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Strategic Stability

The Pacific Forum’s efforts to promote strategic stability in the region rest on two pillars: deterrence and assurance.

The Pacific Forum’s deterrence work is centered on the US-China Strategic Dialogue, a Track-1.5 meeting supported by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency and run in partnership with Chinese foreign-policy think tanks that provides an important backdrop for US efforts to promote a better understanding of intentions to ensure a strategic balance with China is maintained.

Assurance efforts focus on affirming US commitments to its alliance partners, Japan and South Korea. Also supported by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the US-South Korea-Japan Trilateral Strategic Dialogue brings US Northeast Asian alliance partners together to exchange views on regional security and to examine opportunities for trilateral cooperation. This Track-1.5 dialogue explores the three countries’ thinking about changes in relations with North Korea, extended deterrence, and ways to strengthen trilateral security cooperation. It typically includes a two-move tabletop exercise.

More recently, the Pacific Forum has hosted two new processes that bridge its deterrence and reassurance efforts. One is the US-Australia Indo-Pacific Deterrence Dialogue, run in partnership with the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney in Australia. Co-sponsored by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, this Track-1.5 US-Australia dialogue explores issues related to deterring grey-zone coercion, strengthening conventional deterrence, the evolving nuclear order, the role of emerging technologies, and advancing deterrence through the US alliance and partner network. The other process is the Russia-US-China Trilateral Dialogue, titled “Regional Strategic Stability and Nuclear Risk Reduction in Northeast Asia” and run in partnership with the Moscow-based Center for Energy and Security Studies and the Beijing-based China Arms Control and Disarmament Association. Co-sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, this Track-1.5 dialogue focuses on finding areas of convergence and divergence between the three countries and identifying policy recommendations on all aspects of the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula.