Sponsoring Asia-Pacific Security: PACOM's Role in Reconciling Bilateral and Multilateral Security Structures
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
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Although Americas bilateral security alliances have underwritten Asia-Pacific regional security since WWII, this exclusivist order-building approach is now subject to an inchoate but promising security community building project led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN that champions multilateral security cooperation. The simultaneous pursuit of bilateral ism and multilateralism within Asia confounds scholars and begs an important but heretofore under-addressed research question. How can the United States Pacific Command PACOM help reconcile the tension between Americas preference for bilateral security alliances and the regions aspiration for multilateralism The author argues that P ACOM can facilitate more accommodating regional security order-building by pursuing a phased approach. First, P ACOM can modernize alliances and expand partnerships to foster greater intramural cooperation between P ACOM and allied and partnered rnilitaries. Next, PACOM can embed these relationships into key security forums including the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus ADMM to sponsor a broader degree of multilateralism. The analysis points to three recommendations regarding how PACOM can best sustain Americas hierarchy while supporting a broader institutionalization of security politics and identity across the region.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics