Issues & Insights Vol. 03 – No. 03

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For much of the past decade, specialists have debated the intent of terrorists and whether they would use weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to their full destructive capabilities. The terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001 not only brought the realities of mass casualties into sharp focus, but also highlighted important weaknesses in U.S. efforts to manage the crisis. Sept. 11 introduced a profound sense of uncertainty and insecurity into American life.

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Issues & Insights Vol. 03 – No. 02

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 Southeast Asia has been identified as the “second front” in the international war on terrorism, a title that took on new meaning after the horrific terrorist attacks in Bali on Oct. 12, 2002. Even before the Bali attacks, the nations of Southeast Asia had expressed growing concern about both regional and international terrorism, calling for “concerted efforts and concrete initiatives at all levels” to combat terrorism in the Joint Communiqué issued at the close of the 35th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Brunei. (Appendix A). Terrorism was high on the agenda of the broader ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting as well, with the ministers laying out specific “Measures Against Terrorist Financing” (Appendix B). In addition, an ASEAN-U.S. Joint Declaration was signed pledging cooperation in this field (Appendix C), a remarkable public alignment with Washington on a very high-profile security issue.

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Issues & Insights Vol. 03 – No. 01

Pacific Forum inaugurates this year’s Issues & Insights series with a transcript of the speech given by Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations Alfonso Yuchengco. Ambassador Yuchengco is a Pacific Forum board member and delivered the following address at a meeting of the Honolulu International Forum on Jan. 14, 2003.

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Issues & Insights Vol. 02 – No. 05

On August 21-23, 2002, the Pacific Forum jointly sponsored a conference in Washington, D.C. entitled “U.S., Japan, and China: Developing Stable Trilateral Relations” with the Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS) in Tokyo and the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) in Beijing. This was the third and final year of a very productive collaboration among the Pacific Forum, RIPS, and CICIR, which began with a meeting in Tokyo in 2000, continued with a meeting in Beijing in 2001, and concluded with this meeting. A majority of the participants in Washington had attended the two previous meetings, so there was a strong rapport and collective memory from discussions in previous years on which to build the dialogue. (See Appendix A for the agenda and participants list).

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Issues & Insights Vol. 02 – No. 04

On March 22-23, 2002, more than 30 current and former Japanese and U.S. government officials and security and economic specialists met in San Francisco for the Eighth Annual San Francisco Security Seminar. During a day and a half of intensive dialogue, the participants debated and exchanged views on a wide range of concerns and issues that the two countries face in the post-September 11 security environment, including at the bilateral, regional, and global levels. The conference theme of “Maintaining the Momentum” clearly derives from the positive direction the bilateral alliance has taken in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks, and participants were challenged at the outset to share views on exactly what has changed, and what has not. Readers will find that some of the issues raised by participants and outlined below are familiar ones − the problems associated with the relocation of the Futenma Marine Base in Okinawa and the steady rise of Japanese public opinion in shaping national security policy are just some of the issues that have arisen in previous meetings and continued in March 2002.

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Issues & Insights Vol. 02 – No. 03

The Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) has been working, through its International Working Group on Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBMs) to develop a better understanding of preventive diplomacy (PD) as it relates to the Asia Pacific region in general and to the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in particular. This effort began at the fifth CSBM Working Group meeting in Singapore in October 1996 and has been most vigorously pursued since 1999 at three CSCAP Preventive Diplomacy (PD) Workshops held in conjunction with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). The PD Workshops were conducted either just prior to or immediately after ARF Inter-sessional Support Group (ISG) meetings on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). ISG participants were invited and encouraged, in their private capacities, to attend the CSCAP Workshops.

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Issues & Insights Vol. 02 – No. 01

We are privileged to live in the most revolutionary era in human history. Never has change penetrated so deeply and occurred so rapidly. Moreover, in terms of depth and speed, the United States is currently the world’s most revolutionary society. Each American, of whatever status, has had to cope with constant changes affecting beliefs, relationships, and one’s entire way of life. Yet the revolution is now global, with every nation and people affected. China is an example. While Shanghai demonstrates change in its most extensive forms, even in the remote parts of Yunnan or Tibet, transformation is underway.

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Issues & Insights Vol. 02 – No. 02

When a group of Chinese and U.S. experts convened at the Center for American Studies, Fudan University in early January 2002 for the third round of informal strategic dialogue on regional security issues, they were faced with a post-“9-11” world with remarkable changes as well as strong continuities in cross-Pacific and cross-Strait relations. Candid dialogue occurred against a backdrop of major developments in Sino- U.S. relations including a new Republican president in the White House, a major crisis in bilateral relations (the EP-3 reconnaissance plane incident), the unprecedented generous arms sales to Taiwan, a surprisingly quick winding down of the U.S.-led antiterrorist war in Afghanistan, and the official U.S. withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. Fortunately, the meeting was also conducted between U.S. President George W. Bush’s two trips to China (October 2001 and February 2002).

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Issues & Insights Vol. 01 – No. 03

Does an alliance-based policy in the Asia Pacific region still make sense for the United States in the post-Cold War era? In a word, “yes.” But sustaining these alliances will not be easy. The strategic rationale for the two most vital U.S. East Asian alliances – with Japan and the Republic of Korea – needs to be further developed, especially as (and if) the North Korean threat fades, even as the Bush administration struggles to avoid the temptation of substituting a “China threat” for the threat posed previously by the former Soviet Union and currently by North Korea.

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