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'First Pacific' president stuck in the Middle East

Business Times - 11 May 2011


'First Pacific' president stuck in the Middle East

While Obama wants to focus more on China, US will remain 'underweighted' in East Asia

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

AT THE centre of US President Barack Obama's geostrategic thinking has been the recognition that in the aftermath of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the devastating financial meltdown, 'America needed to rebuild its reputation, extricate itself from the Middle East and Afghanistan, and turn its attention towards Asia and China's unchecked influence in the (Asia-Pacific) region', according to a much-discussed article about Mr Obama's foreign policy that was published in The New Yorker magazine recently.

According to Ryan Lizza, the author of the article, Mr Obama and his advisers concluded upon entering office that America was 'overweighted' in the Middle East and 'underweighted' in East Asia.

'We've been on a little bit of a …