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New RD Publication: What NATO contribution to the security architecture of the Indo-Pacific?

  • 21 Oct. 2019
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  • Last updated: 21 Oct. 2019 08:41

NDC Policy Brief 21-19


On 3rd April, 2019 in Washington, DC, US Vice President Mike Pence addressed an audience of Western current and former statesmen gathered to celebrate the 70th anniversary of NATO. After taking stock of the Alliance’s accomplishments over the previous decades, Pence ventured on the emerging challenges and touched on an unexpected subject, the Indo-Pacific region: “By working together, we can maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific where independent nations boldly pursue their own interests”. 1

Although the Indo-Pacific has by now become a central feature of policy discussions in the US, it has been relatively absent from talks within NATO circles, as the issue is perceived as a matter lying outside the organization’s mandate. But security developments in this region do matter for its member countries. Moreover, there are ways the organization could play a significant role in the Indo-Pacific without compromising its pre-existing priorities. Against that backdrop, this Policy Brief aims to contribute to the emerging discussion on NATO’s engagement in the Indo-Pacific by first providing an appraisal of the policy implications of the US strategy towards the region, and then identifying realistic expectations for a NATO engagement in the Indo-Pacific.

*(back) Associate professor in strategic studies at the UAE National Defense College.
The views expressed in this NDC Policy Brief are the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the NATO Defense College or NATO.

1(back) Remarks by Vice President Pence, “NATO engages: the Alliance at 70”, Washington, DC, 3 April 2019.

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