Asia to the U.S.: Is anyone listening?

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is off to Asia this week to attend the 7th annual meeting of the International Institute of Strategic Studies’ Asia Security Summit in Singapore, better known as the Shangri-la “dialogue” on Asia-Pacific security issues.Shangri-la map

His trip is generating fresh speculation about the level of commitment of the United States to the Asia-Pacific region, given the overwhelming focus on the Mid-East right now. Gates will focus heavily on the point that the U.S. remains committed to security and stability in Asia.

With representatives of some 27 nations on hand in Singapore for the conference, Gates’ every word and promise will be carefully scrutinized.

What do you think? How should the United States make clear its interest in the Asia-Pacific region? What should Gates say?

For a provocative look at the changing future of American influence and interest in Asia by Center President Charles Morrison and researcher Peter Petri, go HERE.

For the official Defense Department news article on Gates’ trip, go HERE.

For details about the Shangri-la conference, go HERE