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Obama’s Legacy and the Trump Transition

This edited volume explores the political, economic and security legacies former US President Barack Obama leaves across Asia and the Pacific, following two terms in office between 2009 and 2017. The aim is to advance our understanding of Obama’s style, influence and impact by interrogating the nature and contours of US engagement throughout the region, and the footprint he leaves behind. Moreover, it is to inform upon the endurance of, and prospects for, the legacies Obama leaves in a region increasingly reimaged in Washington as the Indo-Pacific. Contributors to the volume examine these questions in early 2019, at around the halfway point of the 2017–2021 Presidency of Donald Trump, as his administration opens a new and potentially divergent chapter of American internationalism. The volume uniquely explores the contours and dimensions of US relations and interactions with key Indo-Pacific states including China, India, Japan, North Korea and Australia; multilateral institutions and organisations such the East Asia Summit and ASEAN; and salient issue areas such as regional security, politics and diplomacy, and the economy. It does so with contributions from high-profile scholars and policy practitioners, including Michael Mastanduno, Bruce Cumings, Maryanne Kelton, Robert Sutter and Sumit Ganguly. The volume will be of interest to students and scholars of the international relations of Asia and the Pacific, broadly defined; US foreign policy and global engagement; the record and legacies of former President Barack Obama; and the foreign policies of the administration of President Donald Trump.

Atul Bhardwaj

Introduction The return of the United States to the Indo-Pacific is one of the most significant elements of former President Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy. He ordered a bold alteration of course, in the midst of an economic storm, to save the crumbling maritime empire against continental China’s advancing influence. As will be shown, this occurred as part of Obama’s efforts to rejuvenate the United States’ Asia Pacific presence, a strategy his successor Donald Trump built on throughout the relabelled Indo-Pacific. Even so, the United States has long

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific
Carol V. Evans

potential intelligence alignment opportunities. Continuing and emerging threats posed by China and Pakistan in the Indo-Pacific, as well as a more proactive foreign policy approach on the part of the Bharatiya Janata Party government of Narendra Modi, will provide additional impetus for the U.S. and India to expand their information- and intelligence-sharing activities. The U.S. needs to be mindful, however, of the bilateral foreign policy dynamics and Indian intelligence bureaucratic anomalies that will influence

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
Open Access (free)
The United States in the Asia and Indo-Pacifics
Inderjeet Parmar

development aid to sub-Saharan Africa. This is just a hint of the variations and complexities in the set of global legacies Obama’s presidency leaves behind. Obama’s international legacy of 2009–17 will be assessed and debated for years, and perhaps nowhere more so than in his engagements with the actors and institutions of the Indo-Pacific – a region which has only recently become more vivid within American political imaginations in the time since Obama left office, and which is now typically imagined to encompass the actors and maritime boundaries traditionally seen to

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific
An important moment for strategic action on collective cyberdefense
Jamil N. Jaffer

further deepening and strengthening of the relationship generally. The chapter then focuses specifically on the common threats that the U.S. and India face in the cyber domain and describes the recent efforts between the two nations to find common cause. The chapter places these efforts in the context of the broader strategic relationship between the two nations, as well as in the context of the common threats they face and their efforts with other partners to address these threats, both within and outside of the Indo-Pacific

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
Promises and perils
Prashanth Parameswaran

security and diplomatic realms of its engagement. Thus for example, though the Trump administration has been reluctant to employ the Obama administration’s “Rebalance” term, which is fairly common for new administrations to do, administration officials have nonetheless referred to the rules-based order and similar notions with different concepts, most prominently the ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’. 34 Such visions are rooted in essentially the same organising principle, dating back to the rules-based international order the United States helped build and lead after the

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific
Robert Sutter

cooperation to secure interests challenged by China in the broader Indo-Pacific region. How far the United States would go in countering perceived adverse Chinese actions throughout the first two years of the Trump administration was determined in part by the region’s uncertain priority in the very full international White House agenda. On a personal level, President Trump carried out cordial interchange with Chinese leaders seemingly at odds with the harder approach of his administration’s avowed strategy. Early diplomatic successes President Trump’s unconventional

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific
An Indian view
Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

electronic and cyberwarfare capabilities by China should be a pertinent factor for both India and the U.S. In fact, India and the U.S. could take the lead in bringing together other like-minded countries in the Indo-Pacific including Japan, Australia, Vietnam, and Singapore. Given the great-power competition and rivalry, a number of other middle powers including India, Japan, Australia, Canada, and Switzerland could come together to generate new ideas and perspectives that may be technology aided and evidence based. While U.S. might

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
Abstract only
U.S.–India military cooperation in the twenty-first century
Abhijnan Rej

two countries’ armed forces have not only proliferated but also acquired substance in terms of their technical complexity. At a political level, both India and the U.S. express their commitment to a “free and open Indo-Pacific”; indeed, New Delhi finds much to rejoice at the “Indo”-suffix to the hyphenated moniker signifying, as it does, the importance of India in U.S. grand strategy. Driving this apparent convergence in the bilateral relationship is a rising China that seeks to push the U.S. out of the Western Pacific

in The future of U.S.–India security cooperation
Oliver Turner

Introduction The question of this volume, as important as it is, is not simply of what legacy Barack Obama leaves in the Indo-Pacific after eight years in office, or, indeed, of how Donald Trump has engaged with that legacy during his first two years in charge. It is of the historical legacies of American power in the twenty-first-century Indo-Pacific of which both Obama and Trump themselves are constituted, which frame and steer their ideas and actions, and which they challenge or reinforce. Individuals and their administrations matter, but so do underlying

in The United States in the Indo-Pacific