For five years now, Washington has been debating the value of the Obama Administration’s rebalance to Asia. Questions have arisen over how it was formulated and rolled out, how well it is resourced, whether it weighted too heavily toward military matters, and whether the new attention is sufficiently distributed throughout the region. Experts and stakeholders on the policy have tried to sort out and explain China’s role, Taiwan’s role, the role of ASEAN and other regional organizations. Washington has spent an inordinate amount of time on the implications of the terminology itself, “pivot” or “rebalance.” In short, the “rebalance” has been very carefully considered from virtually every angle. Now, in the midst of a political season in which Americans are debating their nation’s role in the world, it is time to take stock and start looking beyond the rebalance to the time when a new Administration will take ownership of Asia policy.
About the Speaker:
Mr Walter Lohman, Director of The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center oversees the think tank’s oldest research center, which analyzes the full range of U.S. policy in East and South Asia and develops recommendations to further American interests in freedom and security. Lohman is a policy expert focused principally on Southeast Asia, but also broader Asia policy including relations with America’s allies in Japan, South Korea and Australia. He is also a close observer of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship and China policy. Lohman joined Heritage in 2006 as senior research fellow for Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and was promoted to director the following spring. In addition, he is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, where he leads graduate seminars on American foreign policy interests in Southeast Asia and the role of Congress in Asia policy. Lohman previously served for four years as senior vice president and executive director of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council. Lohman also has critical experience on Capitol Hill as a Senate staff member, serving as a policy advisor to both then-Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., and to Senator John McCain, R-AZ. Lohman holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Virginia Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.