The Pivot to Asia: The Persistent Logics of Geopolitics and the Rise of China

William C. Mayborn


The 2011 pivot illustrated the persistence of post-World War II geopolitical thinking that seeks to prevent a single state or coalition from dominating Eurasia. For nearly seven decades, the U.S. has relied on a forward deployed presence and alliances in the Asia Pacific to maintain stability and deter conflict. This article will analyze the long-standing policy and the continuation of the policy with the 2011 pivot, and will explore the logics behind the policy. Next, the paper will explore three topics: the current-day situation in Eurasia, how nuclear weapons have altered the geopolitical logics, and the rise of China as an economic and military power in Asia.

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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.