7 Items

The Indo-Pacific Region

USINDOPACOM Map (US State Dept.)

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Old Friends and New Horizons: Recalibrating American and French Indo-Pacific Strategy

France and the United States are the two Western countries with the highest sovereign interests in the Indo-Pacific region. Ensuring sovereign integrity and the security of their citizens are the first strategic priority of both nations. Furthermore, as longtime allies, Washington and Paris share mutually supporting interests that align their geopolitical security within the diplomatic, economic, and military spheres. Traditionally thought of as national interests, many now transcend borders to reflect inclusive interests of both Washington and Paris versus the exclusivity of a single nation-state. There is an increasingly common strategic vision that can bolster regional security by developing physical and digital connectivity to ensure a free, safe, and open Indo-Pacific. Shared strategic vision requires apt diagnosis of the state of play before consideration of potential policy prescriptions that might strengthen a unified approach to the Indo-Pacific. This report identifies the best approaches for the US, France, and the EU to support their Indo-Pacific allies within a framework of collaboration, coordination, and consultation, underpinned by common values.

Analysis & Opinions

Preserving a Nonpartisan Military

| Apr. 22, 2022

Preserving a nonpartisan military is sacred and critically important to the institution and the military’s role in defending our nation.  Today’s society is characterized by intense partisanship as seen in current events, media, and technological changes, with recent polls indicating the public’s trust in the military waning.  As a microcosm of society, military members are increasingly at risk of being influenced by this political partisanship.  A nonpartisan military is not only essential to maintain the trust of our elected civilian leaders, but also of the public and the men and women of the Armed Forces.  To preserve this trust, the Department of Defense needs to reenergize core democratic principles for military members by implementing professional military education on the foundational tenets of why the military is nonpartisan, balancing political astuteness and being political, and the effects of political influence by media, technology, and former military leaders.

Silhouette of soldiers

Army Spc. Rachel Christensen/DoD

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Stepping Up to the Challenge: Smartphones and Military Mental Health

| Feb. 16, 2022

Contemporary approaches to decrease suicide inducing behaviors are failing. With suicide deaths increasing, and now at record highs for active-duty members of the military, new innovative approaches are essential.  We must continue to evolve the care and services already in place today which are saving lives, while augmenting and extending their reach to help many more requiring care today.


Creating Intelligence as a Community

| January 2022

The Intelligence Community (IC) plays a vital role in defense of the Nation. They are entrusted with accurately collecting, analyzing, and delivering foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information for America’s leaders who, in turn, make sound decisions to protect the country. The IC conducts decision support by connecting, inferring meaning from, and making analytic judgments about disparate data sets. However, this is easier said than done when the sheer magnitude of data points available today can overwhelm a human’s ability to review and analyze it in a timely manner. Advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, supercomputing, and 5G can help, but for various reasons addressed in this report, it often takes too long to employ emerging technology rapidly throughout the IC. 

To compound the issue, the IC is made up of separate agencies with countless stove-piped systems and serial processes. Stovepipes challenge the IC’s collective ability to understand and find the most relevant data to make analytic judgments, while countries like China are rapidly advancing their Artificial Intelligence techniques by employing whole-of-nation strategies.

“For decades, the IC’s traditional space platforms were designed to address the Cold War. For the most part, the Soviet Union was the single adversary, and over the years, the IC came to understand the landscape very well. However, by today’s standards, keeping tabs on the Soviets was simple. In those days, the IC focused on watching and listening to big, loud things that moved slowly, ICBMs, tank divisions, and fixed radars. It was a job they did very well; it was also a job that drove the requirements for the IC’s capabilities and systems for decades (The NRO Overview).” 

Now we are in a race to modernize. The IC must move quickly to extend its Cold War success into the next phase of competition or risk losing the innovation war to China. 


teaser image

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Gen. Dunford Shares Insights With National Security Fellows

| Fall 2021

Every other Tuesday, early in the morning and no matter the weather, you can usually spot 17 National Security Fellows (NSFs) making their way from different parts of Boston to a Belfer Center third-floor conference room in Cambridge. They come from all military services, the Coast Guard, Office of the Secretary of Defense, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office. Their research at the Center this year covers a broad range of national security issues from governance and corruption in multiethnic societies to defense technology, artificial intelligence, and space capabilities. They are as different as their professional backgrounds suggest, but on these Tuesday mornings they are united by their eagerness to hear directly from one of the most disciplined military thinkers of our times - General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. (ret.). 

A 10 Squadron AP-3C awaits its crew as the sun rises over RAAF Base Edinburgh, Australia.

Wade Roberts


Winning Strategic Competition in the Indo-Pacific

| September 2020

The strategic competition in the Indo-Pacific involving the United States, Australia and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is arguably the most significant contemporary international relations issue. It spans all aspects of state power: hard, sharp and soft; diplomatic, information, military and economic; and all domains: air, sea, land, space, cyber, technology and innovation. But in their rush to recover ground perceived to be already lost to the CCP, neither the U.S. nor Australia have paused to devote sufficient attention to understanding the nature of strategic competition, to comprehend what winning it actually means, and therefore to grasp how best to approach it. As a result, they both continue to cede the initiative to the CCP, while it continues to compete on the terms most favorable to it.