Lt. Col. Scott D. McDonald has a new opinion piece entitled “Wanted: A Strategy for the Indo-Pacific Region,” published by The National Interest. The article covers the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy (FOIP) and offers the concept of Communities of Common Interests as a means for implementing it.

In the article he states that: “Secretary Mattis used his speech at the Shangri-la Dialogue to highlight the need for Indo-Pacific countries to cooperate in shaping the region’s future and outlined four themes of the FOIP strategy: 1) expanding attention on the maritime space; 2) improving interoperability with partners; 3) strengthening rule of law, civil society, and transparent governance; and 4) enabling private sector-led economic development. These themes provide an outline for how the United States intends to bring about the FOIP, but are broad lines of effort. As of yet, there are no specific initiatives for regional leaders to buy into.”

To fill this gap, McDonald proposes Communities of Common Interests as a construct for developing small, diverse, multilateral, and interest-based initiatives that will demonstrate US commitment and enable cooperative regional pursuit of the goals the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.


DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.