Pivot to Asia means strategic shift from Atlantic to Pacific Obama to make last visit to Europe
WASHINGTON—US President Barack Obama will visit Poland and Spain in July, in what will likely be his final presidential trip to Europe, a continent that has often presented more problems than opportunities during his term. The White House said that Obama will travel to Warsaw on July 7-9 for “his fifth and final summit with NATO leaders,” before going on his first trip to Spain.
During his nearly eight years in office, Obama has at times had difficult relationships with America’s oldest allies.
For most of his first term, Europe was frustratingly slow to contain sovereign debt crises that were fed by and prolonged the Great Recession. Relations with Europe were further tested by Obama’s “pivot to Asia” — which was widely perceived as capping a decades-long strategic shift from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Obama has publicly said that it was a mistake to depend on European allies to manage Libya’s political recovery from decades of Muammar Qaddafi’s dictatorial rule.
Five years after Qaddafi was killed, the country is still in turmoil and is now a base for ISIS.
NATO leaders are expected to discuss support for efforts to control the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean.
They will also weigh NATO support for operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, providing cover for AWACS early warning and control aircraft to be deployed.—Agencies