Issues & Insights Vol. 20, WP 5 – Securing the Sonobuoy Supply Chain: How Australia Can Help Underwrite Anti-Submarine Warfare Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific

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This paper highlights the challenges afflicting the sonobuoy supply chain, a key item in the prosecution of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations by the United States and many of its key allies. It argues that Australia is well-placed to address these issues, and that doing so would better underwrite collective ASW operations in the Indo-Pacific.

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Issues & Insights Vol. 20, WP 4 – Conflict and Coronavirus: How COVID-19 is Impacting Southeast Asia’s Conflicts

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Since COVID-19 spread out of China in January 2020, it has caused unprecedented damage to the global economy and national health systems. The virus also having serious ramifications for conflicts throughout the world.  This paper reviews the literature up to its time of writing in July 2020 in order to assess how the coronavirus crisis has impacted conflicts in Southeast Asia. The paper found that the pandemic has been detrimental to conflict resolution in the region—it has hampered peacebuilding efforts and contributed to rising tensions. Moreover, the outbreak has enabled extremist organizations to operate more freely and make government lockdowns and the economic downturn a part of their recruitment messaging. Conflict-affected populations are confronted by the dual impact of disease and violence—health systems have been weakened by years of conflict, violence is obstructing the delivery of aid, and forcibly displaced communities are living in unsanitary and crowded camps, incapable of handling a viral outbreak. Women in unstable settings are particularly vulnerable as gender-based violence increases, while services essential to their health and wellbeing are being forced to close. The paper concludes with policy recommendations in view of the effects the virus is having on Southeast Asian conflicts. Recommendations emphasize the importance of supporting local peacebuilders and implementing response and recovery measures that work towards a fairer post-pandemic society.

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Issues & Insights Vol. 20, CR 2 – Far, Far More Than Meets the Eye: Extended Deterrence in Complex Crises in Northeast Asia

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This publication results from research sponsored by the Department of the Air Force, United States Air Force Academy. This material is based on research sponsored by the USAFA and the Pacific Forum International, under agreement number FA7000-19-2-0016. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon.

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Issues & Insights Vol. 19, WP 15 – National Models for Managing Trade of Strategic Goods

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The largest country in mainland Southeast Asia with a population of 53 million and located strategically between China and India, Myanmar plays a significant role geographically, economically and politically in the most rapidly advancing region in the world. As Myanmar opens up, investment and trade have grown significantly. Trade policies have been, and continue to be, revised in line with regional and global commitments and in accordance with liberal principles.

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Issues & Insights Vol. 19, WP 14 – The Gray Zone Issue: Implications for US-China Relations

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The issue of gray zone conflict between the US and China has attracted much attention in recent years. “Gray” indicates actions below the threshold of war, yet beyond normal diplomacy. The fundamental characteristics of gray zone activity include that they are well-planned, designed to be ambiguous amid strategic competition, and intended to leave opponents unable to launch an effective response. What demands special attention is that gray zone activity could cause unintended escalation, and that assertive responses to them may not be the best option. For instance, the United States’ gray zone retaliation to China’s activities in the South China Sea is hardly helpful to contain China’s activities, but certainly slow the pace of resolving the South China Sea dispute through negotiation and dialogue and jeopardize bilateral strategic stability.

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