Tag Archives: Pivot or Pirouette

Pivot or Pirouette: The U.S. Rebalance to Asia

Ashley J. Tellis, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Text of the Public Lecture,  National Institute of Advanced Studies, January 3, 2014
For the complete text of the lecture click here
For the video of the lecture click here
Excerpts from Dr. Ashley Tellis’s Public Lecture

Ashley Tellis Lecture CoverThe subject that I am going to speak on today is very important for the future of both our countries: the United States and India. I am going to talk about the U.S. effort that is underway to rebalance to Asia. It is important because it goes to the issue of what kind of geo-political environment is going to exist in this part of the world in the years to come. If we do not quite get that context right, then obviously the choices that it will impose on all the states that inhabit this region will be far more difficult. Understanding what the United States is trying to do, I think, is a useful first step in trying to assess the future of the broad Indo-Pacific region. Therefore, I am going to focus my remarks on this subject: understanding the genesis, the phenomenology and the consequences of the U.S. rebalance to Asia.

Rebalancing is really a strategic effort to go back to dealing with the fundamentals of the strategic situation. First, it is evidence of the American recognition that China’s rise is an enduring rise and not a flash in the pan. China is not suddenly going to disappear and take care of itself because of some internal crisis. It is the second element of rebalancing, the objective of managing China’s rise, which is going to be an extremely challenging one. Managing China is going to be a challenging task because it requires the United States to simultaneously socialise, integrate, deter and reassure China.

Rebalancing essentially involves three components. The strategic component is the one which has acquired a lot of attention in the public discourse. The other two equally important elements are the diplomatic and the economic components.

The idea, at the end of the day, is if all three components work as planned, the United States will begin to do much better than it did before in economic terms. That improved wealth and welfare performance will translate into greater availability of resources to the American state with respect to national defence. Those marginal increases in defence capabilities will in turn contribute to both defeating Chinese efforts to prevent the United States from being able to operate in Asia, while simultaneously reassuring American friends and allies. That, in a nutshell, is the logic of the strategy.

One also has to remember that this is a multi-player game. There is a U.S. relationship with China, there is a U.S. relationship with partners, and there is a relationship between partners and China. There is also a relationship among the partners themselves, and some partners do not happen to like one another.

For countries like India, Japan, Korea, and Australia, important nations that have proud histories and seek independent destinies, the success of U.S. rebalancing is vital. This is so because it is not yet clear to me that these countries have the capacity, either individually or in collaboration, to balance China independently of the United States. If that was the case, then the worst fears that the United States has with respect to Asia would be attenuated. Until the point where countries like Japan, India and Australia can muster the resources to assure themselves that they can successfully balance China, the best alternative for this part of the world is for U.S. rebalancing to be successful.

Public Lecture by Dr. Ashley Tellis on U.S. Rebalance to Asia

Dr. Ashley Tellis, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace visited the International Strategic and Security Studies Programme (ISSSP), National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) Bangalore on January 3, 2014. He interacted with the ISSSP faculty and research staff.

Later in the evening he delivered a public lecture on the topic  Pivot or Pirouette: The U.S. Rebalance to Asia.

Abstract of the Public Lecture by Dr. Ashley Tellis

The Obama administration’s “rebalance” to Asia has received widespread attention globally. In Europe, the rebalance has evoked fears that the United States might be abandoning old allies in light of the need to cope with new challenges elsewhere. In Asia, the rebalance has evoked mixed reviews: in China, it is viewed as a subtle form of containment whereas in other parts of Asia, it has been welcomed more fulsomely, even when many capitals have doubts about its effectiveness. So what is the rebalance anyway? This presentation will focus on understanding the genesis of the rebalancing policy, its specific objectives and its multiple dimensions, and its requirements for success. It will assess whether the rebalance to Asia can in fact resolve the fundamental challenges facing the United States and its allies in the region.

The video of Dr. Tellis’s public lecture as well as pictures of his visit are available below

Video of Dr. Ashley Tellis’s Public Lecture

 

Video of Discussion following Dr. Ashley Tellis’s Public Lecture

 

Photos of Public Lecture by Dr. Ashley Tellis at NIAS

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Photos of Dr Ashley Tellis’s interactions with ISSSP members

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Pivot or Pirouette: The U.S. Rebalance to Asia

International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies invites you to a Public Lecture by Professor Ashley Tellis, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC.


Pivot or Pirouette: The U.S. Rebalance to Asia

 Dr. Ashley J. Tellis, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

chaired by

Prof. S. Chandrashekar,  J R D Tata Visiting Professor

on

Friday, January 3, 2014 | 5 pm

at the

J R D Tata Auditorium, NIAS, IISc Campus, Bangalore – 560012

(Coffee/Tea : 4.30 pm)

Abstract

The Obama administration’s “rebalance” to Asia has received widespread attention globally. In Europe, the rebalance has evoked fears that the United States might be abandoning old allies in light of the need to cope with new challenges elsewhere. In Asia, the rebalance has evoked mixed reviews: in China, it is viewed as a subtle form of containment whereas in other parts of Asia, it has been welcomed more fulsomely, even when many capitals have doubts about its effectiveness. So what is the rebalance anyway? This presentation will focus on understanding the genesis of the rebalancing policy, its specific objectives and its multiple dimensions, and its requirements for success. It will assess whether the rebalance to Asia can in fact resolve the fundamental challenges facing the United States and its allies in the region.


About the Speaker

Ashley TellisAshley J. Tellis is Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, specializing in international security, defense, and Asian strategic issues. While on assignment to the US Department of State as Senior Adviser to the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, he was intimately involved in negotiating the civil nuclear agreement with India. Previously he was commissioned into the Foreign Service and served as Senior Adviser to the Ambassador at the US Embassy in New Delhi. He also served on the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Planning and Southwest Asia. Prior to his government service, Tellis was Senior Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation and Professor of Policy Analysis at the RAND Graduate School. He is the author of India’s Emerging Nuclear Posture (2001) and co-author of Interpreting China’s Grand Strategy: Past, Present, and Future (2000). He is the Research Director of the Strategic Asia program at NBR and co-editor of the ten most recent annual volumes, including this year’s Strategic Asia 2013–14: Asia in the Second Nuclear Age. In addition to numerous Carnegie and RAND reports, his academic publications have appeared in many edited volumes and journals. He earned his PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago.

Conducting Academic and Policy Research related to National and International Security Issues
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