Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the prestigious American think tank Council of Foreign Relations wrote last week that the Barack Obama administration has quietly “altered its plans to move some US security resources from an unthreatened Europe to an uncertain Asia… administration leaders realized they had gratuitously offended European allies and gratuitously provided Beijing’s hawks with ammunition to argue that America was formally and openly instituting a policy of containing China. The Obama team’s minds were surely jolted when so many privately expressed unhappiness about the provocative public pivot.”
Gelb commended this rethink on the Pentagon’s so-called “pivot” to Asia
because in any case “if the US were to be in trouble or require help, it is unimaginable that India, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Turkey, or whatever country would actively back Washington with money and arms. The US can count on only the Europe Plus group.”
One caveat to Gelb’s argument is about the capacity of Europe Plus to come to the the rescue of the US in a near future. Another caveat could be that if the US is in serious trouble today and needs back-up with money, its rescuer would be most likely China.
An exclusive Reuters report suggests that the Obama administration is putting China as its “money manager” in a privileged status. China will be the only country that can sidestep Wall Street and lend directly to the US Treasury! Howzaat?
The Obama administration apparently rewrote financial rules whereby China’s Central Bank can go straight to the US Treasury and buy government bonds in a unique proceedure ignoring the Wall Street middlemen so that the confidentiality of the transactions will remain strictly between Washington and Beijing and, furthermore, Beijing won’t have to pay commission to the Wall Street banks! Even Japan doesn’t enjoy such a privileged status.
Now, how do you “contain” the goose that lays the golden egg? Aren’t we all duffers who were sold out on the US’ “pivot” to Asia? Hmm. This Obama is a smart man. The Reuters story is here
Posted in Diplomacy, Politics.
– May 22, 2012