ASPI suggests
11 Oct 2013|

How does the region perceive the US pivot? Here’s one perspective from Jakarta:

Asia would welcome a US policy that will, of necessity, be vastly different from the 2011 pivot, and one that is more realistic and less gung-ho.

The authors are senior editors of The Jakarta Post, one a former Ambassador to Australia, both of whom were educated in the US.

Strategist contributor Iain Henry responds to Harry White in The National Interest on why the US shouldn’t double down on the Senkaku Islands. Iain argues that a US security guarantee could provoke rather than deter China and might embolden Japan to escalate the issue further.

US special forces recently conducted simultaneous counterterrorism raids against Islamist terrorists in Somalia and Libya. James Kitfield over at Defense One has five takeaways from the special operations raids, including this point on the relationship between the US and Pentagon:

The fact that both of the recent strikes were made by U.S. Special Operations Forces, and not CIA paramilitary units, suggests to some observers that the center of gravity for counterterrorism may be shifting.

Another Strategist contributor, Carlyle Thayer has a NBR piece that explores a new commitment to a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea with the initiation of ASEAN–China consultations. According to Carlyle, the consultations represent a ‘significant development’ in ASEAN–China relations and an opportunity for ASEAN to demonstrate unity, thus being able to move closer to an ASEAN political-security community by 2015.

Sticking with the region, if you’re interested in Indonesia-related issues, the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) has released a new report on the relationship between the creation of new districts in Papua, violence and local elections.

Lastly, prospective PhD students in defence and strategy might like to consider the Tange Scholarship offered by the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the ANU. It provides for a $35,000 p.a. tax-free stipend, tenable for three years. The Tange Scholar will also be provided with a shared office, computer with internet access, stationery, and research support funding of up to $7,000. More details here, applications close 31 October.

Image courtesy of the President of the Republic of Indonesia official website.