Welcome to Indo-Pacific Defense FORUM’s second-quarter edition for 2019 on conflict resolution.
Indo-Pacific nations remain committed to the peaceful resolution of conflicts in keeping with international norms, standards, and laws. Together, allies and partner nations can enhance regional security by preventing escalation and recurrence of conflicts and by cooperating to address evolving threats, whether conventional or nonconventional.
Retired U.S. Army Col. Art Tulak sets the stage for this edition of FORUM by calling for new approaches to deterrence, given that conventional ones have largely failed to suppress the proliferation of hybrid warfare. He cites the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) territorial conquest of maritime features in the South China Sea and Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian sovereign soil in Crimea as leading examples. After employing hybrid tactics ranging from proxies to propaganda in the “gray zone” between peace and crisis, these authoritarian regimes then deployed military assets to occupy and hold their territorial gains. Tulak discusses the challenges of effective deterrence in today’s operations and information environments and what manifestations of hybrid warfare portend for the future balance of power in the region.
Other articles in this edition build on the premise that hybrid warfare continues to complicate regional security. An investigative piece probes how the PRC has become the world’s greatest perpetrator of economic espionage (a type of hybrid warfare) and how outright theft of intellectual property, trade secrets, and technical data propels political hostilities. Another thought-provoking article focuses on what ally and partner nations can do to counter PRC aggression and coercion in the South Pacific. The importance of multi-domain operations in megacities is also highlighted in this issue.
I hope this edition energizes the regional conversation on preventing conflicts, and I welcome your comments. Please contact the FORUM staff at firstname.lastname@example.org with your perspectives.
All the best,
Admiral, U.S. Navy
Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command