Security Policy In The Indo-Pacific

What are the major security challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region and how can Australia respond to them?

Australia has declared itself “an Indo-Pacific nation” and since the 2013 Defence White Paper has identified its zone of strategic interest as the region “connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans through Southeast Asia”. As a geostrategic framing device, the Indo-Pacific crystallises Australia’s mounting concerns about, in the words of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the current “era of great power competition”. But a range of other issues also challenge security in the region, including terrorism, piracy, transnational crime, human security, and environmental change. These challenges range across the traditional domains of air, maritime, and land, but now also extend into the information/cyber and space domains. Responding to these challenges involves Australia drawing on a range of tools, from its historical alliances with the United States and New Zealand, to new minilateral groupings such as AUKUS and the Quad, to multilateral cooperation via ASEAN and the Pacific Islands Forum. Our program focuses on the security challenges facing the region and examines how Australia pursues its security in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.

For more information, contact the Security Policy in the Indo-Pacific research program director: