Obama: George W. Bush With Drones

America can't kick the quagmire habit.

Therefore it is with great trepidation that we view the so-called pivot to Asia. It would not be an escape from the chaotic politics of the Middle East, but a new chapter of intervention, domestic interference and competition with a regional hegemon (with China replacing Iran), which would lead to further and unnecessary American entanglements and petty obsessions over exaggerated security threats. Pivoting to Asia should mostly be economic and political, not military.

Obama came to office promising end the reckless interventionism of the Bush years. Yet for all his talk of using U.S. military power judiciously, the Obama Doctrine turned into a failed attempt to continue interfering in the Middle East through the seemingly less costly means of air power and proxies. One can only hope that if he or his successor actually manages to pivot to Asia, they will not repeat the mistakes of the Middle East. The U.S. military cannot be used to solve all the world’s problems, and it falls on the president to resist the temptation to try.

Akhilesh Pillalamarri is an international relations analyst, editor, and writer, who contributes to the Diplomat and the National Interest. He received his Master of Arts in Security Studies from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he concentrated in international security. You can follow him at his Twitter handle @akhipill.

Lisa A. Bergstrom is a technology and security specialist with expertise in nuclear proliferation, conventional weapons policy, and Russian studies. She also received her Master of Arts in Security Studies from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where she concentrated in technology and security. 

Image: Flickr/The White House

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