The US Pivot to Asia-Pacific

Very often during the last few years the geopolitical sites refer to the US pivot to Asia. What they mean by that is the transfer of American military power from the Middle East and the Persian Gulf to the Asian part of the Pacific Ocean. At the following map you can see that it is at their western flank the Americans face their great rivals. The China-Russia-North Korea axis is located at the Asia Pacific region. Spain, France, England and Norway, located at their eastern flank, are no threats for the Americans.

Map 1

Map of Oceans

With the new technological advances that allowed the production of oil and gas from shale rock, the United States dramatically increased their oil and gas productions, but also their imports from their neighboring countries of Mexico and Canada, which are both very rich in shale rock. As a consequence the United States decreased their imports and dependence on the Persian Gulf, and they do not want to spend what they have been spending during the last decades for guarding it. Instead they want their NATO allies to share a large part of the military cost. But Germany is not willing to do so, since she is closely cooperating with Russia in the energy sector i.e. Nord Stream 1 and 2, and the same is true for Italy, at least until recently i.e. before the cancellation of the South Stream Pipeline and the discovery by ENI of the Zohr, the huge Egyptian gas field at the East Mediterranean Sea in August 2015. England and France were not very enthusiastic either about sharing the military cost in times of economic crisis.

Therefore the Americans are stuck in the Persian Gulf, since the Middle East hosts the largest share of the world’s oil and gas reserves. After all it was the control of the Persian Gulf that led to the victory of the allies in World War I and II. However the United States have reduced their military presence in the Middle East, in an effort to enhance their alliances in the Asia Pacific Region i.e. with South Korea, Japan, Philippines and Australia, in order to be able to confront China and Russia in the future. As you can read at the following article of Stars and Stripes, titled “Admiral: Carrier gap in Persian Gulf hinders war effort”, July 2015, in 2015 it was the first time in many years that the Persian Gulf was left without an American aircraft carrier. The Star and Stripes is issued by the American Ministry of Defense.

However, even though they have reduced their military potency in the Middle East, the Americans do not seem ready yet to allow the Persian Gulf to fall in the hands of Russia and China.

“Admiral: Carrier gap in Persian Gulf hinders war effort”, July 2015

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