This thesis examines the grand strategy behind U.S. President Barack Obama’s rebalance to Asia. Many scholars have argued that the rebalance does not constitute a grand strategy. This thesis argues that the rebalance is motivated by a grand strategy, one that combines cooperative security and primacy. The thesis explores what American actions have entailed in numerous military and non-military dimensions between 2009 and 2014. The central focus of America’s military, economic, and diplomatic initiatives in Asia is China and its potentially destabilizing role in the region. While there are a host of cooperative features in the rebalance, primacy is the primary motivator, as most of the military and non-military elements are aimed at the continuation of U.S. global leadership and the existing international order. The analysis reveals that the Obama administration’s policies in Asia have been relatively consistent throughout Obama’s presidency.
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Thesis advisor: Moens, Alexander
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