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PacNet #51 – Two Cheers for ADMM+

Much optimism surrounds the establishment of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM+), which held its inaugural meeting in Hanoi Oct. 12. With a membership matching the expanded East Asia Summit (EAS), much of this optimism stems from a judgment that an optimal architectural formula for Asian security politics has finally been found. Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Teo Chee Hean describes ADMM+ as a “significant milestone.” Longtime follower of Asian defense diplomacy, Ron Huisken, calls it “an acronym to watch” and a process that “is likely to take shape as one of the more substantial pieces of Asia’s multilateral security architecture.” Ernest Bower of Pacific Forum goes further, calling the inaugural ADMM+ gathering “a historic meeting that will establish the basic modalities for a new regional security architecture designed to build confidence, practical cooperation among defense leaders and militaries, and promote peace and prosperity in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region.”