Indo-Pacific Security

Within Indo-Pacific Security

The Indo-Pacific has emerged as the world’s economic and geopolitical center of gravity. This region has become the central theater in the competition between the United States and China to shape the course of the 21st century. At the same time, the nuclear and conventional threat posed by North Korea remains a flashpoint for major-power war. Across the Indo-Pacific and beyond, American allies and partners are increasingly active in pursuing their interests, including engaging in new forms of security networking. More than ever before, America’s place in the world will hinge on whether it can get the Indo-Pacific right.

The CNAS Indo-Pacific Security Program addresses opportunities and challenges for the United States in the region, with a growing focus on issues that originate in the Indo-Pacific but have global implications. It draws on a team with deep government and nongovernment expertise in regional studies, U.S. foreign policy, international security, and economic statecraft. The Indo-Pacific Security Program analyzes trends and generates practical and creative policy solutions around four main research priorities:

  • The China Challenge investigates how the United States can sharpen its strategic edge in the competition with China. For the past several years, CNAS has conducted innovative research on China’s Belt and Road that has informed the U.S. government’s efforts to address Beijing’s economic statecraft. Areas of focus in 2021 include blunting China’s digital expansion and addressing Beijing’s aggressive military and political behavior in the aftermath of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Regional Alliances and Partnerships examines how the United States can strengthen its existing relationships with high-capability allies and partners like Japan, South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, and India. Areas of focus in 2021 include operationalizing the Quad, strengthening cooperation among Indo-Pacific partners to address post-pandemic economic challenges, and enhancing collective resilience against foreign interference.
  • The India Opportunity explores ways to strengthen the U.S.-India comprehensive global strategic partnership, with particular emphasis on defense and security ties, technology cooperation, health security, and climate change. Cooperation between the United States and India has taken on new importance in the wake of COVID-19 and the 2020 India-China border crisis.
  • The North Korea Threat explores innovative U.S. policy options for encouraging North Korean denuclearization as well as alternative policies for addressing potential expansion of the North Korean nuclear arsenal.

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