Debating America’s Pivot
THE SOURCES: “The Problem With the Pivot” by Robert S. Ross, in Foreign Affairs, Nov.–Dec. 2012; “The Turn Away From Europe” by Josef Joffe, in Commentary, Nov. 2012; and “Asia’s New Age of Instability” by Michael Wesley, in The National Interest, Nov.–Dec. 2012.
Many American grand strategists agree: Europe is slumbering and Asia is stirring. China is the great power the United States should keep an eye on. In 2010, the Obama administration announced a long-term “pivot” toward Asia, which involves, among other things, drawing down long-deployed military forces in Europe and inking defense deals and basing agreements with allies in East Asia.
The pivot will leave little in the realm of international affairs unaffected. America has been a sturdy presence in Europe for 70 years, stationing fleets of ships and hundreds of thousands of troops there. After the Vietnam War, it took the opposite approach in the Pacific, preferring a lighter touch of economic engagement and maritime dominance.
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