PacNote #6 – In Memoriam: Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, US Navy Ret.

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The Pacific Forum has lost a valued mentor. We deeply regret the passing of Adm. Thomas B. Hayward, US Navy Ret., at age 97 on March 3 in Seattle. Adm. Hayward was the 21st Chief of Naval Operations from 1978 to 1982. He was, until his passing, vice-chairman of the Pacific Forum’s International Advisory Board.

With roots in California, Tom Hayward fought as a Navy aviator in Korea and Vietnam. In 1957, he competed to be one of the first seven astronauts. Fortunately—for the Navy—he was not selected. The Navy benefited from his very special kind of leadership. In the aftermath of Vietnam he became the Seventh Fleet commander, helping to restore US credibility in East Asia. As US Pacific Fleet commander in 1976 he dealt with the challenges of the transition from the draft to an all-volunteer Navy.

In 1978, Tom Hayward became Chief of Naval Operations, serving under presidents Carter and Reagan. He was one of the great leaders of the US Navy at a crucial Cold War moment, when the Soviet Union begin to deploy its “Blue Water” navy, threatening US command of the sea. As he testified before Congress, there had been insufficient recognition of the importance of this critical concept. Tom Hayward’s efforts focused on enhanced “pride and professionalism” and on the doctrine of “Maritime Superiority.” The US response was the 600-ship Navy and Pacific operations involving four aircraft carriers for the first time since World War II.

In 1974, Rear Admiral L.R. “Joe” Vasey established the Pacific Forum with Adm. Hayward’s encouragement. After Hayward’s 1982 retirement from active duty, he resided in Honolulu and participated often in the Forum’s activities. Conferences around the Pacific and East Asia are common today, even with COVID-19. But in the 1970s and 1980s, there was much less such activity. Early delegations to and from Shanghai broke ground in the opening to China. Tom Hayward was deeply involved, yet had no illusions about the challenging relationship the United States and China would always have.

Adm. Hayward was always interested in the education of America’s young people, and he worked closely for many years with leaders in online learning, well before the pandemic forced its use more broadly.

We at Pacific Forum will miss Admiral Hayward—he was always available to us, even in his later years. Well into his 90s, Tom Hayward would fly in for Pacific Forum events. His example lives on, and inspires many young Fellows and future leaders—our next generation—some of whom will follow in his footsteps.

– James A. Kelly, Chairman, Board of Directors, Pacific Forum International

PacNote #5 – Comparative Connections Readership Survey

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To ensure that our publications continue to deliver timely, concise, and informative policy commentary, Pacific Forum asks that members of its network complete a Comparative Connections Readership Survey.

Responses from our global network of policy practitioners, academics, and next-generation leaders will help us further develop Comparative Connections, a triannual e-journal of bilateral relations in the Indo-Pacific available at, such that it remains a powerful resource for its distinguished audience.

The survey can be accessed here. We kindly ask that feedback be submitted no later than March 22, 2022.

If you are a regular reader of Comparative Connections and are interested in providing a testimonial on how the publication has been valuable to your work, please click here.

PacNote #4 – Pacific Forum is recruiting a senior program director in Indo-Pacific Foreign and Security Policy

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The Pacific Forum is seeking a senior program director to advance our efforts to promote a better understanding of foreign policy and security issues in the Indo-Pacific region through research, publication, public outreach, and discussions. The deadline to apply is March 11, 2022.

The ideal candidate will have an advanced degree and demonstrated experience in policy analysis, an established network in the Indo-Pacific security and foreign policy community, a relevant publication record, strong organizational skills, an entrepreneurial and team-player spirit, a PhD or equivalent experience, a willingness to engage in extensive travel in the United States and abroad, English language fluency with proficiency in at least one Asian language, and the legal right to work in the United States. A demonstrated ability to attract funding for research or program activities is a strongly desired attribute.

This is a perfect opportunity for a motivated researcher interested in building on a record of success and developing their own programs in a leading, growing, and extremely active think tank focused on Indo-Pacific security and foreign policy.

Applicants should have competence in one or several of the following areas: strategic competition with China; US alliances, partnerships, and Indo-Pacific security architecture; or nontraditional security threats in the Indo-Pacific. They should also have a broad familiarity with policy issues shaping relationships between countries in the Indo-Pacific region.


This position’s duties include (but are not limited to):

  • Conducting policy-oriented research and analysis on security and foreign policy issues;
  • Publishing research findings in articles, book chapters, and other publications;
  • Presenting research results at relevant conferences and workshops in the United States and abroad;
  • Directing and administering the Pacific Forum’s existing programs;
  • Managing the execution of events in the United States and abroad;
  • Developing funding proposals for existing Pacific Forum programs and initiating new proposals based on topical interest;
  • Drafting, proofreading, and editing written material; and
  • Mentoring Pacific Forum fellows, research interns, “Young Leaders,” and junior staff – developing the next generation of Indo-Pacific security specialists is a major focus of Pacific Forum.
Interested candidates MUST submit the following items:

1. Letter of interest. The letter (1,000 to 2,500 words) should explain your interest in applying for the position and include a brief description of your vocational goals and intended areas of work at Pacific Forum, to include potential funding sources.
2. Curriculum vitae. The CV should reflect your educational background, grants and fellowships awarded, work experience, and publication record.
3. References. A letter of recommendation plus the names and contact information of three professional references.
4. Salary expectations. The applicant should indicate his/her salary expectations in the application package. Please do not say “Negotiable.”

The Pacific Forum appreciates diversity and welcomes its benefits. We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability or veteran status. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know.

Please send application materials by March 11, 2022 to [email protected]

About the Pacific Forum:

Founded in 1975, the Pacific Forum is a non-profit, foreign policy research institute based in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Forum’s programs encompass current and emerging political, security, economic, and business issues and works to help stimulate cooperative policies in the Indo-Pacific through analysis and dialogue undertaken with the region’s leaders in the academic, government, and corporate areas.

The Forum collaborates with a network of more than 30 research institutes around the Pacific Rim, drawing on Indo-Pacific perspectives and disseminating its projects’ findings and recommendations to opinion leaders, governments, and publics throughout the region. We regularly cosponsor conferences with institutes throughout the Indo-Pacific to facilitate nongovernmental institution building as well as to foster cross-fertilization of ideas.

For more information:


PacNote #3 – Pacific Forum Job Announcement: Program & Publications Manager

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The Pacific Forum is recruiting a program and publications manager to work in Honolulu to support its mission of stimulating dialogue and cooperation among government leaders and policy experts to craft policies that promote peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

Minimum qualification requirements include a bachelor’s degree; proficiency with Microsoft Office, Adobe applications (including InDesign and Acrobat), and social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram); and a willingness to travel (domestically and internationally) if and when travel becomes possible.

Job Description:

The Program / Publications Manager provides support and assistance to Pacific Forum’s 1) fellowship and internship programs, 2) in-house publications, and 3) events (both in-person and virtual). The Program / Publications Manager performs clerical functions essential to Pacific Forum’s work and assists Directors in executing programs, projects, and proposals.

The ideal candidate will possess:

  • A master’s degree in political science, international relations, regional studies, economics or a related field;
  • Experience in publication and material design and layout;
  • Vision to grow and improve Pacific Forum’s publications;
  • Strong communication skills to include speaking, writing, and editing;
  • An intellectual interest in the Indo-Pacific;
  • Experience working at a non-profit research institute;
  • Demonstrated ability to work on numerous projects concurrently;
  • Organizational and time management skills;
  • The ability to produce results under deadline;
  • Attention to detail;
  • The ability to work as part of a team and adapt to changing requirements;
  • Punctuality, professionalism, and a positive attitude.

Benefits include healthcare, paid vacation, and paid holidays. Starting salary will depend on education and experience but is expected to range from $40,000 to $50,000.  Position/Salary is evaluated annually based on performance.

Interested candidates must submit the following items:

  1. Letter of interest. The letter should explain why you are interested in applying for the position to include a brief description of your vocational goals.
  2. Curriculum Vitae. The CV should reflect your educational background, work experience, and academic interests.
  3. Contact information for two professional references.
Please send all application materials by Feb. 4, 2022 to: [email protected].

This job posting is also viewable on Indeed.

PacNote #2 – GENRON NPO Survey Link

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The Genron NPO is an independent, not-for-profit Japanese think tank engaged in track II diplomacy in Northeast Asia. The Genron NPO works towards creating mechanisms that will contribute to a peaceful environment and establishing rules and principles for stable order in the region.

