Pivotal days: US–Asia-Pacific alliances in the early stages of the Trump administration

While the Trump administration is still in its early stages, it is not too soon to ask some tough questions about the direction the US is taking (or not taking) towards key regions such as the Asia-Pacific. Will the new president and his team continue to build on the Obama administration’s effort to focus economic, diplomatic and military resources towards the region, or will they opt for a different path? In spite of some signals of reassurance from the Trump team, the answer to this question is unknown, which in turn raises many more questions. What will define the US’s future engagement in the Asia-Pacific? What roles will there be for allies such as Japan, South Korea and Australia? And how will persistent security challenges affect the US alliance system?

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