America’s “Pivot To Asia” Policy: Implications For The Indo-Pacific Region

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Raziq Hussain , Muhammad Saqib Arshad , Fahad Yaqoob Awan


In an opinion piece published in 2011 by the Foreign Policy Magazine, the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlined “America’s Pacific Century,” underscoring the relevance and significance of Asia-Pacific region for the US in maintaining its global ascendancy. This realization of the role of Asia in shaping the future geostrategic landscape of the world and the need for American greater involvement in regional affairs was put forth as “pivot to Asia” policy. The noun “Asia” in Asia-Pacific was later replaced with “Indo-” to include Indian Ocean Region in American strategic calculus and increase American regional sphere of influence. The US Indo-Pacific strategy, or Asia Pivot, is explicit in two ways: considering and treating China as the foremost competitor in the region, and India as the key ally and bulwark against Chinese growing influence. This consideration has strengthened US-India relations to an unprecedented level, potentially disturbing the traditional regional balance of power. China, on its part, has attempted to enhance its influence in the region (and beyond) primarily through geo-economic connectivity. This power contestation, centered mainly on the US and China, affects the security and stability equation of the Indo-Pacific region with far reaching implications. This paper attempts to discuss broad contours of American Indo-Pacific strategy, the dynamics of US-India nexus and their impact on the security calculus of the Indo-Pacific as well as on Pakistan. It also briefly covers the Chinese policy and practice to neutralize the effects of the US strategy.           

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