The role of the US in Asia

Policy Study


The beginning of the 21st century has seen significant changes in the power dynamics governing the Asia-Pacific region. Just as the US had to divert resources to its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, within the region, the game was also changing. Most notably, China’s meteoric rise in economic terms has been met with expansion of its role in the geopolitical and strategic sense.

Of course, this has affected the manner in which other states in the region react to geopolitical shifts. This article by the Indian author Indrani Bagchi development of the role of the US in Asia. She shows how the space left during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars encouraged greater input from powers within the region like China and India. There have also been shifts in terms of how smaller countries in the region have placed themselves. Furthermore, we see how the Obama Administration has once again placed a greater focus on Asia in terms of US foreign policy. The paper argues that there are now three options for United States foreign policy: Essentially, the US has three options: to strengthen alliances with China’s neighbours in order to contain Chinese hegemony; to follow the ‘G2’ route, whereby the US and China would basically carve out spheres of influence and power; or, to become isolationist and to only trade with Asia.”

Read the paper by Indrani Bagchi (PDF)

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