Welcome to the first quarter edition of Indo-Pacific Defense FORUM in 2018. As you likely noticed, FORUM’s title has changed to more accurately reflect the region’s evolution into a strategic system of interconnected economies, security agreements, and political organizations of a broader region.
The Indian and Pacific oceans now contain some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, linked by one of the world’s busiest trade corridors. As the recent U.S. National Security Strategy points out, India is a leading global power and strong strategic and defense partner. Similarly, the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) have expanded their influence beyond Asia as well. FORUM will continue to encourage Asia’s growing influence in the world by providing a platform for military personnel of the Indo-Pacific region to address shared values, security concerns, and opportunities.
This current edition celebrates the importance of interoperability and innovation in future security. Rapidly evolving technologies, capabilities, and cyber realities are revolutionizing approaches to defense and security. Allies and partners must not only continuously adapt, but also cooperate now more than ever on new ways to counter the next generations of increasingly potent threats.
With the proliferation of technological breakthroughs and shifts comes increasing pressure for Indo-Pacific militaries to be interoperable among their own services and components and with allies and partner forces. To ensure security and prosperity, ally and partner nations must work together to develop defense technologies and processes to address continually evolving threats.
Recent social media manipulations, as well as malware and ransomware attacks, provide just a glimpse of the types of potentially nefarious applications of information tools and cyber capabilities to come. An article in this issue discusses cyber strategies, policies, and practices to address such threats. Yet, many more types of perils could result from the sweeping technological changes ahead. Allies and partner nations must use a collaborative, multilateral approach to fight adversaries across all domains given the range of unprecedented challenges in the future battlespace.
I hope that you find this edition insightful and thought-provoking, and I welcome your comments. Please contact the FORUM staff at email@example.com with your perspectives.
All the best,
Commander, U.S. Pacific Command