As the Republican primary season enters into its crucial stages, it is easy to forget the role of its more improbable candidates. The two-horse race that has emerged between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich has, in many ways, eclipsed the memory of Rick Santorum’s shock win in Iowa, as well as the sure and steady campaign of Texan Congressman Ron Paul. Paul’s role for much of the early stages of the race was, like his campaign in 2008, to keep the other candidates honest, dismissed as he was for his eccentric, libertarian standpoint. But with the progression of the primary, Paul’s support base has grown. Mainly made up of a young, increasingly revolutionary element within the Republican Party – a community of college-educated bloggers and social media users – they are determined that their voice will be heard, in this instance through the election of the 76-year old former obstetrician.
With the economic crisis in Europe and the winding down of the western presence in Iraq and Afghanistan the US government have moved their focus onto the Asia Pacific region. The USA recently hosted the annual Asia-Pacific economic forum which was held in Hawaii, which is Barack Obama’s birth place and the main US territory in the region.
Barack Obama also made a trip last week to Indonesia and Australia where he met a number of politicians and diplomats and also delivered several speeches in which he outlined his ideas for future US involvement in the region. Obama announced on his tour of the region that he would send 250 Marines to North Australia and promised to increase this number in the near future. Surely this military strategy would strengthen the already large American military power in the region; it would also send a message to other military powers in the region, such as China and North Korea. China have questioned the move and many believe that it is a move which is counter to Chinese influence in the region. China and the US are definitely two of the largest powers in the region and an increase of US activity in the region is bound to worry the Chinese. READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY