The Asia-Pacific Security program seeks to inform the exercise of U.S. strategic leadership and engagement across the world’s most dynamic region. Research on defense, diplomatic, economic, and other trends in the Indo-Pacific area help illuminate smart, pragmatic ways to compete and cooperate with diverse actors and identify emerging challenges such as transnational terrorism and cyber deterrence. Developing integrated strategies for preserving peace and stability in the region, particularly on the Korean Peninsula and in maritime Asia, are at the locus of program activity. Projects also focus on modernizing traditional alliances, building the capacity of new partners, and shaping a growing web of intra-Asian security ties. The program leverages the rich experience of its team, deep relationships in the region and in Washington, and CNAS’ convening power to shape and elevate the conversation on U.S. policy across a changing Asia.
As part of CNAS’ Papers for the Next President Series, Asia-Pacific Security program Director Dr. Patrick Cronin authored “Sustaining the Rebalance in Southeast Asia: Challenges and Opportunities Facing the Next Administration.” The report proposes a five-part agenda the next president can pursue in his or her first 100 days to maximize the U.S. position in Southeast Asia. This report is also part of the Derwin Pereira Southeast Asia Foreign Policy Series at CNAS, which convenes a bipartisan group of current and former senior government and regional specialists to discuss the diplomatic, economic, and security dimensions of Southeast Asia policy for the next administration.
With its extensive experience and deep regional relationships, the program is able to elevate the discussion of developments in the region with thoughtful and timely analysis. In anticipation of the ruling from the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea under the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in the case commonly known as Philippines v. China, CNAS experts Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper and Harry Krejsa assessed the range of prospective decisions and evaluated their broader implications in the report “Reefs, Rocks, and the Rule of Law.” Additionally, prior to President Barack Obama’s trip to Laos for the East Asia Summit and U.S. engagement with ASEAN, Frank Albert, a nonresident fellow with the CNAS Asia-Pacific Security Program, wrote “Laos in the World Spotlight: The East Asian Summit and Next Steps in U.S.-Lao Relations.”
Demonstrating the program’s convening role, in January it brought together Washington policymakers, foreign policy scholars, and diplomats from around the world for an event featuring the Honorable Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia. Following her address on the future of the Asia-Pacific and the U.S.-Australian relationship, CNAS CEO Michèle Flournoy moderated a discussion and Q&A session. Later, at the CNAS 2016 Annual Conference, Dr. Cronin engaged with Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson and Washington Post foreign editor Doug Jehl to discuss the future of the global commons, the challenges of A2/AD, and how technological advancement may change regional balances of power.
Looking ahead, the Asia-Pacific Security program will focus on the Counterbalance project, which strives to anticipate Chinese responses to U.S. efforts in the Asia-Pacific, and the Korea and the Third Offset project, which examines the impact of defense modernization and innovation efforts for the U.S.-South Korea alliance.