Indo-Pacific View

Dear Readers,

Welcome to Indo-Pacific Defense FORUM’s issue on compounding security risks.

The 21st century has brought nations close to one another in a globalized manner. Combined with rapid disruptive changes, this environment has blurred the boundaries of traditional security threats. This edition analyzes the challenges these threats present to the international rules-based order and how they will affect the Indo-Pacific.

Compounding security risks alter the dynamics of threats and competition. To combat and mitigate these risks, our allies and partners must understand the cultural, economic, and political nuances of the geopolitical landscape.

This edition opens with an analysis of counterspace capabilities, developments, and policies across the region. Although some of our adversaries have made advancements in counterspace weapons, our allies and partners are making innovative progress to counter these developments. As analysts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies detail, Japan and South Korea are evolving their technologies to ensure we maintain superiority. Such advancements require new protocols to protect the space domain and outline norms of behavior in its realm.

Pacific island nations and territories face new security threats, including the proliferation of transnational crime, illegal fishing, and more damaging natural disasters. A feature article highlights the work of the U.S. Army’s Operations in Pacific Island Countries that collaborated successfully throughout the region to reduce these security risks.

Dr. Jinghao Zhou of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York argues that recent activities by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) indicate a desire for increased power on the world stage. The CCP’s military buildup, wolf-warrior diplomacy, aggressive political propaganda, ideological censorship, and coercive economic policies support this viewpoint. A series of related articles show that our ally and partner network is necessary to counter this aggression.

Dr. Shale Horowitz of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers regional solutions to mitigate China’s economic threats, which often compound the CCP’s military-security ones. John F. Tobon of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations reveals the security implications for the Indo-Pacific of the PRC’s involvement in black-market foreign exchange. Doowan Lee, CEO and co-founder of an artificial intelligence startup, explains how our ally and partner network can compete against the CCP’s digital strategy, which has weaponized the information environment.

We hope these articles encourage regional conversations on these pressing issues. We welcome your comments. Please contact us at ipdf@ipdefenseforum.com to share your thoughts.

All the best,

J.C. AQUILINO

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

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