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Asia Pacific Pivot

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

William Bradley | Posted 04.14.2014 | 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.

Obama: Good Talk, Loose Talk in Summiteering on Loose Nukes, Uptight Russia, the Asia-Pacific Pivot, and America's Problematic Image

William Bradley | Posted 03.25.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

It's one thing to acknowledge, as Obama did from the beginning, that his goal of nuclear abolition was very blue sky, something that would not be accomplished in his lifetime. Frankly, I'd bet that it never happens. That it seems unrealistic does not mean that it is not a righteous goal.

Does America Even Have a National Security Strategy? (Needed: Anticipatory Democracy)

William Bradley | Posted 04.18.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

Does America even have a national security strategy? I ask because the Pentagon is getting ready to promulgate the latest version of same in the forthcoming Quadrennial Defense Review. And the Obama Administration has given off some big conflicting messages over the past year.

Has Obama Already Forgotten About Asia?

John Feffer | Posted 04.12.2014 | Politics
John Feffer

Iran is in the news. So is Syria and Israel and Iraq. Even though it is the most populous and economically vibrant area of the world, Asia will continue to be an afterthought for the Obama administration, pivot or no pivot.

Asia-Pacific Pivot: A New Cold War (Just Not the One You Think)

William Bradley | Posted 03.30.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

Who would win in a hot war between Japan and China? The more limited the scope of the engagement, the better the chance for Japan to prevail. While China has more ships and planes, Japan has better ships and planes, with more maneuvering experience.

Why America’s Strategic Rebalance Is Really Just Retreat

John Feffer | Posted 03.30.2014 | Politics
John Feffer

The lumbering aircraft carrier known as the United States should be executing a pivot that lives up to its name: a shift from the martial to the pacific. Instead, it's just roiling the waters and leaving instability in its wake.

China's New Foreign Policy: Not Conflict But Convergence Of Interests

Yan Xuetong | Posted 03.30.2014 | World
Yan Xuetong

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.

An Open Letter to President Obama

Vincent Intondi | Posted 03.24.2014 | Politics
Vincent Intondi

While I may be in the minority, I believe that abolishing nuclear weapons is still one of your biggest goals as president. If I am correct, then why not visit Hiroshima?

China Huffs and Puffs Some More, to Uncertain Effect

William Bradley | Posted 03.15.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

The latest aggressive Chinese move in the Western Pacific? Decreeing that all fishing vessels must have Chinese permission to operate in the South China Sea, virtually all of which it claims as its sovereign territory to the dismay of the other nations on the South China Sea.

The Frustration of Bob Gates

William Bradley | Posted 03.10.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

I like Robert Gates. He's a professional, a grown-up. He's a thoughtful, reasonable Republican at a time when such are overshadowed by something very different. I agree with him on many things. But his "Mission Impossible" assignment to salvage Iraq and Afghanistan is blinding him.

An Odd, Intriguing Year Ahead

William Bradley | Posted 03.08.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

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.

China Confrontation: Vietnam Vet Kerry Makes Hay With Our Old Foe, Japan Woos Southeast Asia

William Bradley | Posted 02.17.2014 | World
William Bradley

High-profile diplomacy by American and Japanese leaders is bearing fruit in the wake of China following up its claim of sovereignty over virtually the entire South China Sea with its declaration of an air defense identification zone over much of the East China Sea.

China's Dangerous Air and Sea Show: Outcome, Options

William Bradley | Posted 02.13.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

Nearly a week has come and gone since Vice President Joe Biden's big Asia-Pacific tour in the immediate wake of China declaring an air defense zone across the East China Sea. It proved to be a consequential trip, one swiftly followed on by Secretary of State John Kerry visiting Vietnam.

Tom Pickering Interviews Henry Kissinger on America's Rebalancing Towards the Asia-Pacific

Ali Wyne | Posted 02.10.2014 | World
Ali Wyne

Last Wednesday, the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C. hosted the Sisco Memorial Forum, established in honor of the late diplomat Joseph Sisco....

Who's in Charge on the Asia-Pacific Pivot? Biden, Hagel, Navy, Obama, Nobody?

William Bradley | Posted 02.05.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

Vice President Joe Biden's very high profile Asia-Pacific trip this week points up a very key question with regard to the Obama Administration's pivot from the Middle East and Central Asia to the Asia-Pacific. Who's in charge, anyway?

Why We Should Miss John F. Kennedy 50 Years On

William Bradley | Posted 02.03.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

It's a complex and fascinating set of situations, one which would undoubtedly engage Kennedy greatly. It's too bad he's not around to counsel Obama.

The Iran Deal: Israel's "Existential Crisis," If Any, May Lie in the East China Sea

William Bradley | Posted 11.26.2013 | Politics
William Bradley

Watching the Asia-Pacific slide into chaos, or become a vast Chinese lake, while remaining fatefully fixated on highly questionable Middle Eastern agendas could be disastrous. It would certainly be foolhardy.

Obama Sets Big Trip As He Regroups Around the Asia-Pacific Pivot

William Bradley | Posted 01.25.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

So Obama, beset by other problems, is heading out to the Asia-Pacific again on a big trip in April. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, not nearly as identified with the Asia-Pacific Pivot as predecessor Tom Donilon, made the announcement in a speech Wednesday at Georgetown University reaffirming the country's commitment to the Pivot.

What Can Obama Do in a Non-Magical Moment?

William Bradley | Posted 01.25.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

Try as one might, it's pretty much impossible to miss how badly things have turned for President Barack Obama. Not that it hasn't been building all year.

China Amps Up Its Soft Power in the South China Sea While Washington Shows the Flag

William Bradley | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

The federal government shutdown debacle finally ended, but its effects live on. In this case, continuing to effect America's Asia-Pacific pivot, our big geopolitical shift from fateful over-engagement with the Islamic world of the Middle East and Central Asia to heightened engagement with the rising Asia-Pacific.

Distractions and Confidence: The Rot of the Present vs. the Root in the Past

William Bradley | Posted 10.16.2013 | Politics
William Bradley

In the big world beyond the vastly expensive Beltway sandbox of vicious political ping pong and hyper-partisan gamesmanship, China's official press agency is using the debacle to call for "a de-Americanized world."

Ah, About Those Special Ops Raids ...

William Bradley | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
William Bradley

Last weekend, in the midst of all the tumult over the debacle that is the federal government shutdown, came word of these two dramatic US special operations forces raids against jihadist leaders in Libya and Somalia.

The Shutdown Crew Takes a Big Bite Out of U.S. Geopolitics

William Bradley | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
William Bradley

America is being judged by what's going on in the Washington clown show. The right-wing faction behind it is like the proverbial barking dog that catches the car -- no idea what to do now. And almost certainly no real grasp of the trouble it's causing.

Obama's Mixed But Improved (For Now) Week on Iran and Syria

William Bradley | Posted 11.28.2013 | Politics
William Bradley

Is Obama getting them right? Well, it looks like pretzel logic at times, and I can't imagine that what we are seeing is the unfolding of an overall scenario, but he may be on his way to extricating himself from impasses on Syria and Iran.

After the Syria Red Alert: Big Doings in the Pacific Pivot, but Brazil Strategy Flops

William Bradley | Posted 11.20.2013 | Politics
William Bradley

Just like that, a big crisis passes into the rear view mirror. But its impact continues, perhaps even more elsewhere.