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The Pivot to Asia: Can It Serve as the Foundation for American Grand Strategy in the 21st Century

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Technical Report

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U.S. Army War College -Strategic Studies Institute Carlisle United States

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In this monograph, Dr. Stuart discusses three schools of thought regarding the rise of China Containers, Adapters, and Game Changers. In a situation in which the Obama Administration cannot make a definitive choice in favor of one of these schools of thought, it has opted for a policy of hedging in order to keep its options open. Unfortunately, it is a comment on the tragic nature of international relations that hedging policies are likely to be interpreted negatively by the target of such actionsthus moving both nations closer to what Graham Allison calls the Thucydides Trap. Dr. Stuart recommends certain policies that may make this unwanted development less likely. The final section of this monograph looks beyond the Western Pacific, noting the growing importance of India and Chinas efforts to expand their influence into Central Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. Dr. Stuart also discusses the problems that the Obama Administration has been forced to confront in other placese.g., Ukraine, Libya, Syria, etc.that have complicated its efforts to keep its focus on the pivot strategy in the IAP region. He concludes with some lessons for strategists, derived from the Obama teams experience with the pivot.

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