CSIS: AMTI Brief – Evaluating the Asia-Pacific Rebalance – Feb 4, 2016

AMTI Brief – Evaluating the Asia-Pacific Rebalance

Evaluating the Asia-Pacific Rebalance

The Center for Strategic and International Studies last month completed an independent review of the defense portion of the Obama administration’s rebalance to the Asia Pacific. This review, which includes an evaluation of the rebalance’s implementation and resourcing as well as recommendations for its improvement, was mandated by the U.S. Congress under the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.

This week AMTI looks at the Asia-Pacific Rebalance 2025 report with an eye to understanding its implications for maritime Asia. Will the United States remain engaged in the region? Can U.S. forces counter coercion and anti-access / area denial threats? Will the United States strengthen itsalliances and partnerships to maintain security?

To read the full report CLICK HERE

To read the abridged report CLICK HERE 

Read on…

 

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Featured Analysis
South China Sea FONOP 2.0: A Step in the Right Direction

by Gregory Poling
The Navy destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur passed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, the southernmost of the Paracel Islands, on January 30 in the second operation in the South China Sea in recent months under the Department of Defense’s Freedom of Navigation Program. And despite significant disappointment in some quarters, the operation was a considerable improvement over the October 26 transit of the USS Lassen near Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands.Read on…

Philippine Supreme Court Approves EDCA: Unlocking the Door for the Return of U.S. Strategic Footprint in Southeast Asia

By Renato Cruz de Castro
On January 12 the Philippine Supreme Court came out with a courageous decision reaffirming the constitutionality of the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States. In a 10 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the EDCA, paving way for the return of forward-deployed U.S. forces to select Philippine military bases. Read on…

Getting the Balance Right: Singapore and Sino-U.S. Rivalry in the South China Sea
By Joseph Liow
In November, Singapore hosted a visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping. Notwithstanding the conclusion of several bilateral agreements, the spotlight invariably focused on Xi’s comments on the South China Sea, where he reiterated China’s commitment to freedom of navigation and the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes.  Xi’s assurances were timely given regional consternation at China’s ambitions driving massive land reclamation projects in the disputed area. The following month, Singapore’s defense minister, Ng Eng Hen, and his U.S. counterpart, Ashton Carter, signed an Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) which aimed to further deepen an already strong bilateral defense relationship. Among other things, the EDCA provided for U.S. P-8 surveillance flights to be flown out of the island-state. While the South China Sea was not mentioned explicitly, analysts have inferred the P-8 will likely operate in that domain. How should these two developments be understood in the broader context of regional geostrategic trends? Read on…

Is there Drinkable Water and Topsoil on Itu Aba?
By Yann-huei Song
I visited Itu Aba, or Taiping Island in Chinese, on December 12 alongside a group of high-ranking Taiwanese government officials to attend the opening ceremonies for new piers and a lighthouse. It was my fourth visit to the island.

These visits provided me an opportunity to answer for myself the following questions being asked of a tribunal considering the Philippines’ case against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague: Is Itu Aba an “island” or “rock” under Article 121(3) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)? In other words, is it capable of sustaining human habitation or economic life of its own? And as a result, is the feature entitled to a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf? Read on…


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