As the banana war between the Philippines and China dies down, Max Boot has some strong words for the Obama administration’s handling of the incident. He criticizes the U.S. decision to remain neutral between a regional friend and America’s chief competitor:
The Chinese leadership must figure they have a better chance to assert their claim by force majeure because there is no way a weak state like the Philippines can stand up to them.The Obama administration did not orchestrate an international campaign to rally support for the Philippines. And it failed to take the most dramatic step of all by not sending an American destroyer or other warship to Scarborough Shoal.
Max clearly agrees with the administration’s turn eastward; he just thinks they’re messing it up. Like most Americans this side of Ron Paul, he sees further U.S. involvement in Asia as a good idea.During the Cold War, policymakers argued endlessly over the finer points of our “containment” strategy: do we slip our allies quiet support, or do we really poke the Soviets in the eye this time? For a long time, the debate wasn’t about whether to contain the USSR but how to do it. In the coming years, we at Via Meadia expect an equally intense and crowded argument over exactly what America’s new role in the Pacific should look like.