Strauss Center News

Updates from the Strauss Center and our affiliated distinguished scholars and fellows


Inboden: Resources, Resolve Lacking in Asia Rebalance

Apr 28, 2014 |

In a post for Foreign Policy‘s Shadow Government blog Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar and Clements Center Director Dr. William Inboden discussed President Obama’s recent trip to Asia and assessed the efficacy of the administration’s pivot to Asia. In his post, When Asian Leaders Look at Obama, They See Ukraine and Syria, Inboden argues that not only has the administration failed to allocate much-needed resources to support the pivot, recent failures to uphold the international rules-based order in places like Ukraine have hampered the pivot as Asian leaders question U.S. resolve.

In his post, Inboden argues that the administration has proved unable both to perceive Russian intentions and to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine. Add to that a failure to enforce its “red lines” in Syria, and Inboden says there is ample reason for Asian leaders to question the credibility of our commitments in the region. As Inboden describes it, “our Asian allies find us unreliable, and Russia and China find us irresolute and inconsistent.”

Ultimately, Inboden hopes that recent events have imbued the Administration with a newfound sense of realism, and a realization that with leadership comes responsibility. And while he agrees that the U.S. should devote more resources to Asia, this should be accompanied by an understanding that the rebalance cannot come at the expense of attention to other areas of strategic importance around the globe.