- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
- HUMPRHIES: The Liberal Bully of the Week is …
- Secret Service threatened to kill Mr. Met if he got close to Clinton, mascot claims
- Sarah Palin to campaign for Senate candidate Ben Sasse in Nebraska
Partisan political drama puts ‘Asia pivot’ in jeopardy
Shift seen crucial to counter China
A senior State Department official told Congress on Tuesday that the partisan political drama unfolding around Washington’s current budget fight does not bode well for the Obama administration’s “Asia pivot.”
The White House, in what it has called a “rebalance” of the administration’s foreign policy in President Obama’s second term, had hoped to shift focus from the troubled Middle East to the emerging Far East.
The proposed shift toward Asia, seen by many as a crucial step needed to counter the rise of China’s influence in the region, has earned praise from Republicans and Democrats alike.
But the rebalance has been impacted by Washington’s budget fight.
“Our Asia-Pacific interlocutors are quite attuned to developments in domestic American politics,” said Joseph Yun, presently the acting assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
“They are concerned about the possibility of decreased U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region and a reduction in foreign assistance for Asia,” he told a House Committee on Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing focused on the region on Tuesday.
The remarks coincide a quiet tide of speculation among foreign policy insiders in Washington over the future of the Obama administration’s policy toward Asia.
Questions about the policy have swirled since the recent resignation of former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt M. Campbell — widely regarded as the key architect of the “Asia pivot” initiative.
Mr. Yun, named Feb. 8 to replace Mr. Campbell until Mr. Obama nominates a permanent successor, stressed on Tuesday the United States wants to encourage nations across Asia to adhere to “democratic practices and improved governance.”
But Washington’s bipartisan standoff over sequestration — the across-the-boards budget cuts set to take effect on Friday — isn’t helping, he said.
Mr. Yun, in prepared testimony, said U.S. allies in Asia are uneasy to ‘hear growing calls for slashing foreign assistance’ in Washington,” he said.
“In some quarters, doubts continue to linger, particularly regarding our financial ability and political will — given pressing security challenges elsewhere in the world — to maintain a long term regional presence.”
Mr. Yun added that “it will be increasingly vital for U.S. officials to continue to underscore, in concrete terms, our firm and unwavering commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.
His series on political, economic and security developments in Mexico won a 2012 Virginia Press Association award.
Prior to rejoining The Times in 2011, his work was ...
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. fears Afghan services may be cut as corruption sharply reduces customs taxes
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz questions $175 million USAID 'slush fund' for Afghans
- Amid growing unrest, GOP presses for arming Ukraine
- John McCain blasts John Kerry in heated Senate hearing
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- John Edwards back in court this time as a lawyer for Va. boy's malpractice case
- Pentagon extends deployment of fighter jets to Poland
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.