The Genron NPO is conducting an online survey in which scholars and experts in the US, China, South Korea, and Japan will participate to gauge their opinions on the top risks threatening peace in Northeast Asia. Based on the results of the survey, The Genron NPO will publish its annual report, “Risks in Northeast Asia in 2022.”

The Genron NPO appreciates your participation and your efforts to complete the survey by 8pm EST on Monday, January 31. The Genron NPO’s five-minute online survey can be found here:

PacNote #1 – Pacific Forum Announces Its Partnership With Analyzing War

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Pacific Forum is pleased to announce its partnership with Analyzing War.

Analyzing War is an online magazine platform that is published by SWi Analytics, a California limited liability company that is dedicated to advancing knowledge and informed understanding of Indo-Pacific security and order. Their most recent issue (November/December 2021) includes expert commentaries on how great power competition ends in the military, economic, and geopolitical realms:

  • Treasury Bonds and Renewing an Economic Impact by Alvin Camba, PhD & Louis Pascarella
  • Competition over Cooperation by Ekaterina Koldunova, PhD
  • Comprehensive Versus Partial Power: Not-so Great Power Competition and its End Destination by Stephen Nagy, PhD
  • The Russian Navy in the Indo-Pacific by Joshua Bernard Espeña
  • War Termination Among Nuclear-Armed Powers in a Maritime Context by LCDR Steven Wills USN (Ret), PhD

Click here to view the latest issue. 

We look forward to sharing the next issue, which will be released in February 2022, and future Analyzing War publications with Pacific Forum’s readership in the future.

PacNote #13 – Thank You for Your Support in 2021

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As we look to celebrate the new year, Pacific Forum would like to express its sincere gratitude to its global network for its generous support in 2021.

Despite ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19, Pacific Forum has remained steadfast in its mission of promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Through its implementation of critical Track 1.5/Track 2 dialogues, execution of over 40 public webinars, and publication of original research and timely policy commentaries alike, we have continued to inform and connect decisionmakers and academics across the globe. Similarly, we have remained committed to mentoring the next generation of foreign policy professionals through the Young Leaders Program, Hawaii Asia-Pacific Affairs Leadership (APAL) Program, and fellowship opportunities designed to provide emerging voices with the analytical skills, research perspectives, and guidance needed to contribute to the development of practical policy solutions.

We are immensely encouraged and heartened to receive support from so many who are equally dedicated to promoting collaboration, transparency, and innovation amid a growing number of increasingly complex challenges facing the region.

We invite you to look back on our crosscutting research and public programs from the past year. Links to over 60 online publications have been included below for your reference, and recordings from a host of timely webinars conducted in partnership with institutions across the Indo-Pacific can be accessed on our YouTube channel.

In closing, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and to subscribe to our mailing list, to receive the latest updates from the organization in the coming year.

We look forward to engaging with you and continuing our work in 2022. Happy New Year, and Mahalo!


