Momentous Changes: Defence Reforms, Military Transformation, and India’s New Strategic Posture

This report highlights some of the key contours of the strategic rebalancing and defence reforms being undertaken in India. It collates ten essays, grouped in three sections, that discuss various facets of the reforms and of the military’s strategic reorientation—not just vis-à-vis China, but also in terms of US-India relations.

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The AI Wave in Defence Innovation Assessing Military Artificial Intelligence Strategies, Capabilities, and Trajectories

An international and interdisciplinary perspective on the adoption and governance of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in defence and military innovation by major and middle powers. Advancements in AI and ML pose pressing questions related to evolving conceptions of military power, compliance with international humanitarian law, peace promotion, strategic stability, arms control, future operational environments, and technology races. To navigate the breadth of this AI and international security agenda, the contributors to this book include experts on AI, technology governance, and defence innovation to assess military AI strategic perspectives from major and middle AI powers alike.

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Middle Powers in Asia Pacific Multilateralism: A Differential Framework

Drawing on insights from differentiation theory, this book examines the participation of middle powers in multilateralism. Taking Australia, Indonesia and South Korea as examples, the book examines these countries’ roles in regional organizations, and particularly during the creation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and East Asia Summit. Through its analysis, the book argues that middle powers pursue dilution of major power stratificatory forces, as well as functionally differentiated roles for themselves in multilateral diplomacy. The book sets out a valuable new framework to explain and understand the behaviour of middle powers in multilateralism.

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Of Risk and Threat: How the United States Perceives China’s Rise

Whether and how China’s rise renders it a threat has been an enduring study. Such literature may be categorised into four traditions: rationalist, structuralist, culturalist, and poststructuralist. Although these highlight the objective and subjective elements of China and its rise as a security concern, there is a puzzling scarcity of analyses that investigate the extent to which the USA itself has discursively constructed China as a security issue. To examine systematically what the USA has made of China, therefore, this article applies discourse analysis to US official security discourse. It finds that, whereas the US government has constructed China as a threat to its own national security as regards cybersecurity and economic competition, it has represented China’s rise to the international community only as a collective risk across the military, political, and economic sectors. This practice has been largely consistent since 2005, in spite of China’s so-called “assertive” turn. The article thereby clarifies the state of US–China competition from the US perspective.

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Let sleeping bears lie: an analysis of the factors behind Indonesia’s response to the Russo–Ukrainian war and its implications for the Indo-Pacific region

This article discusses Indonesia’s pragmatic reaction to the war by adopting an equidistant foreign policy with both Russia and with Ukraine. It contends that three factors have shaped Indonesia’s response, namely Indonesian leaders’ perceptions and priorities regarding the country’s economic interests and its position as the President of the G-20; strategic ties with Russia; and bottom-up societal inclinations that favour Russia more than Ukraine. The article finds that the invasion of Ukraine affects Indonesia’s standing as the natural leader of ASEAN by undermining its cohesion and the organisation’s effectiveness and credibility for the leadership role it sought to play in the Indo-Pacific region. Furthermore, the war in Ukraine may have an impact on intensifying geopolitical rivalry in the region which may prompt the USA’s security partners in the region to fill the strategic void caused by Washington’s preoccupation with Eastern Europe contingencies.

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