By: Shaun Ee
What is the kernel of the issue?
The Quad is going broad, as Australia, India, Japan, and the US team up on vaccines, tech supply chains, climate change, and more. This is a welcome update to the security architecture in Asia, but could use a unifying framework—both for a sense of direction, and to get other “Quad Plus” nations onboard.
Why is the issue important?
The Quad could use other Asian countries’ help to revitalize the regional order, but China labeling it an “Asian NATO” has them jittery about joining. And while the Quad is useful as a generic four-way consultation forum, focusing it on a core purpose—“what it’s all about”—could boost its staying power beyond ad hoc cooperation.
What is the recommendation?
The Biden administration should advocate for rebranding the Quad’s work as “collective risk management,” in contrast to NATO’s ethos of “collective defense.” The Quad’s core should remain maritime security, but to help bring in “Quad Plus” nations, it can create an Indo-Pacific Risk Management Council—an “Asian Geico.” Through inter-governmental cooperation and national “Centers of Excellence,” this IPRMC can share and mitigate risks across economic, biological, technological, and other relevant domains.