31 Items

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), left, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), right, sail in formation with 16 other ships from the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force as aircraft from the U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force fly overhead in formation during Keen Sword 2019.

U.S. Navy photo / SPC Kaila V. Peters

Paper

Asia Whole and Free? Assessing the Viability and Practicality of a Pacific NATO

    Author:
  • Aaron Bartnick
| March 2020

This report will address four questions in the Pacific NATO debate. First, is there a historical precedent for a Pacific NATO? This report does find a precedent in the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), though it was largely unsuccessful due to its lack of regional adoption, weak mutual defense provisions, and ultimately became tainted by the Vietnam War.

Second, would such an alliance be necessary given the plethora of existing multilateral partnerships in the region? While there is a broad multilateral landscape in the Indo-Pacific, there is currently no agreement that combines both the wide reach and deep obligations of a hypothetical Pacific NATO. However, the Quad and RIMPAC do bring together many of the key Indo-Pacific powers and serve as an important foundation for U.S.-oriented multilateral regional security.

Third, how could such an alliance be structured? This report examines three options: expanding NATO’s mandate beyond Europe, building on its Enhanced Opportunity Partner (EOP) program, and creating a new alliance system. It also uses the case of Montenegro’s NATO accession to generate a broad set of criteria for future membership.

And fourth, how would Indo-Pacific nations, including China, respond to such an alliance? This would be exceedingly difficult. China has significant economic leverage over even our closest allies, like Australia and Japan.

Intractable internal disputes abound, particularly between South Korea and Japan and four nations—Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam—with competing claims in the South China Sea. Two of the United States’ most important partners in the region, India and Singapore, have a longstanding aversion to exactly this type of alliance system. And for newer partners, like Malaysia and Indonesia, the value proposition is even less clear. The Chinese are likely to respond to any attempts at a multilateral military alliance in its backyard with a whole-of-government effort to stop it. If that alliance includes Taiwan, it could result in even more aggressive action.

AP Photo/Adel Hana

AP Photo/Adel Hana

News

Event Podcast: "Funding Cuts & UNRWA: Health and Dignity of Palestine Refugees at Stake"

Apr. 04, 2019

Audio recording of an April 4, seminar with Dr. Akihiro Seita, Director of the Health and WHO Special Representative at UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East).

Co-sponsored by the Center for Global Health Delivery-Dubai at Harvard Medical School.

teaser image

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

New Report Focuses on NATO at Seventy: An Alliance in Crisis

| Feb. 14, 2019

As the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) approaches, the world’s oldest and most successful military alliance of democratic nations faces serious and complex challenges to its purpose, effectiveness, and unity in 2019. In a new report to be launched at the Munich Security Conference February 15, 2019, former U.S. Permanent Representatives to NATO Douglas Lute and Nicholas Burns highlight ten major challenges to NATO in a new report, NATO at Seventy: An Alliance in Crisis, and offer recommendations to bolster this critically important alliance.

(MENARA)

(MENARA)

Paper

The Implications of the Syrian War For New Regional Orders

| Sep. 12, 2018

This paper argues that the impact of the eight-year war in Syria will reverberate across the region for years to come, and explores, in particular, four noteworthy legacies. First, it examines the series of interventions in Syria by regional and foreign powers (including Russia, Turkey, Iran, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) that reconfigured the role of such powers across the region. Second, it reveals the emergence of two opposing alliances in the region, each comprising Arab states, regional Arab and non-Arab powers, global powers and local nonstate actors. These or similar alliances may well reappear in other Middle Eastern conflicts. Third, it analyses the striking number and variety of foreign forces that either directly fought in Syria or indirectly supported warring factions. Since 2012, these forces have included at least twenty states and major non-state players, alongside hundreds of smaller tribal, Islamist and secular rebel and pro-Assad groups. Finally, the paper suggests that the international community’s weak response to the untold war crimes on both sides, and its apparent de facto acceptance of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s incumbency, portend continuing regional authoritarian and violent political systems for the foreseeable future.

teaser image

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

Ambassadors Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Jose Antonio Sabadell Named Fellows with Harvard’s Future of Diplomacy Project

| Sep. 08, 2017

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, former Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, and José Antonio Sabadell, former Ambassador of the European Union to Mauritania, have been named Fellows with the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. DeLaurentis has been named Senior Diplomatic Fellow and Sabadell will be the first Rafael del Piño-MAEC (Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation) Fellow at the Future of Diplomacy Project. His fellowship is supported by a grant by the Rafael del Piño Foundation based in Madrid, Spain.