  1. South Koreans’ Negative View of China is Nothing New, but is Getting Worse by Jaewoo Choo
  2. Comparative Connections Summary: January 2021
  3. Getting China Policy Right by Ralph A. Cossa
  4. 2021: A Year of Immense Frustration in and with Japan by Brad Glosserman
  5. North Korea Doubles Down on a Dead End by Thomas Byrne and Jonathan Corrado
  6. Myanmar’s Military Arrests the Civilian Government—and Democracy by Jonathan T. Chow and Leif-Eric Easley
  7. Pacific Forum Job Announcement by Robert P. Girrier
  8. Rebooting the UN-US Partnership: Global Goals Require Indo-Pacific Focus by Mark S. Cogan and Dr. Stephen Nagy
  9. The Quad’s Future is Tied to Soft Security by Jagannath Panda and Ippeita Nishida
  10. The New US Diplomacy with China: ‘Keep Your Promises’ by Sungmin Cho
  11. The US Indo–Pacific Strategy: Don’t Overlook the Pacific Islands Region by Patrick Dupont
  12. China Policy from Trump to Biden: More Continuity than Change by Eric Feinberg
  13. Women, Peace and Security Under a Biden-Harris Administration (Part One: Participation) by Maryruth Belsey Priebe and Jennifer Howe
  14. Biden vs Trump on China Policy: Similar Substance, but Style Matters by Eric Feinberg
  15. Women, Peace and Security under a Biden-Harris Administration (Part Two: Prevention and Protection) by Maryruth Belsey Priebe and Jennifer Howe
  16. Biden Seeking Middle Ground on China Policy by Robert Sutter
  17. Japan and South Korea’s Alternative Paths in the Indo-Pacific by Andrew Yeo and Kei Koga
  18. Women, Peace and Security Under a Biden-Harris Administration (Part Three: Relief and Recovery) by Jennifer Howe and Maryruth Belsey Priebe
  19. A Moment of Truth (Again) for ASEAN by Ralph A. Cossa
  20. Strengthening Transboundary River Governance is Key to ASEAN Centrality by Satu Limaye and Ross Tokola
  21. Who Kim Jong Un’s “Worst Ever” Declaration was Aimed At by Bruce W. Bennett
  22. Russia and Myanmar: Moscow’s Expanding Influence? by Chris Cheang
  23. How Women, Peace and Security Gives the US and Australia an Edge in the Indo-Pacific by Joan Johnson-Freese and Jacqui True
  24. Comparative Connections Summary: May 2021
  25. US-China Crisis Communications—Thinking Beyond the Air and Sea by Joel Wuthnow
  26. Why Australia Needs an Indo-Pacific National Strategy by Paul Monk
  27. How the ASEAN Regional Forum Can Promote Security and Prosperity by Mohamed Jawhar Hassan
  28. Thanks to COVID and China, the Quad is a Sealed Deal by Amrita Jash
  29. Ideating an India-France-UK Trilateral for the Indo-Pacific by Eerishika Pankaj
  30. “Moderate” Strategies on China Put Necessary Defense Measures at Risk by Robert Sutter
  31. The Structural Limits of the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative by Jagannath Panda
  32. China: The Forgotten Nuclear Power No More by David Santoro
  33. Kim Jong Un’s Failures Could be Washington’s Gain by Daniel Mitchum
  34. Advancing a Rules-Based Maritime Order in the Indo-Pacific by Jeffrey Ordaniel
  35. South Korea’s Military Inferiority Complex Must End by John Lee
  36. 10 Things Every Sailor and Marine Should Know Before Deploying to Southeast Asia: A Regional Primer by John Bradford and Blake Herzinger
  37. Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security Should be a US-Japan Alliance Agenda by John Bradford
  38. Afghanistan: A Strategic Watershed? by Tony Abbott
  39. How Public-Private Cooperation Helped Unlock US Assistance on Agent Orange by Phan Xuan Dung and Charles Bailey
  40. Comparative Connections Summary: September 2021
  41. After the Shock: France, America, and the Indo-Pacific by Bruno Tertrais
  42. Has Washington Found its Feet in Southeast Asia? by Catharin Dalpino
  43. The Quad’s Growing Unity in Rhetoric and Goals by Rob York and Akhil Ramesh
  44. How AUKUS Advances Australia’s Commitment to Collective Defense by Ashley Townshend
  45. False Dawn: The Resumption and Re-ending of the Inter-Korean Hotline by Aidan Foster-Carter
  46. After AUKUS, “present at the creation” in the 21st century by Brad Glosserman
  47. China’s Challenges and Effective Defense: America’s Conundrum by Robert Sutter
  48. New Zealand and AUKUS: Affected without being included by Robert Ayson
  49. Xi Jinping’s top five foreign policy mistakes by Denny Roy
  50. Fold, call, or raise? China’s potential reactions to AUKUS by Yun Sun
  51. What AUKUS means for European security by Marie Jourdain
  52. The Growing Crisis of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing by Peter C. Oleson
  53. What should Washington expect from US-China strategic stability talks? by David Santoro
  54. What AUKUS means for Malaysia’s technological future by Elina Noor
  55. What’s in a word? Calling it “containment” makes a huge difference by Brad Glosserman
  56. America and China: Seeking an Updated Foundation for Enduring Engagement by Ron Huisken
  57. Building on AUKUS to Forge a Pax Pacifica by Henry Sokolski
  58. Why the UK was the Big Winner of AUKUS by David Camroux
  59. “JAUKUS” and the emerging clash of alliances in the Pacific by Artyom Lukin
  60. AUKUS’ short- and long-term implications for Taiwan by Fu S. Mei

