020

Counterpoise Beyond Trump’s Asia Rhetoric

With a brawnier navy, the new US President will take a more ­forceful approach to America’s ‘balancing’ mission in Eurasia

Counterpoise Beyond Trump’s Asia Rhetoric

What will become of the Asia “pivot”—the Obama administration’s “rebalance to Asia”—in Donald Trump’s America? One guy’s guess: less will change than you might think. The logic behind the pivot is timeless and compelling—even for a president-elect who flouts convention with glee. Asia will remain central to US foreign policy and strategy even as—perhaps—Europe reclaims its former stature within that space.

Now, the terminology—pivot, rebalance—may change. Incoming presidential administrations famously distance themselves from their predecessors—especially when those predecessors come from a rival party. The pivot is an Obama administration artefact, and thus might appear destined for the political refuse heap.

But although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton coined the term in a Foreign Policy essay back in 2011, the concept of a military and diplomatic swing from the Atlantic theatre to maritime Asia long antedates the Obama administration. Indeed, it represents a...



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