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WASHINGTON – President Obama’s recent cancellation of a trip to four Asian nations due to the government shutdown is part of why America’s diplomatic ties and military presence in Asia are on shaky ground, according to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
“Far from strengthening already robust alliances in a coalition against China, recent trips by high-ranking U.S. officials to South Korea and Japan were primarily intended to shore up diminishing U.S. credibility in the face of a growing threat from a nuclear North Korea,” according to a recent assessment by the open intelligence Langley Intelligence Group Network, or Lignet.
“Asian leaders are concerned that the United States is so divided and distracted by domestic troubles that it may not be a reliable partner in new trade agreements or in standing up to China,” the Lignet assessment said.
At the same time, Beijing has scolded the U.S. for injecting increasing uncertainty into the international markets with its internal political disputes over raising the debt limit and shutting down the government – two prospects that could come to a head again in three months.
With China lecturing the U.S. in such a fashion, it has sent signals to countries that have sided with the U.S. against China that Washington is in a weakened position to stand up to Beijing, especially in asserting a right of navigation and passage in the East and South China Seas.
But China can only push so far economically with the U.S., because of its reliance on U.S. markets to maintain its own economic growth.
“For countries not closely allied with the U.S., Obama’s no-show (to the four Asian countries) will reinforce their policy of bandwagoning with China,” said Carl Thayer, professor emeritus at the Australian Defense Force Academy.
The no-show also makes these countries believe that they cannot rely on any U.S. commitments in Asia.
At the same time, the U.S. has weakened its posture in the Middle East in its recent decision to go along with the Russians in the dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons stocks.
All of these moves raise doubts about U.S. credibility and show a weak track record in the Middle East, causing the Asian countries to question whether the U.S. is the superpower it “pretends to be,” Lignet said.
In turn, these countries are taking advantage of U.S. preoccupation with its own problems to begin reasserting themselves.
Japan has begun to reassert itself militarily and wants to reinterpret its constitution to allow for pre-emptive strikes against North Korean nuclear missile bases. Contrary to U.S. insistence, South Korea intends to build missiles that can reach North Korea and could renew its own interest in developing nuclear energy.
Both Japan and South Korea have abandoned commitments not to pursue such actions, which they had kept for years based on their confidence in U.S. security.
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