Half of Asia is better than none

If President Obama had to pick which parts of his Asia trip to keep and which to cancel, he chose rightly. While dropping stops in the Philippines and Malaysia, the president will continue with his plan to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic (APEC) Forum and the annual leaders' meeting of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Not much ever gets done at APEC, but it's important to the Asians and our friends in this hemisphere. Ditto for ASEAN. The president is right to go, but since he's over there already, the White House's claim that "logistically, it was not possible" to go ahead with the other stops doesn't make as much sense. If President Obama were staying home or returning early to engage in serious negotiations with Congress over the shutdown, that would be a legitimate reason. As it is, they've chosen to cut the baby in half, and part of Asia is better than none.

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About the Author

 

Michael
Auslin
  • Michael Auslin is a resident scholar and the director of Japan Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies Asian regional security and political issues.


    Before joining AEI, he was an associate professor of history at Yale University. A prolific writer, Auslin is a biweekly columnist for The Wall Street Journal Asia, which is distributed globally on wsj.com. His longer writings include the book “Pacific Cosmopolitans: A Cultural History of U.S.-Japan Relations” (Harvard University Press, 2011) and the study “Security in the Indo-Pacific Commons: Toward a Regional Strategy” (AEI Press, 2010). He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, and a Fulbright and Japan Foundation Scholar.


    Auslin has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.A. from Indiana University at Bloomington, and a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University.


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  • Phone: 202-862-5848
    Email: michael.auslin@aei.org
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