Monday, November 14, 2011

Obama deserves praise for America's return to Asia

Obama's trip to Asia is a long overdue step towards re-establishing american influence in the region. Since 9/11, american foreign policy has been obsessed with the middle east and islamist extremism to the detriment of compelling interests elsewhere. The rise of democracy and economic growth in Indonesia, a country with around 240 million citizens, is an area where american foreign policy can play a positive supporting role. In attending the ASEAN summit in Bali, Obama will also be able to improve american relations with states like Vietnam and the Philippines that are concerned by Chinese expansion and perceived bullying on the part of that country. Obama's trip also plays a bigger purpose in that it will provide the signal of american commitment to the free movement of goods and services across the Indian Ocean. Supporting democracy, peace and economic growth in Asia serves both American and regional interests, Obama should be praised for this strategic endeavour.

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