Welcome to Indo-Asia-Pacific Defense FORUM’s first-quarter edition for 2017, highlighting nontraditional threats, multilateral engagement and future trends affecting the region. This issue explores outcomes of future forecasts in the security realm and how these forthcoming developments may impact military strategies and government policies.
Analyses of the region’s recent past indicate that mounting tensions and growing security risks could lead to serious incidents or armed confrontations unless measures are taken to dissect flashpoints and work together toward peace.
Avoiding conflict in the near- and long-term requires militaries and security organizations to engage in discussions that promote understanding while mitigating tensions. The need for these conversations is amplified by the potential for traditional and nontraditional threats to evolve in the coming decades in the face of rapid technological advancement, population growth, shifting demographics, economic development, and climate change.
Nations across the Indo-Asia-Pacific more effectively protect their interests and those of their allies and partners against potential threats through cooperative agreements and multilateral approaches. Consider, for example, concerns about population growth coupled with dwindling water and energy supplies. Arable lands become stressed as rapid urbanization and industrialization continue, creating a security challenge as food availability diminishes. Despite these food security risks, regional cooperation and emerging technologies will help reduce resource competition and threats to stability.
The more countries share data on nonsensitive topics, the better safeguarded are borders, national assets and mutually shared resources. For example, the Republic of Singapore Navy operates the Information Fusion Centre, located in the Changi C2 Centre, with the intensions to do just that. This regional maritime security information-sharing hub aims to enhance collective understanding of the maritime domain to ensure the safety of shipping in the region and beyond. More efforts like these — in other areas where cooperation yields mutually beneficial gains — will go a long way toward shaping a more secure Indo-Asia-Pacific in the months, years and decades to come.
I hope that you find this edition insightful and thought-provoking, and I welcome your comments. Please contact the FORUM staff at firstname.lastname@example.org with your perspectives.
All the best,
Commander, U.S. Pacific Command