November 15, 2013

Building a Politically Sustainable U.S. Military Presence in Southeast Asia and Australia

On Wednesday, CNAS released a major report authored by our own Dr. Ely Ratner, Deputy Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program, entitled “Resident Power: Building a Politically Sustainable U.S. Military Presence in Southeast Asia and Australia.” It argues for situating future presence and access agreements with regional partners within a comprehensive set of military-military, bilateral, and regional goals. Dr. Ratner then lays out a strategy for doing just that in Southeast Asia and Australia over the short-to-medium term. As a matter of statecraft, this requires interagency coordination and especially high-level leadership on overall strategic direction.

 

The report has already been praised by key players on these issues on Capitol Hill: Congressman J. Randy Forbes of Virginia, Chairman of HASC’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii. The main point of convergence is a call for the White House and the National Security Staff to issue an Asia-Pacific Strategy Review articulating a comprehensive set of goals and priorities in the region, which would serve as a point of reference for all government agencies working on U.S. interests in the region. Check out the report and let us know what you think in the comments.