Asia Security Initiative

  • Recent Publications

    Asia in the “Second Nuclear Age”
    , by Gaurav Kampani and Bharath Gopalaswamy, November 2017

    Asian Water Security, by Peter Engelke, November 2017

    The Sino-Indian Clash and the New Geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific, by Bharath Gopalaswamy and Robert Manning, November 2017

    Sustaining America’s Economic Strength in the Asia-Pacific: A Narrowing Window of Opportunity, by Ali Wyne, November 2017

    A Strategy for the Trans-Pacific Century: Final Report of the Atlantic Council’s Asia-Pacific Strategy Task Force, by Matthew Kroenig and Miyeon...

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  • Security

    Water and US National Security
    The project is designed to answer a core question—how should American strategists incorporate water into US national security objectives? The goal is to determine the concrete actionable steps necessary to integrate water into policy toward regions of high geostrategic relevance to the United States, with a particular focus on Asia’s water tower. This project will pursue two major ends. First, project staff will seek to influence thinking about water and America’s strategic ends within the US government’s foreign and security policy apparatus. Emphasis will be on the next administration’s first year in office. Second, project staff will focus on the significance of Asia’s water tower for regional geopolitics and, thereby, US foreign and security policy within Asia. While this element of the project is designed to understand how water is shaping regional geopolitics in areas of strategic concern...

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  • Energy, Trade, & Industry

    Shaping the Asia-Pacific Future
    This project seeks to formulate practical policy recommendations related to some of the most pressing and fundamental requirements for long-term security and prosperity in the region. It focuses on the development of durable understandings and measures affecting strategic military stability, and on fostering effective institutions and agreements supporting the open and rules-based movement of goods, services, and capital. The Scowcroft Center will develop actionable recommendations to governments through consultation and dialogue with forward-thinking individuals and collaborative partners in the Asia-Pacific region. The two specific issue modules where new thinking might be constructive include:
    • A Pro-Active Agenda for Building a Durable Rules-Based Liberal Economic Order in the Asia-Pacific Region: The project will formulate public policy recommendations for strengthening the long-term...

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  • Geopolitics

    Strengthening Atlantic-Pacific Partnerships
    An important requirement for sustaining and updating the open, rules-based order is cooperation among like-minded democracies in the US, Europe, and Asia. For a variety of historical, cultural and political reasons, there has been a tendency to consider Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific issues separately. Though the US has alliances in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, they have tended to operate on separate policy tracks. In an increasingly globalized world, the result is a gap in consultation and coordination on important issues of mutual concern among Atlantic and Pacific actors.

    To begin efforts to bridge the gap, the Atlantic Council will organize two public events that will focus on key issues where Atlantic-Pacific cooperation can and should be enhanced, e.g., global commons and security. Both discussions will seek to:
    • Identify the prospective global issues...

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  • Foresight & Strategy

    Asia-Pacific Strategy Task Force
    The purpose of this task force is to develop a comprehensive, nonpartisan Asia-Pacific strategy for the United States and its allies and partners as described in a thirty to fifty page report. This Task Force is co-chaired by Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Chairman of the Atlantic Council, Victor L.L. Chu, CEO of First Eastern Investment Group and Atlantic Council’s International Advisory Board Member, and former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt.

    The Task Force is undertaking a series of in-person meetings and video conferences, regional consultations, and interviews with its members and other key stakeholders. The Task Force aims to incorporate current and

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  • Hawaii Reinstates Cold War-Era Nuclear Sirens

    As tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to simmer, Hawaii is preparing to resume a statewide test on Friday, November 24, of a Cold War-era early warning system designed to inform its residents of an impending nuclear attack.

    Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly responds: 

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  • The Xi Dynasty?

    China’s president re-elected with no clear successor in sight

    Xi Jinping’s re-election to a second five-year term as China’s president, without a clear successor, cements his grip on the Asian nation and raises questions about the future of economic, political, and social reforms in the country, according to Atlantic Council analysts.  

    Xi was re-elected at the end of the National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing on October 25. His re-election coincided with the unveiling of a new Politburo Standing Committee, the six men who will join Xi in governing China for the next five years. None of the individuals could be considered political rivals to Xi, or potential successors.

    His re-election with no successor in sight allows Xi to posit himself as “the undisputed leader of China well beyond his second five-year term,” according to Jamie...

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  • Managing the Korean Conundrum

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    Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have vexed US policy makers for generations. But for American citizens, problems of stability on the peninsula, and North Korean threats to its neighbors were problems over there. Not anymore. North Korea’s dual advances in nuclear weapons and intercontinental delivery systems are edging the situation toward profound. Ever since the term proliferation of weapons of mass destruction entered the lexicon, we have dreaded the idea of a dangerous, wildly unpredictable state—seemingly impervious to sanction—acquiring the capability to hold the US homeland

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  • The North Korea Nuclear Threat and Homeland Missile Defense

    In order to effectively address the growing tensions posed by North Korean nuclear capabilities, Washington needs a comprehensive strategy that will include a range of efforts, including, importantly, strengthened homeland missile defenses.

    Last week, US President Donald J. Trump, referring to the North Korean missile threat, claimed that “we have missiles that can knock out a missile in the air 97 percent of the time, and if you send two of them, it’s going to get knocked out.” This comment led to a flurry of criticism of the president’s statement and of US missile defense policy in general. However, the critics, who point to technical problems and high costs and oppose improved missile defenses, miss the mark. The president’s statement is...

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  • A Blueprint for a US Strategy in Asia

    The United States should update, revitalize, and defend the rules-based international order while considering “hard-headed” engagement with China, according to the latest in a series of Atlantic Council strategy papers.

    This “is not a strategy designed in Washington to be imposed on the region,” said Matthew Kroenig, a nonresident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security.

    Kroenig, along with Miyeon Oh, a senior fellow in the Scowcroft Center, is the author of A Strategy of the Trans-Pacific Century: Final Report of the Atlantic Council’s Asia-Pacific Strategy Task Force.

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