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Research Project Monitor

Directed Research Program (DRP) "U.S. Forward Presence in the Asia Pacific: The Demand Side"
Year One, Domestic Dimensions of Security Policy in Key Asian Countries

Project Director
Satu Limaye, Director, Research Division, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), Honolulu, Hawaii

Funding
Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies

Objectives
The twin purposes of the DRP are to meet the emerging security challenges in the Asia Pacific by strengthening and expanding the knowledge base of the APCSS and of the community of security professionals in general; as well as to contribute to the development and application of accurate, timely and relevant information to security and defence-related issues. Consequently, the DRP has the following objectives: to produce and share critical, cutting-edge information relating to cooperation and defence matters; to build on and reach beyond current research by integrating the efforts of ongoing programs that address long-standing and still pressing issues with innovative projects that examine new developments in security and cooperation; to bridge the gaps that hinder knowledge-sharing and cooperation by identifying and implementing new kinds of methods and means for establishing linkages across the lines of different disciplines, different cultures, different geographic locales, different political orientations and interests, and different kinds of organizational settings as well as by nurturing an emerging generation's capacities to create and use knowledge effectively; and to promote and foster the production and facilitation of vital knowledge through support for leading senior specialists as well as the provision of resources for junior scholars and practitioners embarking on original projects that have yet to be imagined.

The inaugural project of the DRP is entitled "U.S. Forward Presence in the Asia Pacific: The Demand Side." The unifying theme of the project is to identify and assess the decisions and developments - i.e., the "demand side"- that are taking place in Asia Pacific states that will be critical to the type and sustainability of the U.S. forward presence in the region. The core of this project is an integrated exploration of the following topics: 1) Domestic Determinants of Defence and Foreign Policy in Asia Pacific States; 2) An Examination of the Security Calculations of Key Asian States; 3) Threat and Security Assessments: The Mechanics; 4) An Examination of Bilateral Relationships in the Asia Pacific: Implications for the United States; and 5) Alternative Security Orders and Communities in the Asia Pacific. This multi-staged progressive approach - i.e., each subsequent stage will build on the work of the previous one - is intended to produce a coherent and comprehensive analysis of the type and sustainability of U.S. forward presence in the decade to come.

The first phase of the "U.S. Forward Presence in the Asia Pacific Region: The Demand Side" project centers on an examination of the domestic determinants of defence and foreign policy of Asia Pacific states. The "Domestic Determinants" project is predicated on the premise that understanding how Asian governments formulate and develop policy, and which actors and interests are likely to influence the process, is critical to any effort to assess the future of Asia Pacific security. Thus, detailed assessments of the domestic factors shaping decision-making in the region will shed important light on the likely future direction of defense and foreign policy in key Asia Pacific states. Moreover, it is intended that this effort will be of great use to professors and researchers at the APCSS, desk officers and others at Pacific Command, and the broader Department of Defence community.

DRP researchers will conduct a case study analysis of foreign and defence policymaking in a key Asia Pacific country. Although the focus of research will inevitably differ by country, some or all of the following questions will receive particular emphasis: i) What are the key institutions and actors that have an influence on foreign and defence policy?; How fragmented is decision making?; How important is elite politics of a given country in policy formulation?; How significant is the role of the military in policy formulation?; What foreign policy and security issues are likely to be particularly divisive?; On what issues is there broad consensus and agreement on policy?; Are new groups and institutions emerging with a voice on these issues?; ii) How important is the role of generational and leadership change in influencing policymaking?; Do younger leaders - either politicians, bureaucrats, businesspeople, or others - have a distinctly different view of foreign and defense policy?; For countries undergoing political transitions, how is domestic political change likely to shape foreign and defence policy?; iii) How has economic development or stagnation affected defence and/or foreign-policy-making mechanisms?; How do changing economic factors - e.g., globalization, information technology proliferation, etc. - affect security policy formulation?

