Pivot to the Pacific? The Obama Administration's 'Rebalancing' Toward Asia [March 28, 2012]   [open pdf - 662KB]

"In the fall of 2011 and early 2012, the Obama Administration announced that it would be intensifying the U.S. role in the Asia-Pacific region. To do this, it intends to raise the region's priority in U.S. military planning, foreign policy, and economic policy. With U.S. troops gone from Iraq and poised to be drawn down in Afghanistan, Administration officials say they plan to 'rebalance' U.S. attention toward planning for future challenges and opportunities, such as those represented in the Asia-Pacific region. As President Barack Obama stated in a November 2011 address to the Australian parliament, his goal is to ensure that 'the United States will play a larger and long-term role in shaping this region [the Asia-Pacific] and its future.' The ultimate goal, according to National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, is to promote U.S. interests by helping to shape the norms and rules of the Asia-Pacific region, to ensure that 'international law and norms be respected, that commerce and freedom of navigation are not impeded, that emerging powers build trust with their neighbors, and that disagreements are resolved peacefully without threats or coercion.'"

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CRS Report for Congress, R42448
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