Obama heads for Asia with eyes on Middle East - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Obama heads for Asia with eyes on Middle East

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President Barack Obama's trip to this Southeast Asian capital is a reminder of the trouble that has dogged his "Asia rebalance" from its inception.


   Events elsewhere keep intruding on his seven-year charm offensive.


   While Obama was ready to talk up his freshly inked trade deal and military cooperation in Asia, the rest of the world is looking for leadership on the Islamic State's relentless terror spree.


   It was hardly the first time the Middle East has kept Obama from making the pivot his administration once imagined would be central to his foreign policy legacy.


   Instead of ending under Obama's watch, old conflicts in the Middle East have morphed into new, equally intense ones. Instead of gradually moving to center stage, Obama' agenda in Asia has had to compete for attention.

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