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Plan builds Alliances in Asia

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Plan builds Alliances in Asia

( ) Supporting 370 search key to US relations with allies. This issue does spillover and shows US reliability.

Quintos & Teodoro ‘14

Ms. Mary Fides Quintos and Ms. Joycee Teodoro are both Foreign Affairs Research Specialists with the Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies at the Philippines Foreign Service Institute. “Moving ASEAN-US Security Relations to a New Level?” – This piece was published by the East-West Center. The East-West Center promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. Established by the US Congress in 1960, the Center serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, and develop policy options. This is published in the Asia Pacific Bulletin – April 15, 2014 – available at:

The US-ASEAN Defense Ministers' Forum was conducted under the ambit of the ADMM-Plus which was established in 2007 to serve as a venue for ASEAN to engage with eight dialogue partners—Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, and the United States—in promoting peace and security in the region. To date, ADMM-Plus has established five working groups for practical cooperation covering maritime security, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster management, peacekeeping operations, and military medicine. This most recent meeting was held amid another wave of tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in the South China Sea. For ASEAN, a recent water cannon incident near Scarborough Shoal involving Filipino fishing vessels and Chinese Coastguard ships, the standoff at Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal again between the Philippines and China, and China’s naval exercises at James Shoal which is claimed by Malaysia are all issues of concern. Indonesia’s strengthening of its military presence in the Natuna Islands which China included in its nine-dash line is another indication of the increasing insecurity and instability in the region. The meeting provided a good opportunity for informal dialogue on the overall security environment in Asia and the possible implications of developments in Ukraine for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity within the international order. It also served as an opportunity for the United States to reemphasize that it can be relied upon by ASEAN members in supporting the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law and in upholding the freedom of navigation and overflight in the region. With regard to humanitarian assistance and disaster response, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last year and the ongoing search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has demonstrated the lack of capacity of individual ASEAN countries or ASEAN as a bloc to immediately respond to a crisis. Not disregarding the efforts made by the governments of the Philippines and Malaysia, these incidents highlighted the need for the participation of other states particularly in terms of sharing of expertise, technology, and information. The US-ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Forum explored areas where cooperation in these areas can be further strengthened. It was a reiteration of the need for multilateral cooperation in non-traditional security challenges that do not respect territorial boundaries. The increased frequency of high-level visits by US officials to Asia, the provision of resources to its allies in the region, the reallocation of military hardware, along with ongoing military activities demonstrate that the US intent is to have a closer engagement with the region over the long term. These actions are also manifestations of the US commitment to Asia despite fiscal restraints and the looming crises in other regions where the US is also expected to be involved. Moreover, they send a strong signal that the United States remains the region's security guarantor regardless of doubts on its capacity to perform that role. However, the US-led hub-and-spokes alliance security model can be perceived as an act of containment against a particular country, hence the importance that bilateral alliances are supplemented by a multilateral institution that is open and inclusive such as ASEAN in shaping the regional security architecture.

( ) Plan builds alliances and dissuades China without resorting to force

Berteau ‘12

(et al; David, Director of International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies – “U.S. Force Posture Strategy in the Asia Pacific Region: An Independent Assessment,” – August 2012 –

At one level, PACOM force posture is tied to current deployments and activities in the region and to announced plans to modify such deployments. Chief among these are plans for replacing Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma and funding for additional military construction needed to transfer Marines from Okinawa to Guam. These plans are at the center of a logjam between DoD, which would like to implement them, and the Congress, which is reluctant to authorize funding absent better details about cost and long-term master plans. This report tackles those issues and proposes a way to break that logjam. However, the stakes for the United States in the Asia Pacific region go well beyond the scope of military construction projects. This report focuses on the larger question of how to align U.S. force posture to overall U.S. national interests in the Asia Pacific region. Current U.S. force posture is heavily tilted toward Northeast Asia, to Korea and Japan, where it focuses properly on deterring the threats of major conflicts on the Korean peninsula, off Japan, and in the Taiwan Strait. However, as evidenced by recent Chinese activities in the South China Sea and throughout the Pacific islands, the stakes are growing fastest in South and Southeast Asia. To be successful, U.S. strategic rebalancing needs to do more in those areas, while simultaneously working with major allies in Northeast Asia to shore up deterrence capabilities in the wake of emerging anti-access and area denial (A2AD) threats. The project team concluded that DoD has not adequately articulated the strategy behind its force posture planning nor aligned the strategy with resources in a way that reflects current budget realities. DoD needs to explain the purposes of force posture adjustments in light of the new security challenges in the Asia Pacific region. In the past, force posture decisions have been benchmarked against plans, including the capabilities required to prevail over potential adversaries. However, the top priority of U.S. strategy in Asia is not to prepare for a conflict with China; rather, it is to shape the environment so that such a conflict is never necessary and perhaps someday inconceivable. It is therefore critical that the United States can achieve and maintain a balanced combination of assurance and dissuasion to shape the environment. This requires a force posture that enables the PACOM commander to undertake actions that include capacity building for partners that face internal and external vulnerabilities, cooperation on common challenges such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and joint and combined training that enhances interoperability and makes for more effective coalitions in crises. Since winning the peace is the first objective of U.S. strategy in the Asia Pacific region, the report’s leading recommendation highlights measures DoD can take to enhance shaping and reassurance activities. Recommendation One emphasizes the need to: • Better align engagement strategy under PACOM and across DoD, including improved integration of PACOM with its component commands, between PACOM and Service force providers, and among PACOM, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and key interagency players (e.g., the Department of State).

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