(Time) On March 20, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters that under the right circumstances, his government might become a member of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). In Washington, which has urged allies to steer clear of the AIIB, jaws dropped. Tokyo, Washington's closest Asian ally, is disregarding U.S. concerns and considering membership in an investment bank led by Japan's primary rival.
There's a bigger story here. Now that most U.S. troops are home from Iraq and Afghanistan, President Barack Obama knows there's little domestic support for military operations that might demand another costly long-term commitment. That's why he's relied on sanctions, surveillance, drones, international institutions and willing, capable, like-minded allies to fight his foreign policy battles.