President Obama’s planned visit to Asia next week is expected to focus on reassuring allies in the Pacific of America’s commitment to military escalation in the region, dubbed the “Asia pivot.”
The pivot was supposed to be a wholesale realignment of US military priorities, building up forces in eastern Asia to confront China. The US has combined the plan with pledges to back militarily the territorial claims of every nation in the South China against China.
The problem is, this expensive realignment was supposed to coincide with more drawdowns in Europe, and instead the Obama Administration is also championing, with the backing of NATO, a major military buildup in eastern Europe as well.
Officially, both plans are still on track, but Pacific nations believe that finances will eventually force the US to decide between hostile deployments near Russia and hostile deployments near China, and are not confident that the pivot’s China-centric nature will win out, particularly with so many in DC enamoured at the prospect of a new cold war with Russia.