Pacific Shift

Topics: Asia-Pacific, Pacific Ocean, United States Pages: 12 (4062 words) Published: May 20, 2013
Shift of US Maritime Priorities from Atlantic to Asia Pacific Region Implication for Pakistan
It is important to note at the outset of this brief presentation on the key security challenges facing the United States in Asia, the implications of these challenges for the defense sector, and the prospects for regional cooperation, that President Obama’s remarkable November 2011 visit across the region should not obscure how much the United States continues to be also engaged elsewhere Experts and politicians should avoid a narrow focus on the bilateral China –US relationship. They must not neglect the complex realities of the region when framing the story about Asia-Pacific in world politics.

Publicly available official United States statements and documents highlight a range of security challenges facing the United States in the Asia-Pacific region. Regarding Asia, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Robert Willard for example listed eight security challenges in testimony to a congressional committee in April 2011. These included: North Korea, violent extremist organizations, China’s military modernization with unclear intent, assertive postures on territorial disputes, cyber threats, transnational crime, humanitarian disasters and environmental degradation.

Variations on these themes — by scope, detail and priority — may be found in other official assessments. The United States is working actively to be able to deal with these challenges. I would like to look beyond these “known knowns” to consider some over-arching challenges to US policy in the region. I believe there are three broad categories of such challenges: • Sustaining the “pivot”/“rebalancing” towards the Asia-Pacific; • Managing security mechanisms; and

• “Re-mapping” US Asia-Pacific policy.
Aim of my study is to carry out analysis of US Maritime policy shift from atlantic to asian region. Scope
1. Challenges to US policy
2. Sustaining the “Pivot”/“Rebalancing” to the Asia Pacific 3. The Supposed Pivot to Asia-Pacific
4. “Remapping” Asia

1. Challenges to US policy
The academic field of Geography was scarred badly in the early twentieth century, not least in Germany and Japan, by its association with a geopolitics which provided geographically determinist claims for pivots emerging as a result of the coming of the railway, its challenge to sea power, and, as a direct result, control over the steppes of central Asia giving the global geopolitical edge to local land powers. Apart from such idiosyncratic figures as Robert Kaplan in the US, some Eurasianists in Russia, and enthusiasts for Haushofer’s Geopolitik in China, reading security policy from physical geography is not central to contemporary discussions about foreign and military policy. But the language of pivoting and the idea of wholesale shifts in the center of gravity of world politics are part of the enduring legacy of classical geopolitical arguments. Beyond that, the practical reasoning involved is based on geographical assumptions and labels that should be investigated rather than simply asserted. The entire narrative about a shift in US security policy from the trans-Atlantic to the Asia-Pacific world needs close scrutiny.

A specific set of insights characterizes the approach as it has developed since the early 1990s. The first is a conceptual matrix for a geographical analysis of world politics based on ideas about geographical representations and socio-economic resources. This refers, respectively, to how the world is structured geographically from certain geographical vantage points and the relative capacity to spread such notions and, if need be, enforce them. Another is an emphasis on the role of vision and geographical imagination in how the world is structured and acted on by political agents of various sorts. Cartographic representations that come into popular use are of particular interest as sources of information about the nature of...
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