The DRP has four main goals: 1) contribute to U.S. Pacific Command's perspective on thinking about security and cooperation issues in the Asia Pacific; 2) elicit perceptions and ideas from security specialists on thinking about Asia Pacific defence and foreign policy calculations; 3) explore policies and actions that the region - and individual countries - could consider to bolster internal stability and regional security in general and/or in relation to specific issues; and 4) establish a network of experts comprising policy makers, military officials and academics in order to: i) foster sustained engagement between scholars and practitioners; ii) form networks for international collaboration and exchange that bring together scholars from regions, institutions, and sectors of society typically absent from security studies; iii) develop knowledge about security and models of cooperation which involve many different types of actors operating at national, regional and global levels; iv) disseminate knowledge across borders and institutional domains; and v) support junior researchers in broadening their knowledge and developing their analytic capacities.

Participants and Organization
While it is primarily a Research Division directed effort, The DRP will include as its participants members of the faculty and other qualified individuals who express interest. The DRP is organized according to country with participants responsible for heading up the research for their respective countries of interest and expertise. Participating researchers with designated countries of interest are listed below.

NORTHEAST ASIA: Japan - Chris Johnstone; China - Paul Smith; Taiwan - Dr. Yasuhiro Matsuda (Visiting Research Fellow from National Institute of Defense Studies, Japan).

SOUTHEAST ASIA: Vietnam - Jonathan Page; Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore - Lt. Colonel Mel Labrador.

SOUTH ASIA: India - Dr. Satu Limaye; Pakistan - Lt. Colonel Terry Cook.

More members will be added to the roster of participants as vacancies in the Research Division and the Faculty are filled.

Topics for Commissioned Research
As indicated above, the DRP is organized into a number of project phases under the unifying theme "U.S. Forward Presence in the Asia Pacific: The Demand Side." The first phase of this project is tentatively entitled "Domestic Determinants of Defence and Foreign Policy in the Asia Pacific." Future topics of the DRP's first theme might include: i) An Examination of the Security Calculations of Key Asian States; ii) Threat and Strategy Assessments; iii) An Examination of Bilateral Relationships in the Asia Pacific: Implications for the United States; and iv) Alternative Security Orders and Communities in the Asia Pacific.

The "Domestic Determinants" phase of the DRP will be organized according to participants' respective countries of interest. DRP researchers are drawn from the Research Division and the APCSS faculty with other participation to be determined. DRP researchers are given flexibility in issue focus and academic approach. However, for the purposes of consistency and coherence, all researchers have been asked to address a number of set issue areas. Determined through numerous consultations with DRP researchers and intended customers, the principal issues for commissioned study are as follows: i) Generational and leadership change - i.e., in what discernable ways do attitudes, practices, policies and procedures as well as leadership styles differ between political generations?; ii) Economic changes/globalization - i.e., how have economic developments and/or globalization affected security-policy-making mechanisms and decision making in the countries to be examined?; How do changing economic factors affect security policy?; and iii) Political institutions/electoral politics - i.e., how do the nature, structure and dynamics of political institutions and electoral politics in the countries in question affect the security-policy-making process?

Meetings
To date, DRP researchers have met a total of two times. During those two sessions, possible participants, the analytical framework and project timelines were discussed. The next meeting is slated for early April when DRP researchers will share their current findings on the first two topics of phase one of the DRP - i.e., the "Generational and Leadership Change," and "Political and Institutional Change" components of the "Domestic Determinants" project.

Publications/Products
The publications resulting from the DRP have yet to be determined. However, the following is a list of anticipated products flowing from the DRP. The products include: 1) bullet point summary of relevant points and/or expanded outline summary of relevant points [possibly as part of briefings to government organizations]; 2) extensive, well-researched essays of publishable quality [to be included in the newly established occasional paper series and/or planned edited volumes and/or journal]; 3) occasional paper series/edited volumes and/or journal devoted to publishing findings from the DRP; 4) Visiting Research Fellow Program; 5) Collaborative Research Affiliations [NIDS, KIDA, NPG, NDU, etc.]; and 6) selected conferences and seminars.

Lessons Learned
Because of the DRP's short history and nascent state of development, it would be premature to offer any assessments at this point in time. However, the inclusion of a non-US Visiting Fellow is an attempt to make this a collaborative project. Thus far, this aspect of the effort has proved to be mutually beneficial.

Contact Information

Satu Limaye, PhD,
Director, Research Division
Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies
2255 Kuhio Avenue, 18th Floor
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Telephone: (808) 971-4054
Fax: (808) 971-8989
E-mail: Limayes@apcss.org