The US presidential elections will be watched in Asia for further clues of how the American focus on Asia will manifest in practice over the next four years. Understanding how different Asian states respond according to their own circumstances will keep the next US administration very busy indeed.
Retrenchment will be the dominating theme for US foreign policy whoever wins the presidential elections on 6 November. The next president will face a protectionist Congress; a military undergoing huge defence cuts; and a public opinion that has lost interest in foreign affairs and feels that nation-building should begin at home.
The failure to bring the businesses together represents a bitter blow to advocates who sought the creation of a new, European, global aerospace-defence giant, and raises questions about BAE Systems’ future strategy.