Revitalizing the Rebalance: How to Keep U.S. Focus on Asia

Michael J. Green, Zack Cooper
Content Type
Journal Article
The Washington Quarterly
Issue Number
Publication Date
Fall 2014
Center for Strategic and International Studies
In November 2011, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. Although this shift had been underway for years, experts across the Pacific generally welcomed Washington's increased attention. From the beginning, however, the U.S. Congress and governments in Asia have questioned whether the rebalance announcement was backed by the necessary resources and implementation strategy. Under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress tasked an independent assessment of the rebalance strategy with a particular focus on plans for realigning U.S. forces in the region. In authoring that independent assessment and a recent follow - on report for the Pentagon, we conducted hundreds of interviews and concluded that the general thrust of the strategy was right, but further efforts were needed to articulate and implement the strategy with greater clarity and consistency for the Congress as well as U.S. allies and partners. Two years after that initial review, we have updated our own findings and concluded that implementation of the rebalance is proceeding apace, but some of the foundational conceptual and resource problems remain. With just two years remaining in the Obama administration, it is vital that the United States revitalize the rebalance and keep its focus on Asia.
Political Geography
Japan, China, India, Asia