This article examines the political, military, and economic dynamics of the great-power competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China in the Indo-Pacific and how it has impacted the American alliance structure since the beginning of the Cold War. The author reviews the rise of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) following the demise of the American-sponsored Southeast Asian Treaty Organization, and the challenges facing the United States in establishing a new multilateral defense treaty organization to confront growing Chinese military assertiveness in the region. The author then compares three potential alliances structures to advance American interests in the region with an eye toward current and emerging strategic landscapes.
While debate surrounding the official formation of the Quad will undoubtedly continue and all instruments of power across the diplomatic, informational, military, and economic (DIME) spectrum will be in play, this article will articulate steps that will be required for the Quad to effectively execute deterrence through the lens of military, hard-power solutions. The questions this research seeks to answer are: What will it take, in terms of strategy, investments, and will, for the Quad to credibly deter the rise of an Indo-Pacific hegemon, and how can the Quad collectively provide a military deterrence solution by 2030? Different from previous research, this article will look to provide tangible solutions and demonstrate how the Quad nations can provide that path to deterrence.
As Beijing continues to assert itself through malign operations, activities, and investments in the economic, political, and military realms to undermine the international rules-based order—ironically the very rules-based order that has enabled China’s rise and which has rescued tens of millions from tyranny and lifted billions out of poverty—the United States must retain a robust, interoperable, and forward-present force that assures America’s vast array of allies and partners and deters China from undermining the free and open Indo-Pacific.
Current ally and partner capabilities are especially appropriate within the umbrella of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms and processes. While ISR is integral to war fighting, it is also the capability that is absolutely critical during competition as well as Phase 0 and Phase I shaping and deterring operations. While America needs strong ally and partner war-fighting capability, the ISR realm allows for close work in areas that prevent and predict conflict or provocation.
Volume 03 Issue 3 - Fall 2020
The views and opinions expressed or implied in JIPA are those of the authors and should not be construed as carrying the official sanction of the Department of Defense, Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Air University, or other agencies or departments of the US government or their international equivalents.