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Asia Pacific Pivot

Obama Gets It Right in the South China Sea

William Bradley | Posted 10.30.2015 | Politics
William Bradley

President Barack Obama sent the Navy in harm's way this week and it turned out fine. Having gotten what it's going to get, at least for now, from China, the Obama administration at last challenged China's absurd claim of sovereignty over far distant artificial islands it's built in the South China Sea.

Obama's China Syndrome

William Bradley | Posted 09.27.2015 | Politics
William Bradley

Obama's China syndrome is that he seeks both to engage China and to contain China. Both are appropriate and arguably quite necessary goals for American statecraft. But they presuppose a state of creative tension between the established superpower and would-be superpower.

V-J Day at 70: China Mangles History and Projects A More Doubtful Future

William Bradley | Posted 09.03.2015 | Politics
William Bradley

There were only a few things wrong with the massive parade today in Beijing celebrating the 70th anniversary of V-J Day, Victory over Japan Day. The folks doing the celebrating only tangentially represent the Chinese who most actively resisted the Japanese invaders. And the celebration itself, meant to signify China's emerging superpower status, fell a little flat.

State of Play: Our Far-flung Crises

William Bradley | Posted 06.25.2015 | Politics
William Bradley

The velocity of events and the fragmentation of the media culture are such that it can be difficult to keep up with how we're doing in various national security crises around the world. Here's the latest state of play on some of the most pressing.

Asia: On the Rocks

John Feffer | Posted 06.18.2015 | World
John Feffer

The U.S. inability to help resolve the myriad island disputes in Asia and its failure to overcome domestic resistance to the TPP suggest that a time will come quite soon when America no longer rules the waves in the Pacific (or has the hegemonic power to waive the rules).

Allies: Why Japan, Rather Than Israel, Should Be the New Britain

William Bradley | Posted 05.03.2015 | Politics
William Bradley

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's just completed trip to Washington, D.C. and California points up Japan's new status. Our bitter enemy of the mid-20th century is poised to become America's most important ally in the early 21st century.

Protests Growing in Okinawa Over U.S. Military Presence

Jon Letman | Posted 06.03.2015 | Hawaii
Jon Letman

As Americans, and especially as residents of Hawaii, the very least we can do is to recognize how our military presence impacts Okinawa's people and environment.

Obama Should Have Visited the Taj Mahal and Skipped Saudi Arabia

Ivan Eland | Posted 03.28.2015 | Politics
Ivan Eland

Since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Saudi Arabia has enjoyed the protection of the United States in exchange for providing the world with cheap oil. And the wider Middle East has enjoyed excessive U.S. strategic and military interest for the same reason.

How the US Should Respond to Chinese Military Assertiveness in 2015

Samuel Ramani | Posted 03.08.2015 | Politics
Samuel Ramani

Recent events and lingering ambiguities surrounding the extent of China's military power, intentions and preparedness for conflict should implore the United States to devise a long-term strategy in the Pacific that synthesizes arms buildups with expanded economic investment and alliance consolidation.

Pivoting to Success: Is Obama's Progress in the Asia-Pacific and Elsewhere Enough?

William Bradley | Posted 11.21.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

With his eight-day tour of the Asia-Pacific, his affirmation of equality on the Internet, and his move to block mass deportations, President Barack Obama has some big post-election actions to point to as he seeks to rebound from the disaster of the mid-term elections.

Veterans Day: The Mission Must Merit the Sacrifice

William Bradley | Posted 11.10.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

Obama is far too smart a man to remain in denial. And far too smart not to know, for this Veterans Day, the consequences of his decisions with regard to U.S. military and covert interventions around the world.

Obama's Troublesome Distractions Won't Wreck His Asia-Pacific Pivot (But Not Because of Him)

William Bradley | Posted 10.21.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

One good thing for the president is that his Asia-Pacific Pivot -- heightened engagement with the rising region, and nascent superpower China -- hasn't been wrecked by the lengthening array of Obama administration distractions, including his troubled and tardy war against Isis.

