Strategic Competition, Cooperation, and Accommodation: Perspectives from the Indian Ocean Region

By |2021-03-23T08:15:53-10:00March 23rd, 2021|

By Saira Yamin, Daniel Cedillo, Nicholas Sikes, Srini Sitaraman, Keith Wilkins* Introduction This article draws on conversations facilitated at the virtual Indian Ocean Region Workshop convened by the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS) in Honolulu, Hawaii, in partnership with its sister security studies center, the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA) in Washington D.C.  The workshop occurred over three consecutive days from Dec. 7 – 9, 2020.[1] Over 90 participants from 14 nations participated in the deliberations focusing on two key objectives: (i) Define the diverse perspectives on strategic competition and its [...]

Time for the Pacific Islands Forum to Step-Back and Heal

By |2021-02-25T16:31:03-10:00February 25th, 2021|

By Deon Canyon  * Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa founded the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) as the South Pacific Forum in 1971 and it has come to be considered the primary agency for regionalism in Oceania (Fig 1). Up until recently, its membership comprised the 14 sovereign United Nations member states (Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu); the 2 non-sovereign territories (French Polynesia and New Caledonia); and the 2 sovereign non-UN member states in association with [...]

Is the Pacific Triad (Australia, New Zealand and France) undermining US influence in the Pacific?

By |2021-02-19T19:47:43-10:00February 19th, 2021|

By Francis Hualupmomi, Ph.D. Public Servant -- Papua New Guinea* There is an immediate concern that the Pacific region will face a major challenge in managing geopolitical dynamics as Micronesia withdraws from the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). The Pacific region was stable before and after the end of World War II, but recent events relating to the PIF suggest that all is not well. The Micronesian group of island countries (Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia) has withdrawn from PIF after its candidate failed to win the position of Secretary-General. The position of Secretary-General of PIF [...]

The Global Islamist Extremist Threat: Still Significant in 2021

By |2021-02-12T14:52:12-10:00February 12th, 2021|

By Kumar Ramakrishna [*] Abstract Violent Islamist extremism remained the most potent terrorist threat to global stability in 2020 and will remain so in 2021. Six trends were observed the past year: the continuing salience of lone actors; the involvement of women and family networks in combatant roles; the challenge of rehabilitating and reintegrating returning foreign fighters and their families; the role of diasporas; the diversity of terror financing mechanism and ideological ecosystems propagating violent Islamist perspectives. Going forward, while a range of customized short-term counter-terrorist kinetic and coercive measures remain important to deal with the evolving physical threat of [...]

UNSCR 1325 on Women and Peace and Security: Assessment and Recommendations

By |2021-02-12T14:18:59-10:00February 12th, 2021|

Interviewed by Dr. Saira Yamin[*] Keynote Interview with Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury Initiator of the precursor decision leading to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security as the Security Council President in March 2000 Transcript prepared by Ms. Kamaile Patton, DKI APCSS Intern The full video podcast interview is available at this link.  Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations (2002-2007) and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to UN (1996-2001), Ambassador Chowdhury has been an internationally recognized champion of women's equality and empowerment for many decades. As the President of the Security Council in March 2000, [...]

Recommendations from Papua New Guinea on How to Improve U.S. Posture in the Pacific

By |2021-02-11T16:35:38-10:00February 11th, 2021|

By Deon Canyon[1] Michael Kabuni[2] Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a strategic asset in the Indo-Pacific geopolitical map and will continue to be used by Beijing, Washington, and Canberra until it picks a side, and probably even beyond that. The key reasons underlying the pursuit of PNG relate to gaining economic advantage and hegemonic dominance. PNG rightly expects that Washington, together with Canberra, would give as much ‘carrot’ as possible to Port Moresby rather than ‘stick’ for fear of losing an important ally to Beijing. Beijing is expected to apply the same amount of caution in preserving its positive external [...]

A Network of Maritime Fusion Centers Throughout the Indo-Pacific

By |2021-02-11T15:39:08-10:00February 11th, 2021|

By Deon Canyon PhD DBA MPH FACTM, Capt. Wade Turvold, U. S. Navy (Ret.) Capt. Jim McMullin, U.S. Navy* Summary Indo-Pacific maritime initiatives are urgently required to meet growing transboundary threats to international security. The establishment of a national maritime fusion center in the U.S. and a network of similar centers across the Indo-Pacific region would significantly advance maritime security cooperation. The lack of such centers hinders all nations from effectively developing a common operating picture that is required to protect the rules-based international order. This network must be empowered collectively to strengthen international law. Our ever-increasingly complex world changed [...]

Simplifying Complexity with Strategic Foresight and Scenario Planning

By |2021-01-07T16:13:06-10:00January 7th, 2021|

Strategic foresight The world is constantly evolving and changing, which often results in significant impacts on society and the crisis management community. Staying ahead of the curve requires not only an understanding of systems and complexity, but also creative and collaborative thinking and action. Strategic foresight is an ancient and latent human capability. As for all innate talents, some people are better at it than others are, and training in structures, models and methods can make a big difference. Royal Dutch Shell is most often cited as an example of early foresight methodology development. Since the 1970s, they have explored [...]

Strategic Approaches to Simplifying Complex Adaptive Crises

By |2021-01-07T15:39:18-10:00January 7th, 2021|

Complexity and Systems Thinking We live and work in a world that is shrinking due to interconnectivity, but growing in terms of relationship diversity. Jostling world powers, enlarging economies, emerging technology, nefarious disruption, increased rate of change, and rapid diffusion of new innovations into society all act to increase threat, urgency and uncertainty (Lane and Down 2010, Sargut and McGrath 2011, Rohrbeck and Gemuenden 2011). The impact of this dynamic on the security environment has been to accelerate the development of current challenges and the emergence of novel challenges. Security challenges are fraught with complexity and have many of the [...]

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