Issues & Insights

  1. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 1 – The Climate of Civil Disobedience: Liberal Studies as a Political Instrument under Hong Kong’s Secondary Education Curriculum by Jason Hung
  2. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 2 – The United States’ Indo–Pacific Strategy and a Revisionist China: Partnering with Small and Middle Powers in the Pacific Islands Region by Patrick Dupont
  3. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 3 – A New Era of US Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula by Joshua Nezam
  4. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 4 – What the Biden-Harris Administration means for WPS in the Indo-Pacific Region by Maryruth Belsey Priebe and Jennifer Howe
  5. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 5 – No One is Satisfied: Two Theories of the US-China Global Rivalry and the International Order by Younn Shwe Sin Htay
  6. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 6 – The Opportunity is There: South Koreans’ Views of China and the Future of the US-ROK Alliance by John Lee
  7. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, SR 1 – 21st Century Technologies, Geopolitics, and the US-Japan Alliance: Recognizing Game-changing Potential Edited by Brad Glosserman, Crystal Pryor, and Riho Aizawa
  8. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 7 — Women, Peace and Security: A Competitive Edge for Australia and the US in the Indo-Pacific by Joan Johnson-Freese and Jacqui True
  9. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 8 — The ASEAN Regional Forum: Challenges and Prospects by Mohamed Jawhar Hassan
  10. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 9 — Framing Violence: US and Chinese State-Funded News Outlets during the Hong Kong Protests by Hanmin Kim
  11. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 10 — South Korea’s Demographic Advantage is Over: The Regional Context and the Economic and Security Implications by Tom Byrne and Jonathan Corrado
  12. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 11 — How Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines Will Impact China-Indonesia Vaccine Diplomacy by Jason Hung
  13. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 12 — Strengthening Regional Energy Governance in the Mekong Subregion by Chen-sheng Hong
  14. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, SR 2 — Advancing a Rules-based Maritime Order in the Indo-Pacific Edited by Jeffrey Ordaniel and John Bradford
  15. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, CR1 — The United States and Viet Nam: Charting the Next 25 Years in Bilateral Security Relations by Jeffrey Ordaniel
  16. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, CR 2 — The United States and Indonesia: Re-converging Security Interests in the Indo-Pacific by Jeffrey Ordaniel
  17. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP13 — European Contributions to Indo-Pacific Maritime Order by David Scott
  18. Issues & Insights Vol. 21 SR 3 — Foes to Partners: 25 Years of U.S.-Vietnam Relations Edited by Jeffrey Ordaniel and Ariel Stenek
  19. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, CR 3 — US-Taiwan Deterrence and Defense Dialogue: Dealing with Increased Chinese Aggressiveness by Ralph A. Cossa
  20. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP14 — Imagined Currencies: How the DPRK Uses Cryptocurrency to Blunt Sanctions by Michael Buckalew
  21. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, SR4 — The United States and Singapore: Indo-Pacific Partners Edited by Jeffrey Ordaniel and Ariel Stenek
  22. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP15 — More Harm than Good: Why Chinese Sanctions over THAAD have Backfired by Daniel Mitchum
  23. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, SR5 — Strategic Trade Controls in Southeast Asia: A Pandemic Update Edited by Crystal Pryor and Ellise Fujii

PacNote #12 – Pacific Forum Fellowship Opportunities

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Pacific Forum is accepting applications for resident and non-resident James A. Kelly Korean Studies Fellowship and WSD-Handa Fellowship. The non-resident Vasey Fellowship is also open for application. The deadline to apply is October 31.

Applications are currently open for:

Since 2002, Pacific Forum has hosted over 100 resident fellows from 21 countries. Pacific Forum’s fellowship programs offer promising scholars and young professionals the opportunity to serve as researchers with Pacific Forum and develop hands-on expertise on Indo-Pacific policy issues.

