Vietnam’s Foreign Policy: In Search of a New Delicate Balance

Developments in the international affairs of Southeast Asia are generating considerable uncertainty and doubt among regional players, including Vietnam. Seeking a delicate balance between great powers, and among other regional states, is a necessity for Hanoi to keep Vietnam’s national interests and relationships with other countries undamaged.

Of Claims and Freedoms: Diverging Perspectives on the South China Sea

Power differentials between states affect how they view and respond to the South China Sea disputes. Small powers largely see them as a clash of unilateral territorial and maritime claims over all or part of the semi-enclosed sea, whereas big powers frame them in a more strategic manner – a contest for control over a critical international waterway. Small powers focus on immediate and direct concerns like resource access, whereas big powers stress universal freedoms of navigation and overflight. Lumping claims and freedoms together muddles and complicates the resolution of South China Sea disputes. Disaggregating them, however, may allow for opportunities to tackle part of the dispute separately.

Anatomy of a Strategy

On August 20, The Department of Defense released its Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy.  Mandated by Section 1259 of the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, the report outlines DOD’s strategy for maritime security in the region. On August 21, Assistant Secretary of Defense David Shear briefed the press on the new document. Team AMTI commends […]

August 1945: A Snapshot of American Maritime Strategy in the Pacific

When Japan surrendered 70 years ago this month, the United States stood supreme in the Pacific.  Only the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy had surface combatants that could roam freely from the Indian Ocean to the East China Sea and these remained a fraction of the massive “Big Blue Fleet” the U.S. Navy had […]

How Will China View the New Maritime Strategy?

The military services responsible for American seapower (Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard) recently released their new maritime strategy, entitled “Forward, Engaged, Ready: A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.”  The reviews thus far have been positive, with most analysts praising the specificity of the document, as compared to its 2007 predecessor, as well as its […]