Free and Open Indo-Pacific / FOIP

  • Features

    Ocean of Data

    FORUM STAFF  |  PHOTOS BY INTERNATIONAL MONITORING, CONTROL AND SURVEILLANCE NETWORK Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global scourge: 1 in 5 fish sold is illegally caught. The Indo-Pacific, with 65% of the world’s oceans and more than half of its population, is rife with fishing operations that damage national economies, push depleted fish stocks toward collapse, harm…

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  • Features

    Protecting Civilians During Conflict

    FORUM Staff Territorial disputes, political ambitions and resource competition often spark or escalate armed conflicts. The resulting wars, regardless of their cause, come with complicated consequences. Among them: short- and long-term devastation, and civilian deaths that account for nearly 90% of wartime casualties, according to a 2022 United Nations Security Council report. One of the grimmest pictures of conflict’s toll…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIP

    PRC still dragging its feet on South China Sea code of conduct

    FORUM Staff A decadeslong effort to craft a South China Sea code of conduct (COC) between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) took an incremental step forward in July 2023. Observers, however, say the PRC remains intractable. The latest agreement sets guidelines to accelerate negotiations on a COC, ASEAN foreign ministers said,…

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  • Features

    Modern Militaries, Reinforced Alliances

    FORUM Staff Technology is strengthening militaries tasked with maintaining security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Rapidly modernizing nations are transforming arsenals with advancements from cutting-edge aircraft and game-changing submarines to unmanned vehicles, space awareness tools and cyber defense upgrades. Meanwhile, security partnerships are encouraging scientific cooperation among like-minded militaries, and leaders are relying on the power of regional alliances to…

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  • Departments

    Japan launching defense tech research agency, advancing railgun project

    FORUM Staff Japan plans to create a research agency by 2024 to accelerate defense technology development.  The agency will be modeled after the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and its Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), according to Shigenori Mishima, vice commissioner and chief technology officer at Japan’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency. DARPA is the U.S. Defense Department’s…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIPUnited States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

    U.S. won’t accept coercion, bullying by Beijing, defense chief says

    The Associated Press United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed in June 2023 that Washington will not stand for any “coercion and bullying” of its allies and partners by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), while assuring Beijing that the U.S. remains committed to maintaining the status quo in Taiwan and prefers dialogue over conflict. Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue,…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIP

    Philippines, U.S. strengthen alliance with new defense guidelines

    Maria T. Reyes The Philippines and the United States finalized bilateral defense guidelines during Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s trip to Washington, D.C., in May 2023. The guidelines are part of an effort to modernize and strengthen the alliance in support of the nations’ shared vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, according to the U.S. Defense Department. (Pictured: Philippine…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIP

    Indo-Pacific allies, partners preserve navigational rights, ensure secure, open global sea lines of communication

    FORUM Staff The United States and its allies and partners continue engaging in maritime security activities to safeguard international waters and key global sea lines of communication (SLOCs). Thailand and the U.S., for example, conducted the 29th Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT)/Marine Exercise (MAREX) Thailand in May 2023, which included five days of drills in anti-submarine warfare; visit, board,…

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  • Across The Region

    Philippines, Singapore Affirm Defense Ties, Maritime Stability

    Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. concluded a two-nation Southeast Asian tour in Singapore in September 2022, where he and government leaders agreed to boost counterterrorism cooperation and affirmed the importance of peace in the South China Sea. Marcos arrived in Singapore after a state visit to Indonesia — his first foreign trip as president since his May 2022 election. Marcos,…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIP

    French Navy frigate Prairial concludes Indo-Pacific mission

    FORUM Staff The French Navy frigate Prairial’s monthslong patrol and goodwill mission to the Indo-Pacific reinforced France’s commitment to regional security, freedom of navigation and the international rule of law. The 94-meter, Floreal-class warship with about 100 personnel left Papeete, the capital of Tahiti in French Polynesia, on February 21, 2023, and was scheduled to return May 18. The frigate…

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