Thursday, March 31, 2016

To Prevent a Shooting War Over #SouthChinaSea, Wage a Better Looking Glass War

The time for transparency-inducing action is now, and it can't be limited to U.S. arms transfers to allies or enhanced maritime patrols. These traditional moves are essential, of course, but they're slow and expensive. That's why in a new report with my colleagues from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), we outline the strategic case for maritime transparency and a road map for making it happen. Part of the solution is indeed to fill what we describe as Southeast Asia's "ISR gap"—remedying a shortfall in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of Southeast Asian partners. But even faster, more innovative and more cost-effective solutions are within reach.

In parallel with long-term efforts to increase the independent ISR capacity of Southeast Asian partners, the United States needs to forge collaborative partnerships in three directions: with private Silicon Valley and defense technology firms; with external powers who have a shared stake in South China Sea stability; and with regional institutions in the maritime and information-sharing business.

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