In this video Glen S. Fukushima, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, joins UNU Rector David M. Malone to discuss current and future United States policy in the Asian region.
The forecast for US-Asia relations appeared to be very optimistic with the US Obama Administration’s new geopolitical strategy, dubbed the “Asia Pivot/Rebalance”. In 2009, President Obama referred to himself as “America’s first Pacific president” to signal a strengthened US engagement in Asia. However, the results thereof are yet to be witnessed. Mr. Fukushima points towards the personnel changes within the Obama Administration, including Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, and the international crises in Ukraine and the Middle East, as the major obstacles preventing substantial “Asia Pivot/Rebalance” outcomes to be achieved.
Despite the current urgency for the US to allocate resources to conflicts outside of Asia, Mr. Fukushima emphasizes the importance of an American presence in Asia, particularly progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations followed by swift US Congress approval of the agreement. This would further incentivize regional actors to have closer political and economic ties, which Mr. Fukushima acknowledges could possibly rebalance China’s expansionary tendencies in the region.
Ideally, as tense situations around the world settle down, they will require less attention from the US Administration, which Mr. Fukushima highlights as an essential catalyst for a significant US “Asia Pivot/Rebalance”.