November 14, 2011
This week President Obama will join seventeen other Asian leaders in Bali for the Sixth East Asia Summit (EAS). With a tough economy at home and the decision of the Congressional “super-committee” on the federal budget only days away, this is hardly a good time for a US president to be out of the country. Obama’s decision to participate in the EAS for the first time in Bali is therefore a powerful symbol of a shift in American policy towards Asia. It also says much about the evolving nature of regional cooperation.