Latest at the Diplomat plays with some ideas about reputation:
Arguments about credibility abound in discussion of the politics of the Asia-Pacific. Most of these discussions revolve around perceptions of toughness and resolve; how do we indicate to a potential opponent that our threats are credible? Although there are substantial reasons to question the logic of credibility, the arguments on both sides remain intense.
In a recent Foreign Policy essay, Stephen Walt asks a different question, one that has bounced around the edges of debate on U.S. foreign policy since the George W. Bush administration; what happens if the United States develops a credible reputation for utter incompetence?