Asia Program

Completing the Asia Pivot

By
Robert Hathaway

President Barack Obama has made “pivoting” or “rebalancing” of U.S. policies toward Asia one of his strategic priorities. The next administration must not simply maintain this policy on autopilot; it must also provide institutional structure, budgetary support, and conceptual legitimacy to the policy. It must articulate a clear and politically persuasive rationale for the rebalancing strategy, one that acknowledges China’s growing power but also incorporates other key U.S. interests. It must provide a clearer understanding of the nonmilitary components of the strategy. The United States faces grave challenges in Asia. But U.S. success in Asia requires success at home. The pivot toward Asia will succeed only if Americans themselves pivot toward a new era of civility and remember that pursuit of the common good requires compromise and cooperation.

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