Resident fellows are based in Hawaii to conduct research under the mentorship of Pacific Forum staff and to help with ongoing projects and programs. Pacific Forum is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and following the latest guidance from the Office of the Mayor, City and County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii emergency order currently in effect. Resident Fellows may be adjusted to be a hybrid program with a virtual start on Jan. 1, 2022, with the possibility of conversion to an in-person resident fellowship at Pacific Forum offices in Honolulu if and when conditions permit.

Non-resident fellows conduct research from their home country under the mentorship of Pacific Forum staff and affiliates. Learn more about the Pacific Forum’s fellowships here:

The James A. Kelly Korean Studies Fellowship promotes academic study, research, and professional career paths focused on Korean Peninsula studies. It recognizes the exemplary efforts of Jim Kelly to improve US-ROK relations and encourage the DPRK to denuclearize and join the international community of nations. The overall objective of the fellowship is to promote stronger US-ROK, US-DPRK, and inter-Korean relations. To apply for the Kelly Fellowship, please complete the Resident and/or Non-resident Kelly Fellowship online application form.

The WSD-Handa Fellowship Program was established through the generosity of the Worldwide Support for Development and Dr. Handa Haruhisha to increase East Asian, US, and European participation in Pacific Forum programs. WSD-Handa Fellows should already have some knowledge of East Asian security and economic developments and should use this fellowship as an opportunity to take a more in-depth look into these issues and offer solutions for improvement. To apply for the WSD-Handa Fellowship, please complete the Resident or Non-resident WSD-Handa Fellowship online application form.

The Lloyd and Lilian Vasey Fellowship program is named after Pacific Forum founder, the late Lloyd R. “Joe” Vasey and his wife Lilian. The Vasey Fellowship affords promising scholars from outside the US the opportunity to serve as researchers at the Pacific Forum and to develop hands-on expertise on US-Asia policy issues and gain an appreciation of Indo-Pacific economic and security affairs and policymaking challenges. To apply for the Vasey Fellowship, please complete the  Non-resident Vasey Fellowship online application form.

The deadline to apply is Oct. 31. For any questions or concerns about Pacific Forum fellowship programs, please contact [email protected].

PacNote #11 – Announcing Two New Issues & Insights Conference Reports

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Pacific Forum, with the support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), organized the U.S.-Viet Nam Security Dialogue and the U.S.-Indonesia Security Dialogue. Written by Jeffrey Ordaniel with co-principal investigators David Santoro and Robert Girrier, the just-released Issues & Insights Conference Reports contain key findings and recommendations from the discussions.

The United States and Viet Nam: Charting the Next 25 Years in Bilateral Security Relations

Washington and Hanoi left behind their past as Cold War adversaries and upgraded their relations into a comprehensive partnership in 2013. The relationship has since flourished considerably and rapidly. The next logical step is to elevate the relationship into a strategic partnership, i.e., a deepened security engagement. That process has already begun, but more work is needed, and urgently, given the increasingly tense situation in the South China Sea. The region continues to face growing security challenges – from irredentist claims and blatant sidestepping of the rule of law in many of the region’s maritime spaces, to the threat of pandemics and cybersecurity. So far, most Track 2 U.S. engagements with Viet Nam have centered on issues pertaining to development, empowerment, and historical reconciliation. The time is now ripe for a security-focused dialogue involving the two countries’ top strategic thinkers to build on current gains, underscore opportunities for deeper defense cooperation, generate sound and actionable policy and operational recommendations, and highlight the importance of a tighter partnership to the peace and stability of Southeast Asia and the broader region.

To this end, Pacific Forum, with support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and in collaboration with the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam (DAV), organized the inaugural Track 2 U.S.-Viet Nam Security Dialogue on May 18-20, 2021. The dialogue was aimed at building a body of knowledge on U.S.–Viet Nam security relations that DTRA and other interested U.S. Government agencies could use to conduct better military engagements, and provide a more responsive and complementary capacity-building, with greater impact to improve deterrence.

