17 September 2014
Can America maintain its rebalancing to Asia when old conflicts in the Middle East and Europe erupt?
The United States’ rebalancing to Asia, frequently described as a “pivot” to Asia, is unravelling.
The crisis in the Ukraine and the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) highlight the challenges posed to US policymakers as they seek to change American policy priorities to deal with the rise of Asia, especially China.
As then US secretary of defence Leon Panetta noted at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in June 2012, after the withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq and the drawdown of military forces in Europe, rebalancing will result in a shift from a 50:50 to a 60:40 ratio of US naval forces in the Asia-Pacific and Europe.
In practice, planned cuts in the defence budget would result in major reductions in defence spending.
Effectively, rebalancing meant that the US would maintain its current military presence in the Asia-Pacific while significant declines occurred in Europe.
… Barry Desker is the Dean, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
IDSS / RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 17/09/2014