Leon Panetta's Book, Barack Obama's Plight, and the Shreds of Statesmanship

William Bradley | Posted 10.13.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

President Barack Obama's got a lot of problems, some of his making, many not. The last thing he need is one of his former top officials feeding attack lines to his enemies. So naturally, that's what he has.

Obama: President Who Pledged to Disengage Places U.S. on Permanent War Footing in the Middle East

William Bradley | Posted 09.11.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries and took office on the premise that he would wind down America's role in Middle Eastern and Central Asian conflicts. But his legacy will be the contrary.

RIMPAC in the Rear-View Mirror

Jon Letman | Posted 10.04.2014 | Hawaii
Jon Letman

This year's RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) maritime military exercises have ended, and any attention we've given the biennial war games will quickly turn elsewhere. But before we let RIMPAC drop from view, it's worth pausing to consider what we've just witnessed (or not witnessed, since most of the RIMPAC takes place out of sight).

Even With California's Legislature on Summer Vacation, Things Keep Perking in Jerry Brown World

William Bradley | Posted 09.06.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

With the California legislature off on a month's vacation beginning with the 4th of July weekend, it's a period in California politics in which several matters are poised awaiting resolution; namely, policy on water, high-speed rail, and space, the state controller's race, and Governor Jerry Brown's future.

Is This What Terror War Success Looks Like?

William Bradley | Posted 08.28.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

What does success against jihadist terrorist groups look like? For all the talk of a Forever War, we might just have an answer now.

Obama's D-Day Misfire Mirrors Other Problems

William Bradley | Posted 08.09.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

What we got from Obama was a tunnel visioned view of history, even with regard to the historical event itself. And he completely missed the reality that events do not occur in isolation from one another.

Australia's Security Burden-Sharing (VIDEO)

Nicholas Kralev | Posted 07.28.2014 | World
Nicholas Kralev

On this week's episode ofConversations with Nicholas Kralev, the Australian ambassador to Washington, Kim Beazley, talks about his country's "massive burden-sharing" in the diplomacy and security of the Asia-Pacific.

Obama Wins Back Lost Advantage in the Philippines As He Dabbles, Fitfully and Perhaps Fatefully, in the Ukraine Crisis

William Bradley | Posted 06.30.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

As Obama accomplished something quite real in the Asia-Pacific his administration and the European Union pursued something unreal, announcing new sanctions against individual Russians for their involvement in Russia's strategy to foment discord in Ukraine and keep that nation, which is only a few hundred miles from Moscow, out of NATO.

Despite the Crisis Over Ukraine, America Will Likely Need Russia Soon

Ivan Eland | Posted 06.29.2014 | Politics
Ivan Eland

In the future, to contain a rapidly rising China, the United States would need Russia again -- and Russia would need the United States. That's why Russia's behavior in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, despite its unacceptability, will probably be forgotten rather quickly in Washington.

Asia-Pacific Pivot: Obama Trip So Far As Important for What Hasn't Happened As for What Has Happened

William Bradley | Posted 06.26.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

While the shouting but, notably, not shooting continues in the Ukraine crisis, and the Middle East peace process collapses, President Barack Obama is in the middle of his four-nation Asia-Pacific tour. How's it going, amidst very predictable distractions from Russia and Israel? Fair to middling.

Obama Finally Gets Back to the Asia-Pacific

William Bradley | Posted 06.23.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

This is a critical time for the the Asia-Pacific Pivot. Which is, of course, America's shift from its fateful post-9/11 fixations with the Islamic world of the Middle East and Central Asia to the rising Asia-Pacific.

Does the Sudden Ukraine Deal Clear the Decks for Obama's Asia-Pacific Tour?

William Bradley | Posted 06.18.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

The key to getting Russia to back away from any potential invasion of Ukraine is what it has always been, to ensure that Ukraine, just a few hundred miles from Moscow, does not become a leading outpost of the West and NATO.

Saber Rattling, Mostly Foolhardy, From the Potomac to the Pacific

William Bradley | Posted 06.14.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

A bitter extended exchange between two very old friends from Capitol Hill's contingent of Vietnam vets -- Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain -- captured the spirit of anger and disarray that presently characterizes America's geopolitical posture.