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Volume 02 Issue 2 - Summer 2019

  • Gen Charles Q. Brown, commander, Pacific Air Forces; air component commander, US Indo-Pacific Command; and executive director, Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, at the Air Force Association’s Combat Air Forces Commanders panel for the 2019 Air Warfare Symposium (Orlando, Florida, 28 February 2019),

    2019 Air Warfare Symposium:

    Combat Air Forces Commanders Panel 
    Gen Charles Q. Brown, Jr., USAF
    This senior-level perspective is extracted from comments by Gen Charles Q. Brown, commander, Pacific Air Forces; air component commander, US Indo-Pacific Command; and executive director, Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, at the Air Force Association’s Combat Air Forces Commanders panel at the 2019 Air Warfare Symposium (Orlando, Florida, 28 February 2019). The other panelists were Gen James M. Holmes, commander, Air Combat Command; and Gen Tod D. Wolters, commander, US Air Forces in Europe, US Air Forces Africa, and Allied Air Command. Retired Air Force lieutenant general David Deptula served as the panel moderator.

  • Philip Green OAM, first assistant secretary, US and Indo-Pacific Strategy Division, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, delivered this keynote speech at the Perth USAsia Centre’s Japan Symposium 2019


    Strengthening the Core of the Indo-Pacific 
    Philip Green
    Philip Green OAM, First Assistant Secretary, US and Indo-Pacific Strategy Division, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, delivered the speech “Australia-Japan-ASEAN: Strengthening the Core of the Indo-Pacific” at the Perth USAsia Centre's Japan Symposium, 22 March 2019. He touches various aspects of the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper of Australia, including the United States, China, and Strategic competition in the region. The Paper outlined many of the drivers of change we face: deepening globalisation; fast paced technological change; demographic shifts; and climate change. In our region—the Indo-Pacific—the White Paper focused closely on the changes to our strategic environment—changes that have real consequence for Australia and, if not well managed, will give rise to new levels of strategic rivalry between the major powers. The White Paper gave particular prominence to the roles of the United States and China. While the United States remains the region’s most powerful country, its dominance is being challenged. China’s fast economic growth is already translating into significant power and influence across the region. The changes we are witnessing will provide many opportunities, as well as challenges, for Australia.

  • Though the Philippine Defense Reform (PDR) officially ended in June 2016, a new program, the Philippine Defense Transformation Roadmap (PDTR) 2028 is expected to carry on the institutionalization of the reform measures begun under the PDR.

    Implementing the Philippine Defense Reform Program in Partnership with US Department of Defense Support of Philippine Defense Institutions

    Severino Vicente T. David and Aaron C. Taliaferro
    This article is derived from a study by the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), IDA Paper NS P-8589, Defense Governance and Management Implementing the Philippine Defense Reform Program through the Defense System of Management, October 2017. Begun in 2004, the Philippine Defense Reform (PDR) Program affected the entire Philippine defense establishment. Its goal was to create more-capable armed forces. To do that, the PDR required the support of senior leaders at all levels of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)—as well as a substantial commitment of people. This article explains why, from a Philippine perspective, senior leaders within the Philippines defense sector felt reform was needed and how it was implemented. It also describes how the United States Department of Defense (DOD) partnered with the Republic of the Philippines to implement PDR with particular focuses on defense-force planning and budgeting, improving combat effectiveness, amplifying the self-identity of the organization, having systemic effect on nearly all armed-forces activities and civilian policy makers, as well as the whole defense and national security apparatus.
  • The Sri Lankan Air Force operates a commercial arm, Helitours. The operation uses rotary and fixed-wing aircraft not required for military use. It is currently the second-largest airline in Sri Lanka. (photo courtesy of the Sri Lankan Air Force).

    The Globalized System, Air and Space Power, and the Geostrategic Value of Maritime Small and Middle Powers in Asia

    Michael R. Kraig
    This article argues that the globalized order, together with the paradoxically increasing role of disparate national ethnic identities, or the “cultural nation” within the “state,” have created a global and regional geopolitical reality of fragmented cooperation and competition that inherently gives “buffered maritime powers” outsized leverage across all instruments of power. In part, the author argues this is because, with domestic identities still mattering as much as globalized cosmopolitanism (cooperative win-win ties) in the stability and prosperity of the “nation-state,” we now have a somewhat paradoxical reality. First, great powers must still create and field military-expeditionary capabilities for deterrence of each other, but, second, a greater “gap” now exists than ever before between mixed-interest, often mutual-sum policy goals at the grand-strategic level of relations and the zero-sum, destructive nature of military force at the tactical level of purely military objectives. A slightly different version of this article was delivered at the 4th Annual Colombo Air Symposium, CAS 2018, in Sri Lanka, 18-19 October. Both the original version and all other conference presentations and papers will be published by the organizers in a forthcoming volume.
  • Indian security forces use tear gas and pellet guns to disperse Kashmiri demonstrators.

    Kashmir Imbroglio:

    Geostrategic and Religious Imperatives 
    Dalbir Ahlawat and Satish Malik
    The Kashmir issue has been ongoing since the Partition of India in 1947. Notwithstanding several confidence-building measures, wars, and low intensity clashes, the conflict persists. The Kashmiri people have a distinct identity (Kashmiriyat) and, as such, have historically favored secularism and multiculturalism rather than the communalism championed by Pakistan and Islamabad’s local proxies. Furthermore, the Kashmiri perception about Pakistan’s budging during the Kargil War and abandonment of the Taliban for Islamabad’s own opportunistic gains has raised apprehensions about the reliability of Pakistan even among those sympathetic toward its regional aspirations. Pakistan’s policy toward Kashmir lacks continuity and coherency and demonstrates duality and duplicity. India, on the other hand, since the dilution of the Kashmiriyat and New Delhi’s fiddling with the electoral machinery, has developed a distinct trust deficit with the Kashmiri people. A viable solution would be to convert the LoC into an international border, allowing a one-off movement of residents across the border without altering the border, totally sealing the border, and opening several controlled entry points. The two countries should also commit to non-interference in the internal affairs of each other.

  • China's Shenyang FC-31 (F60) at 2014 Zhuhai Air Show. (photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Danny Yu, http://www.airliners.net/photo/China-Air-Force/Shenyang-J-31-F60/2546527/L.)

    Strategic Competition and Future Conflicts in the Indo-Pacific Region

    Michael Raska
    In the mid-twenty-first century, the Indo-Pacific’s security hinges on the convergence of four major interrelated developments: (1) the adroit management of China’s rise, both internal and external; (2) the challenge in reassessing strategic interests in the US-led web of Asian alliances; (3) the regional disparities in addressing endemic global security issues; and (4) the prevalence of traditional security quandaries in flashpoints such as the Taiwan Strait or the Korean Peninsula. These trends are reflected in the struggle for dominance by the region’s two major powers—China and Japan; the future of the Korean Peninsula; intraregional competition in territorial disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea; and perhaps most importantly, the contours of long-term regional strategic competition and cooperation between China and the United States.

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