Originally posted on Asylum Watch:
In November of last year, President Obama showed up at the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) where he announced a shift in US foreign policy, which he refered to as the Asian Pivot. Asia is of vital strategic and economic importance to the US and, according to the President, deserved to be the United State’s number one priority. Later, Secretary of Defense, Panetta, said that by 2020, 60% of our naval forces would be deployed in the Pacific leaving 40% for the Atlantic and Mediterranean. There, also, was announced in those days an agreement between the US and Australia, whereby the US would maintain a contingent of Marines in Australia. It wasn’t long before US officials when talking about the US Asian pivot and relations with China that the word “containment” was repeatedly used.
What is meant by the word “containment”? Does China need to be contained? What is the Asian Pivot policy all about?
Since the end of WW II, the United States has had a position of hegemony in South East Asia. There are American flags flying over bases in Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, the Marshall Islands, Guam, and Wake. After the cold war ended, America’s hegemony in the world has been little challenged. The US, as the only super power standing, became the world’s policeman. Someone had to be and no one else could be. The US likes to think it has been a good cop. A feeling that isn’t shared by all.