Indo-Pacific Defense Forum

Dear Readers,

Welcome to Indo-Pacific Defense FORUM’s issue on strategic partnerships.

Building trust, confidence and cooperation among military and security organizations and governments of allies, partners and like-minded nations is as important for enhancing regional security as is building multilateral capability and interoperability. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing war illustrate the role strategic partnerships play not only in defending the homeland but also for preserving regional peace.

This edition shows why creating a thoughtful network of reliable partners is critical for promoting shared values, rules and norms across the region and is important for achieving integrated deterrence in this evolving environment of strategic competition. 

In this era, allies and partners must take a fresh look at the adequacy of existing security arrangements to foster capabilities for collective security and defense and to mitigate threats posed by malign actors who are developing advanced technologies, as Dr. Alfred Oehlers, a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, explains in his opening article. 

The Indo-Pacific’s inherited security architecture, which is built upon historic United States alliances with Australia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand, will go a long way in addressing such threats. Nobukatsu Kanehara of Doshisha University also provides a Japanese perspective in this issue on how to improve upon an Indo-Pacific strategy that will maintain peace in the region, including effectively deterring the People’s Republic of China from invading Taiwan.

Newer partnership constructs likely will be needed that are tailored to specific technology fields and the requirements of all-domain operations. In another article, retired Indian Army Maj. Gen. S B Asthana recommends a multinational, multidomain response that builds on rising alliance architectures such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue that includes Australia, India, Japan and the U.S.

Security outreach already has expanded over the years to include key multilateral organizations and mechanisms. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus stand out as examples, as do engagements with the Pacific Islands Forum and a host of other Indo-Pacific political security arrangements.

The U.S.’s freedom of navigation program will remain a salient tool to counter infringements on the established international order, retired U.S. Navy Capt. Raul Pedrozo, the Howard S. Levie professor on the Law of Armed Conflict at the U.S. Naval War College’s Stockton Center for International Law, explains in another piece. The program demonstrates the U.S. commitment to preserving a stable legal system for the world’s oceans for all nations, he writes.

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

All the best,

FORUM Staff

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