by Danny Russel
At the very outset of his Administration, the President made a strategic decision to increase the United States’ focus on the Asia-Pacific region by rebalancing U.S. engagements, activities, and resources toward this vital region. The President made this plain in his speech before the Australian parliament in 2011: “the United States will play a larger and long-term role in shaping this region and its future, by upholding core principles and in close partnership with our allies and friends.” Our approach is grounded in the proposition that the United States is a historic Pacific power whose economy, strength, and interests are inextricably linked with Asia’s economic, security, and political order…and we are here to stay”
In March of this year, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon highlighted in a speech at the Asia Society that the Administration: “has worked to make our rebalance to the Asia-Pacific a reality because the region’s success in the century ahead –and the United States’ security and prosperity in the 21st century—still depend on the presence and engagement of the United States in Asia.” The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget reflects this strategic priority by sustaining key investments made throughout the President’s first term and by investing in new initiatives to expand and deepen a Government-wide commitment across the region. The Budget aligns resources and activities with the President’s Asia-Pacific rebalance objectives: shaping regional institutions and architecture, advancing economic integration across the region, strengthening and modernizing U.S. alliances, forging deeper partnerships with emerging powers, pursuing a stable and constructive relationship with China, and promoting universal and democratic values.
For more on the Administration’s investments in the Asia-Pacific region, please see the Asia-Pacific Rebalance Fact Sheet.
Danny Russel is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council