Die Neuorientierung Amerikas

NEW YORK: Als ich vor rund 40 Jahren mein Graduiertenstudium an der Universität Oxford begann, bekundete ich mein Interesse am Mittleren Osten. Man sagte mir, dass dieser Teil der Welt unter die Rubrik „Orientalistik“ falle und ich einem entsprechenden Professor zugewiesen werden würde. Doch als ich zu einem ersten Treffen im Büro des Professors eintraf, waren seine Bücherregale gespickt mit dicken Wälzern voller chinesischer Schriftzeichen. Er war Experte für den (zumindest für mich damals) falschen Orient.

Etwas ganz Ähnliches ist der amerikanischen Außenpolitik widerfahren. Die Vereinigten Staaten waren zu sehr mit dem Mittleren Osten beschäftigt – dem in gewisser Hinsicht falschen Orient – und haben Ostasien und dem Pazifik, wo ein Großteil der Geschichte des 21. Jahrhunderts geschrieben werden wird, nicht genug Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt.

Die gute Nachricht ist, dass sich dieser Fokus verlagert. Tatsächlich ist derzeit in der amerikanischen Außenpolitik still und leise ein Wandel im Gange, der so bedeutsam wie überfällig ist. Die USA haben Asien wiederentdeckt.

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