Read Issues & Insights, Vol. 21, CR1 The United States and Viet Nam: Charting the Next 25 Years in Bilateral Security Relations here:

The United States and Indonesia: Re-Converging Strategic Interests in the Indo-Pacific

The United States and Indonesia, the world’s second and third largest democracies, form a consequential relationship in the Indo-Pacific. However, despite common values and shared interests, U.S.-Indonesia relations have yet to realize their full potential, especially on the security front. Many strategic imperatives should drive closer U.S. security engagements with Indonesia. These include Jakarta’s leadership role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other key regional institutions, its outsized role in promoting the security of vital sea-lines of communications and trading routes, its location as the archipelagic nation connecting the Pacific and Indian Oceans, its shared interest with the United States in countering violent extremism and other trans-national threat networks, and its activist and independent foreign policy. These realities, when leveraged, can facilitate a more coordinated and effective response to a multitude of geopolitical, economic, and security challenges in the region, and can advance the United States’ Indo-Pacific vision.

The Biden Administration has made clear that the Indo-Pacific is a “top priority,” an enduring theme through several U.S. administrations. U.S. officials have also stressed that the United States will seek to “build a united front of U.S. allies and partners to confront China’s abusive behaviors and human rights violations.” While this framing alone is unlikely to generate in-depth Indonesian cooperation, Jakarta is interested in working with the United States to stand up to China when needed and take a leading role in ensuring Southeast Asia’s strategic autonomy.

To this end, Pacific Forum, with support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and in collaboration with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS Indonesia), organized the inaugural Track 2 U.S.-Indonesia Security Dialogue on June 1-3, 2021. The dialogue was aimed at building a body of knowledge on the bilateral security relations that DTRA and other interested U.S. Government agencies could use to conduct better military engagements, and provide a more responsive and complementary capacity-building, with greater impact to improve deterrence. The organized panels were aimed at increasing awareness and understanding in Indonesia and in the United States of the two countries’ converging and diverging interests, defense and foreign policy doctrines, and views on key regional and global security issues.

Read Issues & Insights, Vol. 21, CR2 The United States and Indonesia: Re-Converging Strategic Interests in the Indo-Pacific here:

PacNote #10 – Remembering Robert “Skipp” Orr

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The Pacific Forum mourns the passing of long-time friend of Pacific Forum and International Advisory Board member Robert “Skipp” Orr, former U.S. ambassador to the Asian Development Bank, who passed away on August 12 in Kamakura, Japan due to heart failure.

Skipp enjoyed a long and distinguished career in business, government and academia and was a key figure in the U.S.-Japan relationship. As noted in a Japan Times obituary, he is credited with opening up Japan’s cell phone market in the 1990s as a Motorola Inc. executive, and he served as president of Boeing Japan Co. from 2002 to 2007. During his time at Boeing, the 787 Dreamliner was developed, with 35% of the components made in Japan. Between 2007 and 2010, he was chairman of the board of the Panasonic Foundation. He also served as vice chairman of the National Association of Japan-America Societies.

In 2010, then-U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Orr as executive director, with the rank of ambassador, to the Asian Development Bank. He served as ADB ambassador until Dec. 31, 2015, the longest serving ambassador during the Obama administration.

Orr graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 1976 and went on to earn a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University and a doctorate in political science from the University of Tokyo. His interest in government led him to work as a legislative assistant to former Democratic congressman Paul Rodgers in 1976. While in Washington, he also worked as a staff member for the House Foreign Affairs Asia subcommittee. In 1981, he joined the U.S. Agency for International Development, working on Asian issues.

Between 1985 and 1993, Dr. Orr was a political science professor and director of the Institute of Pacific Rim Studies at Temple University Japan. He also ran the Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies and the Stanford Center for Technology and Innovation at the Stanford Japan center in Kyoto for two years.

In 1991, his book “The Emergence of Japan’s Foreign Aid Power” won the Ohira Prize for best book on the Asia-Pacific region.

During his career, Orr played senior leadership roles in a number of other organizations, including the Council of American Ambassadors and the Pacific Forum. His door was always open to friends when visiting, either in Tokyo or Manila.

On Nov. 3, 2018, the Japanese government recognized his many contributions to the US-Japan relationship, conferring upon him the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. The presentation ceremony took place on June 4, 2019, at the residence of the Japanese ambassador to the United States.

Ralph Cossa, Pacific Forum President Emeritus and Worldwide Support for Development-Handa Haruhisa Chair in Peace Studies expressed his sorrow at Orr’s death: “Skipp was a dear friend and devoted New York Yankee fan, who was always there when we needed him to lend a helping hand or share his insights. He will be sorely missed.”