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Clinton’s Asia “Pivot” Policy Has Failed

- October 11, 2015

It Was Clinton's State Department That Was Mainly Responsible For The Administration's Attempt At A Strategic 'Pivot' To Asia…" "And it was Clinton's State Department that was mainly responsible for the administration's attempt at a strategic 'pivot' to Asia, designed largely to counter China's growing influence." (Michael Hirsh, "The Clinton Legacy," Foreign Affairs, May/June 2013)

  • Clinton, 2011: The "Pivot" To Asia Is "Among The Most Important Diplomatic Efforts Of Our Time." "This kind of pivot is not easy, but we have paved the way for it over the past two-and-a-half years, and we are committed to seeing it through as among the most important diplomatic efforts of our time." (Hillary Clinton, Op-Ed, "America's Pacific Century," Foreign Policy, 10/11/11)
  • In A May 2012 Email, Clinton Wanted To Clarify That Her State Department, Not The White House, Had Come Up With The Asia "Pivot." (Hillary Clinton, Email To Jake Sullivan, et. al., 5/14/12, State Department Release, 12/31/15, FOIA # F-2014-20439)

CNN's Fareed Zakaria: "Whatever Happened To The Pivot To Asia?" (Fareed Zakaria, Op-Ed, "Whatever Happened To Obama's Pivot To Asia," The Washington Post , 4/16/14)

  • The Asia Pivot Has Earned "Mixed Reviews From Foreign Policy Analysts" Over China's Continued Aggression In The South China Sea. "Clinton's signature policy project at the State Department - the so-called 'pivot to Asia' - earns mixed reviews from foreign policy analysts. Some say it signaled a lack of commitment to the Middle East, and they note that China continues aggressive policies in the region." (Michael Crowley and Nahal Toosi, "GOP Targets Hillary Clinton's Years At State," Politico, 4/12/15)
  • With China's Aggression In The South China Sea, "The Pivot Policy Now Looks Inadequate." "With China building fake islands around the South China Sea and threatening to enforce an air-exclusion zone in the area, the pivot policy now looks inadequate." (Josh Rogin, Op-Ed, "Why Hillary Can't Run On Her State Department Record," Bloomberg View, 6/3/15)

A 2014 Report From The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Then Under Chairman Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Criticized The State Department For A Weak Commitment To The Pivot. "Nonetheless, the State Department has not substantially increased diplomatic engagement resources to its Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Department of Commerce staffing levels have not significantly increased, hindering the ability of U.S. businesses to take full advantage of new prospects. U.S. development assistance to the region, which saw a modest increase in the ad- ministration's FY2015 budget proposal, is still below levels from several years ago, and the U.S. development approach needs updating and upgrading." (Senate Foreign Relations Committee Majority Staff, "Re-Balancing The Rebalance: Resourcing U.S. Diplomatic Strategy In The Asia-Pacific Region," Senate Committee On Foreign Relations, 4/17/14)

  • Stephen Bosworth, Obama's Former Coordinator For North Korea: The Asia Rebalancing Concept "Was Ill Conceived And Bungled In Its Implementation." "Stephen W. Bosworth, Mr. Obama's coordinator for North Korea in his first term, agreed. The rebalancing concept, Mr. Bosworth argued, 'was ill conceived and bungled in its implementation.'" (David E. Sanger and Mark Landler, "Obama's Strategic Shift To Asia Is Hobbled By Pressure At Home And Crises Abroad," The New York Times , 4/21/14)

Governments In The Asia Pacific Argued That The Obama Administration "Loves To Talk About" Making The Pivot But Not "Walk The Walk." "The White House's problem is that even after years of talking about the strategic 'rebalance' to the western Pacific, the president and his administration still face a wall of skepticism from regional governments and critics inside Washington. Obama and his top officials love to talk about focusing on Asia, the argument goes, but they do not walk the walk." (Philip Ewing, "Obama's Asia Pivot, A Work In Progress," Politico, 4/21/14)


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