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PacNet #15 – Clinton Opts for Asia, Europe for Its Navel

Only weeks after being sworn in as the United States’ secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton completed her first foreign trip. Red carpets weren’t rolled out in European capitals, however. For while the secretary of state’s first visit traditionally is to Europe or the Middle East, Clinton decided to go to Asia. Remarkably, the significance of this choice escapes most Europeans. Illustrative of the lack of attention in Europe to the fundamental changes that the international order is undergoing, public debate on Clinton’s emphasis on Asia is scant. It is high time for Europe to look outward again and to reconsider its strategic position in global affairs. Relations between the U.S. and other centers of global power are rapidly changing, but policymaking in Europe lags behind.