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).
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.
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.
Although China and the U.S. are strategic competitors, there are common interests, complementary interests and, of course, conflicting interests between them. Such complexity provides the two countries the room for active cooperation when interests converge and a degree of preventive cooperation where interests conflict.
President Barack Obama's vacation schedule reflected the reality of this holiday season in which Christmas and New Year's Day each fell upon a Wednesday, with long weekends bleeding into long weekends. Now he's back and so is the working new year, at last functionally upon us, which will be odd and intriguing.