YL Blog #18: The Realignment of Strategic Priorities for Combined Regional Deterrence

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The US-ROK-Japan strategic partnership sends an important message across the globe as the bastion of the liberal democracy in the Northeast Asia. The strategic triangle shares moments of historical discordances and harmony in the past. The recent anxiety over the difference of national priorities centering the North Korean security dilemma and economic trade between the Republic of Korea and Japan exactly exemplifies a discordant instance. With the Republic of Korea as a mediator, the denuclearization negotiations between the United States and North Korea remain an entanglement that provides both the opportunity and adversity for the region. In response to this frequently changing regional security environment, the partners use various political and economic assets to maintain the regional balance of power and project their capabilities in hopes of demonstrating the resolve and engaging others to open up for negotiations.

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YL Blog #17 – Reflections on the Indo-Pacific and the Demise of the INF: Challenges and Opportunities

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In July, I joined a gathering of analysts, researchers and government figures from the United States and allied states within the Indo-Pacific at the Centre for Global Security Research (CGSR) in Livermore, California, to discuss the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Washington’s decision to withdraw from the Treaty, which restricted the deployment of ground-launched missiles with ranges of between 500 and 5500km, was motivated predominantly by Russia’s non-compliance. However, the biggest strategic dividends for the US could be reaped in the Indo-Pacific, where the US is seeking to refresh its regional posture and strategy in response to China’s growing anti-access/area denial (A2AD) and power projection capabilities, particularly its sizeable arsenal of land-based short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles — over 90 percent of which are of an INF range. For the US, fielding its own missile systems represents one of several ways to begin correcting the perceived military imbalance with China. Indeed, Washington plans to test and develop a new ballistic missile with a range of 3000-4000km, and also recently tested a new ground-launched cruise missile with a range exceeding 500km, which could be ready for deployment as early as 2021.

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YL Blog #16: Fostering Trust and Dialogue to Manage US-China Strategic Competition

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Early this month, the US Department of Defense released its Indo-Pacific Strategy Report. In the said document, the DOD stressed the primacy of the Indo-Pacific Region in terms of priority level and citing inter-state strategic competition with China’s as the chief concern for US national security. This view about China is shared by the analysts and strategists, at least on the US side, who attended the recently-concluded 11th US-China Strategic Dialogue held at Lahaina, Maui on 17-18 June 2019.

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YL Blog #15 – Operationalizing Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific: Soft Deterrence and Foreign Interference Legislation

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Australia has become a major theatre for Chinese interference and grey zone warfare. Over the last year, the country’s political system has been wracked with political scandals, cyberattacks, disunity between State and Commonwealth governments and pitched battles in our universities. As said by former head of the Australian Secret Intelligence Organisation, Australia is facing unprecedented levels of foreign interference.[1]

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YL Blog #13 – Addressing Butterfly Questions: The Planet, Plastic Pollution and Policy Pathways at Japan’s G20

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In its fifth year, the 2019 G20 Interfaith Forum gathered outside of Tokyo to discuss an ambitious agenda organized under the triple-P thematic of Peace, People and Planet: Pathways Forward. While each of these broad themes guided discussions both in panels and plenaries, from the Forum’s outset it became clear that a reoccurring focus would be the importance of protecting the planet in order to support its people and to promote peace.

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YL Blog #12 – Strengthening the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: The Role of the Religious Community

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In June, the 2019 Japan G20 Interfaith Forum in Tokyo gathered experts from religion, civil society, government and academia to focus on issues vital to security and well-being in the face of disasters. The challenges included peace-building, refugees, health, disaster risk reduction, forests, and children amongst others. In disaster risk reduction (DRR), an emerging nontraditional security issue, the forum concentrated on the religious dimension, highlighting the critical role of religious and faith-based organizations in meeting the physical and spiritual needs of communities affected by disasters. It is critical to consider integrating networks of religious communities to maximize the efficiency of current international and national DRR frameworks, especially focusing on requiring international cooperation in developing countries.

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YL Blog #11: The Gods, The People and The Earth

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A better start for the G20 Summit in Osaka couldn’t have happened than the G20 Interfaith Forum, which took place from June 7-9, 2019. The forum saw a myriad gathering of religious leaders from across the globe. Held at the New Hotel Otani Makuhari in Chiba, Japan, the forum happened two weeks before the G20 Summit, which was to take place in Osaka on June 28. Organized by the Worldwide Support for Development (WSD), the G20 Interfaith Forum Association, the World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD) and the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), this year marks the 6th round of the Interfaith Forum talks.

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YL Blog #10: 100 Resilient Cities Initiative Ends, but the Work Continues

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In early April, the Rockefeller Foundation announced the end of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) program. Established in 2013 by the Rockefeller Foundation, the goal of 100RC was to increase the institutional resilience capacity of its member cities. In the absence of this high-profile organization, many cities were left with concerns regarding how to move forward given robust resources it had offered, which include financial support, planning expertise, and most importantly a forum to exchange ideas. The 100RC framework focuses on the peer-to-peer relationships between chief resilience officers (CROs) to facilitate networks and collaborations. Joshua Stanbro, CRO for Honolulu, has been key in developing a true catalyst for action and strategic planning for resiliency building. Since becoming the CRO in 2017, he has provided direction, support, and set the tone for all actions related to the City and County of Honolulu’s coordination and policy on climate change for all stakeholders, including other government entities, residents, and private entities. The loss of the 100RC network takes away the opportunity for smaller cities to convene with global colleagues and engage on a larger scale to share and develop best practices.

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