“Strategic reassurance,” but for whom?

Robert Kagan and Dan Blumenthal have noted that President Obama’s policy towards China is called “strategic reassurance.” The policy apparently consists of making gestures and concessions designed to convince the Chinese that the U.S. is an innocuous player on the global stage, or at least in the massive area China deems its sphere of influence.
It’s not clear how much “convincing” the Chinese will need, but they certainly can be expected perpetually to feign the need for more.
The more interesting question is, what would it take to convince Obama that the U.S. is innocuous at worst. Given his life-long exposure to the view that America is a negative force in the world (“God damn America” and all that), it’s doubtful there is anything that would do the trick.


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