Obama’s Pacific Tour Triumph Puts GOP Hopefuls in Tough Spot

Posted on December 5, 2011

Obama has finally begun to act like a leader.  On a recent tour, the outcome was enviable.

Barack Obama’s triumphant Asia-Pacific tour was a major foreign policy achievement for the president. By bolstering security alliances with pivotal nations and promoting a regional free trade area, he left no doubt that—after a costly decade of distraction in Iraq and Afghanistan—“The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay.” The trip also underscored just how much China’s dramatic rise has unsettled its neighbors, both in the realms of economics and security.

But President Obama did more than offer deft reassurance to U.S. allies. He articulated a political vision for the Asia-Pacific as an open system in which all countries (and notably China) “play by the rules” and no single country (China, again) throws its weight around. His message was implicit but unmistakable: It’s time for an “Atlantic Charter”for a Pacific Century.

That “play by the rules” part will be the toughest.  Anyone who has had business dealings with the Chinese knows that they have their own rules from contracts to accounting.  However, word is the dragon was surprised that the eagle was so missed in the region it was begged to come back to maintain balance.   Stay tuned.  It is one thing to set something up; quite another to keep it moving forward.  Still, Obama is making a lot of good moves lately that have enhanced his position.  Republicans will have a tough road to take back the White House.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY