Ratner sees new 'security architecture' emerging in Indo-Pacific

By Abby Shepherd / February 15, 2024 at 5:24 PM

A "new, regional security architecture" is emerging in the Indo-Pacific, according to a defense official.

Two years after the Biden administration released its Indo-Pacific Strategy, various officials gathered Thursday at the U.S. Institute of Peace to discuss the strategy’s ongoing implications for foreign relations and U.S. military operations in the region.

The new, emerging dynamic is “exciting and significant,” said Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs.

“What we are seeing is the birth of a new regional security architecture that’s in its very early formations but is going to be -- it’s not going to be NATO, it’s not going to be a singular counterbalancing coalition, that’s not what we’re aiming for,” Ratner said. “It’s going to be something that’s uniquely built and tailored for the challenges in the region.”

Panel speakers highlighted the varying trilateral and quadrilateral partnerships between the U.S., Australia, the Philippines, Japan and the Republic of Korea armed forces. The transfers of weapons, aircraft and other technology between these countries have increased in the past year, with the State Department approving a possible $2.35 billion sale of Tomahawk missiles to Japan in November.

Partnership between the U.S. and Australia, specifically with submarine sales, will also increase as the U.S. seeks to deliver on the AUKUS agreement.

“2023 stood as the most transformative year in our regional force posture in a generation,” Ratner added.