October 24, 2016

CNAS Releases New Report on Transatlantic Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific

Washington, October 24 – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Strategy and Statecraft Program has released a new report examining transatlantic security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific under the next U.S. administration.

Since the 2011 announcement of the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, the United States has had to work hard to reassure its European allies that a pivot to Asia does not mean a pivot away from Europe. But the reality is that the Asia-Pacific is becoming increasingly important to both the United States and Europe, and each would benefit from stronger transatlantic cooperation throughout the region. This report provides concrete policy recommendations for the how the next U.S. administration can collaborate with its European partners throughout the Asia-Pacific, and how both sides of the Atlantic can work together to create a comprehensive, long-term, and mutually beneficial strategy toward the region. The report is part of CNAS’ Papers for the Next President Series, which is designed to assist the next president and his or her team in crafting a strong, pragmatic, and principled national security agenda.

The reports authors are:

The concrete policy recommendations in the report include:

  • Enhance strategic high-level dialogue on Asia-Pacific issues.
  • Develop a shared outlook on regional trends.
  • Audit the joint U.S.-EU statement on Asia for progress.
  • Strengthen NATO’s partnerships in Asia.
  • Pursue joint engagement with Asian partners and institutions.
  • Cooperate on maritime security and global commons.
  • Leverage transatlantic defense industrial cooperation.
  • Help reform regional security architecture.
Download the report today.

Please find the introduction to the report below:

When the Obama administration announced its strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region in 2011, a number of European capitals initially worried that it would be followed by a commensurate decline of U.S. engagement in Europe. Some experts felt as though Washington’s decision not to invite the EU to “join the pivot” meant that America did not view Europe as a “relevant actor in the Asia-Pacific region,” and that Europe would be increasingly neglected for regions that the United States deemed more important. However, five years later, Europe has come to better understand and accept this policy. Alongside this acceptance, though, are many open-ended questions about Europe’s policies toward Asia. Should, for example, Europe try to develop its own rebalance in coordination with the United States? Or should it leave the foreign and defense issues of the Asia-Pacific region largely to the United States? The answers to those questions vary by country, making a single European policy on Asia impossible to construct. As a result, Washington has made only modest efforts to enhance its cooperation with Europe in Asia. But the next U.S. president could and should do more to develop a comprehensive and long-term strategy toward the region in coordination with European partners.

This report examines the achievements of the rebalance over the last five years and explores what transatlantic security and defense cooperation in the Asia-Pacific should seek to accomplish under the next U.S. administration. Do Washington and European capitals see eye to eye on regional developments and threat assessments today or are there key differences in their respective strategic outlooks? Where specifically can Europe bring added value to broader U.S. security efforts in the Asia-Pacific? What do expectations on both sides look like? Can those expectations be met?

The report’s authors are available for interviews. To arrange an interview, please contact Neal Urwitz at nurwitz@cnas.org or 202-457-9409.