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Obama Administration's Pacific Pivot Strategy: An Assessment

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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The Obama Pacific Pivot strategy emerged out of two strands of thinking. First, the Bush administration, pre-occupied with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, neglected the Asia-Pacific region. Second, the rising economic and military power of the Peoples Republic of China PRC required greater attention from the United States. Studies drew parallels between the Europe of the early 20th century and Asia of the early 21st century with the perception of the United States as a declining power struggling to accepts its reduced stature with the rise of the PRC as a hegemonic challenger in the Asia-Pacific region. The potential for open conflict between the United States and the PRC existed as the Obama administration pursued its Pacific Pivot strategy. Whether this strategy achieved its intended objectives is crucial for the United States in evaluating national security in the post-Obama era. This monograph examines the Obama administrations Pacific Pivot over the course of the Presidents two terms in office and answers the question did the Obama administrations 2011 Pacific Pivot strategy achieve its intended objectives and make the US security position safer in the Asia-Pacific region. The Obama administrations over reliance on US military power undermined and may have ultimately negated the intended effects of the Pacific Pivot. This monograph examines the Obama administrations Pacific Pivot as a strategy, rather than merely a policy to answer the research question. To frame this inquiry a working definition of strategy will be developed and a historical review of the United States in the region conducted. US government and external metrics will be used as part of the assessment for analysis of the Pacific Pivot strategys outcomes against its stated objectives.

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Technical Report,05 Jun 2016,25 May 2017



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Approved For Public Release;

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