“We’re back, Asia Pacific. Don’t worry about China’s bullish behavior. Our leadership — underpinned by our growing military presence and new economic ties — will lead to regional stability and prosperity. Sure, we have our economic problems and two wars that continue to drag our feet, but Asia is our future and so we will be around.”
In a simplified and stylized nutshell, this seems to be the oft-cited mantra coming out of Washington these days with regards to the United States of America’s renewed engagement of Asia.
Little wonder that some pundits are looking favorably at the recent announcement by US President Barack Obama on the eve of the East Asia Summit in Bali this week that the US will expand its defense ties with Australia and would in the future “permanently” station around 2,500 Marines in Darwin.