Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs

Latest Edition

Volume 02 Issue 1 - Spring 2019

Navy Adm. Philip S. Davidson, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and Army Gen. Robert B. Abrams, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee during a review of the defense authorization request for fiscal year 2020 and the Future Years Defense Program for their commands.

 

 

 

 

 

  • ARTICLES
  • ADM Phil Davidson, commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, delivered remarks about<br />security challenges, collaboration, and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region during the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada, 17 November 2018.(Photo courtesy of Halifax International Security Forum)

    Introduction to Indo-Pacific Security Challenges


    ADM Phil Davidson, US Navy
    This is the keynote speech by ADM Phil Davidson, commander, US Indo-Pacific Command, delivered at Halifax International Security Forum, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, to participants from more than 90 countries who face consequential local threats, writers who challenge and influence the world’s thinking on security, and decision makers who make the tough choices, on 17 November 2018. ADM Davidson delivered remarks about security challenges, collaboration, and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region, touching a wide variety of topics, such as Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy, APEC, the East Asia Summit, United Nations Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Treaty of Amity and Commerce, ASEAN, ISIS, Chinese Communist Party, US National Defense Strategy, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), European Union, US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), South China Sea Code of Conduct, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, etc.
  • US Air Force Gen CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, prepares for an orientation flight in an IAF Mirage 2000 at Cope India 19 at Kalaikunda Air Force Station, India, 14 December 2018

    A Pathway toward Enhancing the US Air Force–Indian Air Force Partnership and Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific Region

     
    Stephen F. Burgess
    The article proposes a path toward increased partnership between the US Air Force (USAF) and Indian Air Force (IAF), given China’s increasing challenge to Indian and US interests and the two countries’ formal commitment to global order, democracy, and technological innovation. Since 2002, the US–India strategic partnership has included a focus on cooperation in nuclear energy, space, high technology, and missile defense. For more than a decade, India’s military has held more joint exercises with the US armed forces than with any other country, including those involving the IAF and USAF with combat and transport aircraft and other platforms. The US should continue to build the partnership with India and the IAF primarily through various forms of dialogue, simulations, and exercises as well as security assistance and exchanges. The USAF and the air components in the Indo-Pacific and Persian Gulf can lead in partner development, while avoiding a paternalistic and transactional relationship. Secondarily, Washington should promote US combat aircraft with the aim of the USAF developing interoperability with the IAF. The United States should work with India and the IAF to reverse the decline in the number of fighter squadrons and begin building the IAF into what eventually could be a regionally dominant force.
  • a Uyghur woman who was detained in China, testifies at the National Press Club in Washington

    Preparing for the Last War

    Insurgency in the Era of Great Power Competition 
    Karl Umbrasas
    China’s economic influence poses a threat to the international balance of power. China uses its economic influence to achieve geopolitical goals that directly threaten US interests. This is seen in China’s economic infusion in Latin America, which increases China’s influence in the Western Hemisphere relative to the United States. In 2013, China announced its intention to create land and sea corridors that would reorient the world economy toward China. This One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative will also offer China a trade route through Eurasia should the South China Sea (SCS) be closed to commerce due to a conflict in the waters. The Eurasian trade route, however, is vulnerable to disruption by religious and ethnic-based insurgency from groups in Central Asia. Lessons from insurgencies and proxy wars during the Cold War may inform an approach to frustrating China’s advance through Eurasia. This article begins by examining some of the insurgencies sponsored by the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. This is followed by an examination of the sociopolitical context in regions along the OBOR. Lessons learned from this examination are then applied to policy recommendations for US competition with China. A strategy that fosters the collision of Islamist fighters and China is advantageous to the United States, which can remain out of the physical fight while each foe exhausts the other. This strategy defeats China’s attempt at regional domination and undermining of the world order by distracting and eroding China’s political, economic, and military capabilities.
  • EU VPC/HR Federica Mogherini meets with Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Timor Leste, while attending the 51st ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings.

    The 2016 European Global Strategy, European Union Defense Integration, and Asian–European Security Cooperation in a Declining Multilateral International Order

     
    David J. Garcia Cantalapiedra
    On 10 November 2017, the European Council launched the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), completing a set of major steps in the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) and a key movement for an augmented and different European Union (EU) role in global affairs. In June 2016, the EU heads of state and government started this process at the European Council Summit, which was mainly dedicated to CSDP. The European Council received, from the Vice-President of the Commission/High
    Representative (VPC/HR) Federica Mogherini, a new strategic vision, Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe; A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy (often referred to as EU Global Strategy or EUGS). The new vision included a CSDP with a more defined role, opening a process for enhancing the effectiveness and strengthening of military capabilities and the European defense industry through an “Implementation Package.” Undoubtedly, the process and creation of such a document and the subsequent initiatives represented a remarkable achievement in the European integration process. However, this is happening in a less than favorable context.
  • Guha photo

    Anatomy of Failure

    Why America Loses Every War It Starts 
    Manabrata Guha
    In a “critical notice” referencing Derek Parfait’s On What Matters, Michael Rosen fleetingly, but acutely, poses a question that is of some relevance to what follows. Rosen asks, “[are] book reviews—the ranking of others’ work, delivered in a tone of apparent omniscience—examples of . . . academic gatekeeping?” This critical review does not pretend to engage in any kind of gatekeeping exercise—academic or otherwise. However, that still leaves the question of how to engage with Harlan Ullman’s text, Anatomy of Failure: Why America Loses Every War It Starts. As we have seen, Ullman correctly identifies a number of themes and issues that afflict the current and prevailing US strategic-military establishment and posture. In fact, it cannot be denied that the call that he issues is a valid, indeed, an urgent one. While his presentation of his ideas detracts from the force of the material he presents, that is not a good enough reason to dismiss his latest effort for, in addition to some of the points that we have occasion to engage with above, Ullman also pays attention to some other critical issues that we have not examined—namely, the budgetary issues that he foresees will impact the American strategic-military posture, the problems associated with what he refers to as the “hollow force” issue, and so forth. These are important considerations, and ignoring them will serve the US strategic-military establishment poorly. Ullman deserves credit for highlighting these and other issues boldly and without reserve. While the book is a challenging read, it deserves our close attention—if not for any other reason but for the fact that it invites us to re-interrogate the metastrategic armature that underwrites the US strategic-military posture. In this sense, it represents a sincere call to reshape the US strategic-military establishment in a manner that will best serve the interests of the country in the twenty-first century.
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