America's Pacific Logic
By Robert D. Kaplan
The Obama administration "pivot" to the Pacific, formally announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last November and reiterated more recently by the president himself, might appear like a reassertion of America's imperial tendencies
just at the time when Washington should be concentrating on the domestic economy. But in fact, the pivot was almost inevitable.
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, signaling communism's defeat in Europe, security experts immediately talked about a pivot -- a shift in diplomatic and military energies -- to the Pacific. But Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 led to a decadelong preoccupation with the Middle East, with the U.S. Army leading a land war against Iraq in 1991 and the Navy and Air Force operating no-fly zones for years thereafter. Then came 9/11, and the Bush administration's initiation of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as a response. Finally, the ending of both those conflicts is in sight, and the United States, rather than return to quasi-isolationism as it has done with deleterious effect after other ground wars in its history, is attempting to pivot its focus to the geographical heart of the global economy
: the Indian and Pacific oceans.