LIVE STREAM: Thinking Through Obama’s Asia Policy


Launch in external player

With President Obama off to Tokyo next week to kickoff his first trip to Asia as president, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is hosting a public forum today to discuss the administration’s policy options and challenges in the region.
The event – which will STREAM LIVE here at The Washington Note from 12:15pm – 2:00pm – features Carnegie Endowment experts Douglas Paal, Michael Pettis, Taiya Smith, and Michael Swaine.
The complexities facing President Obama in Asia are underestimated. Japan has been a taken for granted ally — and is now under new political management as the Democratic Party of Japan walloped the LDP in August elections. The new Prime Minister has mentioned but not outlined specifics about a call for a new “East Asian Community” that seems for the moment as if it would include China but exclude the United States. There are lots of suspicions on the Obama team about Hatoyama’s intent. There are issues related to US military basing arrangements that are stressful and Japan’s evolving role on global security and economic matters looks confusing to some.
China too and its increasingly intimate relationship with America’s core policy course on global economic matters, climate change policy, and statecraft with problem nations like North Korea and Iran are also key.
Human rights issues in Burma hang over Obama’s agenda. And addressing the identity needs and relative independence of Southeast Asian nations who both worry about and simultaneously embrace China’s rise also needs presidential attention — which is an increasingly scarce commodity given other domestic and international problems on the plate.
Obama needs to convince Asia that it matters in the roster of his and America’s priorities — even though the US is distracted in so many other directions. This session should be an interesting primer on those who want to study how Obama might walk that tightrope.
It is interesting to note that most still see the next century as an “Asian Century” but America is stumbling over itself to be involved just about everywhere else than there.
Hopefully President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton will change that impression.
— Steve Clemons


3 comments on “LIVE STREAM: Thinking Through Obama’s Asia Policy

  1. Dan Kervick says:

    Maybe Obama and Clinton can do something about East Asian spam.


  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Hopefully President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton will change that impression”
    Perhaps you should separate the two, Steve.
    From my vantage point, it appears our SOS has her sights set on the throne, and it is not exactly in her best interests to help Obama implement successful or positive policies.
    Considering what she has done to the prospects of constructive diplomatic engagement with the global Muslim community, she is either remarkably incompetent, or purposely alienating the global Muslim community. She hasn’t exhibited prior incompetence on this scale, so what are we to believe?
    Obama would be well advised to keep very close track on what this woman is doing behind his back, and what EXACTLY transpires when she meets with leaders of other nations. Admit it, wouldn’t you have liked to be a fly on the wall when this power hungry witch met with Lieberman behind closed doors??? It certainly looks to me like she pursued a course that was more in line with what Lieberman would want than what Obama would want.
    BTW, Steve. Maddow has a great personality, is attractive, and is one hell of an entertainer. I have a soft spot for her too. But she has not uttered one single word about the current state of affairs with the Goldstone Report, the I/P issue, or anything else of import regarding our diplomatic relationship with Israel. So as an entertainer, she is a great success. But as a member of the Fourth Estate, she’s just another Miller or Armstrong. Israel exercises its control over our politicians because the public is misinformed and uninformed. If the general public knew the TRUTH, it would be far harder for our politicians to get away with half the shit they pull, especially as it applies to foreign policy. For a media personality to act as irresponsibly as Maddow does makes her complicit in the dismantling of our “representative” form of government.
    And if she treats the Middle East with such disregard for reponsible journalism, how are we to trust her reporting on ANY issue? Are special interests or foreign powers dictating what she does and doesn’t report about events, policies, and engagements with Asian countries or interests?
    Without a Fourth Estate, we have NO IDEA what the TRUTH is in regards to what Hillary and Barack do or don’t do diplomatically in Asia.
    And, brother, if Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow is the best we can do for a Fourth Estate, we are REALLY in deep shit.


  3. JohnH says:

    Steve concluded? “America is stumbling over itself to be involved just about everywhere else than {East Asia.]
    May I paraphrase? America has an East Asian policy?
    I doubt it. There’s no place for military action, ergo no policy.


Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *