Australia’s National Security Strategy: Opportunity is What Labor Makes of It

“To focus only on dangers in the world would be to neglect the opportunities to improve our security environment and shape our strategic landscape. It is as important to seize these opportunities as it is to address threats.” (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013)

Australia’s first National Security Strategy (NSS) was launched on January 23, 2013, just a week before the Labor government announced the next election date. As a follow-up to the 2008 National Security Statement, the NSS cohesively lays out Australia’s national security objectives, risks, outlook and priorities.  A critical part of the strategy is describing Australia’s vision for security, including the “Pillars of Australia’s National Security.” While the document reminds us that the international political environment is in a stage of transition due to the rise of China and India, American ‘rebalancing’ to the Asia-Pacific, resource constraints and technological developments, it paints a rosy picture of the security landscape as something that Australia can – with the help of the United States – tackle; Prime Minister Gillard herself seems to be saying: no worries, mate, we’ve got this.  Rather than putting Australia on alert to mitigate current and imminent threats, the NSS much like the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper emphasizes opportunities that benefit national and regional interests.

Why does Australia need a National Security Strategy?

Australia’s foreign and defense policies depend upon the state’s identities and interests which are amenable to change. While the NSS took seemingly years to plan, it was launched at an appropriate time for Australia’s continued preeminence on the international stage. The NSS provides another avenue for Australia to proclaim that it is a responsible “liberal democracy with deeply held values” and to reinforce the state’s belief in shared laws and norms to organize international society. (p. 3) With the United States ‘rebalancing’ to Asia, including (but not limited to) the American military rotation in Darwin, Australia is arguably more critical than ever for the US in the Asia-Pacific. In contrast to America’s heavy usage of the word, the Australia NSS only mentions freedom once (on page 1) to describe the Australian “way of life.” Furthermore, Australia’s trade and development relationships with regional neighbors provide greater strength to the US as well as a platform for Australia’s interests.

Relatively unscathed by the global recession, Australia must deal with overall market volatility and the effects of resource scarcity. Australian living standards are high, the economy continues to expand, and New Zealanders continue to flock across the ditch to help meet labor shortages; financial success has been due largely to the mining industry boom led by the growth of China and industrialization of other developing countries in Asia and South America. It is discernible then that for Australia economic wellbeing and security are tightly linked. International interdependence through bilateral and multilateral trade and defense arrangements necessitated overlapping policies that seek both peace and prosperity. One aspect sorely lacking from the NSS, however, was a comprehensive section concerning water security given its severity in Australia and increasing significance in Asia.

Pillars of national security

With the release of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, restart of the Pacific Solution, and success of the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme among other policy moves, the Labor-led government is attempting to redefine the state’s role in Oceania as well as the Asia-Pacific. In fact, a significant and surprising pillar of national security is “understanding and being influential in the world, particularly the Asia-Pacific.” (p. 12) Deterring traditional security threats such as terrorism, attacks and organized crime align with pillars of maintaining border integrity, securing and strengthening resilience of Australia and the international environment.

According to the NSS, the US “remains an important anchor for peace and security in [the] region.” (p. 20) For American policymakers, the US is the most important anchor for peace and security in the region, and Australia helps to facilitate that role; the alliance allows for sharing of intelligence and defense technology, joint military exercises, regular dialogue particularly through AUSMIN and cooperative diplomatic efforts.

Prioritizing cooperation to meet national security needs

The NSS promotes a proactive and constructive approach to national security. The word opportunity was mentioned 32 times, and cooperation 36 times. Each section seemingly provided a glimpse of Australia’s desire to collaborate with the US and to strengthen regional organizations such as the East Asia Summit, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Pacific Islands Forum. As an illustration of regional dynamics and a comparison of the opportunities and existing partnerships, in the NSS the United States was mentioned 31 times and China 26 times. An assessment of Australia’s national security outlook delivers priorities that are consistent with the state as an emerging player in international affairs and a liberal democracy.

 The NSS identified the following three priorities over the next five years:

  • Enhanced regional engagement in support of security and prosperity in the Asian Century.
  • Integrated cyber policy and operations to enhance the defence of our digital networks.
  • Effective partnerships to achieve innovative and efficient national security outcomes.

The first and third priorities may appear to be duplicates as they utilize cooperation to secure Australia. However both bilateral and domestic partnerships and regional engagements play important roles depending upon the issue at hand. The NSS strongly advocates for improved cooperation among Australian government departments for pressing problems such as border security. Information-sharing is critical between departments and among governments in facing cyber security challenges.

While there were no specific opportunities identified in the “National Security Opportunities” section in the same way as threats and priorities were listed, the idea was reiterated throughout the National Security Strategy.  Rather, threats create opportunities for domestic collaboration among government departments and international collaboration among states to solve and mitigate challenges. With strong partnerships with neighbors Indonesia and New Zealand, and close ally the United States, Australia will not have to ‘drink with the flies’ (go it alone) when developing regional or global initiatives.   

Despite an overall positive tone that sees Australia shaping the region for the good of national and regional security, the section entitled “Deterring and defeating attacks on Australia and Australia’s interests” was fuel for criticism of Australia’s shrinking defense budget. The NSS acknowledged that because conflict could eventually break out in the Indo-Pacific region, it is necessary

“that we maintain the capacity to protect Australia’s sovereignty, assets, infrastructure and institutions from conventional armed attack, and to contribute to international security efforts where appropriate. The ADF is an essential part of our approach. Maintaining credible high-end capabilities enables us to act decisively when required, and deter would-be adversaries.”

To boast about high-end capabilities, a well-maintained ADF and to continue to pursue interoperability efforts, Australia should not be pursuing defense policies that worry its closest defense ally, the United States. During the launch of the NSS, Gillard misquoted Australian defense spending per capita and stated that Australia was second only to the United States; later the official website amended Gillard’s national security speech to compare Australia among G-7 countries and China, a significant difference. Nonetheless, Australia’s defense spending as a percentage of GDP is ranked 50th in the world.

For domestic security issues and regionally stability it makes sense for Australia to focus more efforts on aid programs and peacekeeping operations. The NSS cites operations in the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste as Pacific successes and missions in Afghanistan and Iraq as examples of extra-regional cooperation. With the “long-term shift in global economic weight from west to east,” (p. 7) resource scarcity and the effects of climate change will, in Australia’s view, create new opportunities as the country adapts to new risks and scenarios.

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Bali Process; the initiative combating people smuggling and managing irregular migration is no less relevant today as the Labor government continues to grapple with incoming ‘boat people’. As the cyber-security scene evolves and related agencies consolidate, Australia’s capabilities in this area will become a feature more interesting to the United States and New Zealand. By recognizing that the state’s national security interests will not necessarily lead to conflict but in fact provide opportunities for cooperation, Australia is conveying a welcome message in its first National Security Strategy. The state’s approach “reflects who we are and where we have come from” and hopefully represents the future of international relations. (p. 3)

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With Panetta’s Visit, US – NZ Defense Relationship Evolving Amid Pacific Rebalancing

Last Saturday, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta left for his third trip to the Asia-Pacific this year, scheduling stops in Japan, China and New Zealand.  Panetta’s visits to Japan and China are attempts to smooth relations between the states, and the trip to New Zealand is a follow-up from the visit earlier this year to Washington, DC by NZ Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman.  The trip will be the first time in 30 years that a US Defense Secretary has visited New Zealand, and marks a change in regional strategic dynamics.  A critical part of the Obama Administration’s rebalancing in the Asia-Pacific includes repairing and deepening strategic relationships with New Zealand (among other smaller and medium-sized states) and to sustain opportunities for regular, high-level dialogue.  While New Zealand does not have a sizeable defense force to contribute to US-led operations, the small democracy is a valuable ally that can serve as an ‘honest broker’ and voice of legitimacy in the Asia-Pacific.

 Pivoting for the Pacific’s Sake? Not Likely.

Recently, New Zealand has received undue attention from American diplomats and cabinet secretaries because the US has much to gain politically and economically (if not militarily) from the bilateral relationship.  Whether the National or Labour Party is in government, New Zealand has a reputation both regionally and internationally as a state with a strong pacifist orientation that advocates for its values and the wellbeing of its Pacific neighbors.  As a founding member of and voice within the Pacific Islands Forum, New Zealand can be a significant agent for American interests during the leaders’ meetings.  Moreover, New Zealand’s promotion of US naval patrols, development assistance, trade relations, diplomatic connections and so forth would enable the US to exercise greater power projection in the region.

 The 1984 Labour government’s nuclear-free announcement reflected in part New Zealand’s continuous desire for an independent foreign policy based on “conflict avoidance and resolution, humanitarian assistance, human rights, and environmental defense.”  The declaration prohibiting American nuclear ships from their ports was a policy move that was necessitated by public opinion and new Labour supporters and representatives.  Since its proclamation, the nuclear-free policy has been largely nonpartisan. 

 While the strategic dimension of US-NZ relations faltered from the 1980’s, it never disappeared, and was supplemented by intelligence collaboration.  In addition to a strong commitment to special forces training and deployment (particularly the New Zealand Special Air Services), the intelligence-sharing between the US and New Zealand has remained significant since 1946. Despite disagreement with the US government over the invasion of Iraq, intelligence sharing remained consistent.  In fact, after 2001, New Zealand increased its intelligence budget by 30 percent while decreasing its overall defense budget.

 Maritime defense, domain awareness, and disaster rescue operations are essential areas of mutual concern for New Zealand and the US in the Pacific, particularly given the Christchurch earthquake, China’s soft loans to Pacific island nations, and overfishing.  For the first time in 28 years, the New Zealand Defence Force participated in the Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) in July-August, the largest international maritime exercise.  Interoperability is a key component of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy in the Pacific, and as Nathan Smith writes, the exercises served both diplomatic and more practical purposes for New Zealand and Australia.  Security concerns for New Zealand focus on the sea lines of communication due to heavy reliance on maritime trade; the country’s small blue-water navy is primarily geared for search and rescue and maritime interdiction.  Despite not being allowed to berth ships in Pearl Harbor due to the nuclear-free policy (in contrast to former foes Japan and Russia), Kiwi sailors did not seemed fussed, and took advantage of the nightlife offered by Honolulu.

 As we have seen through the signing of the Wellington and Washington Declarations, the current National Government is in agreement with the Obama Administration’s Pacific rebalancing.  Moreover, the close relationship between US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and NZ Ambassador to the US Michael Moore, and the work US Ambassador to NZ David Huebner has done in Wellington are examples of peoples and governments that seek mutual benefits and understanding.

 Improving understanding rather than compromising on ideals

A question that NZ Defence Minister Coleman will face in meeting with Secretary Panetta is how much more New Zealand will be able to commit to the bilateral relationship without sacrificing its ideals.  There will almost surely be a small demonstration in Wellington during Secretary Panetta’s visit about the TPP, or anti-US policies led by local anarchists from Aro Valley, as there is during most high profile visits.  However, in most cases it seems that the New Zealand government knows when and when not to compromise on foreign policy issues, with bipartisan support for free trade agreements.

 New Zealand can leverage an improved defense relationship with the US to secure better terms for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and other future trade agreements (including a potential US-NZ FTA as sought by New Zealand).  The latest negotiation terms for the TPP are not public; however controversial public issues being debated concern intellectual property rights and copyright law, both of which have been met by public protests and contestation from New Zealand and Australia.  If the US gets what it wants in terms of defense initiatives, it may soften some of the demands of the TTP and open a path to a US-NZ FTA.

 Setting the nuclear-free policy aside, both National and Labour governments have been fairly amicable to US defense relations.  So what more could New Zealand gain from a “stronger and deeper bilateral defense relationship” as set out in the Washington Declaration?  With both sides facilitating the establishment of “regular, senior-level, strategic policy dialogues between the US DoD and NZ Ministry of Defence and NZDF,” New Zealand can not only legitimate the US strategic involvement in the region but can continue to bolster its own authority.  Welcoming perhaps the strongest ally with shared values and democratic ideals can serve to boost Kiwi clout and spur domestic confidence.

 Development assistance in the Pacific is another area of mutual interest with opportunity for growth.  Australia provides half of all official development assistance to Papua New Guinea and Pacific island countries (AUD$1.17 billion) and New Zealand spends more than half of its country programs budget on Pacific island countries. At the latest Pacific Islands Forum, the US showed that it is ready to lift a portion of the development aid load in the Pacific; US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton announced $32M in new aid programs 18 years after ending such programs in the Pacific.

 As former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Secretary Panetta should be attuned to the value that New Zealand provides as a voice and ear in the Asia-Pacific.  One Kiwi commentator wrote that New Zealand should be weary of his arrival in the country, and that the US will ask too much from Kiwis.  However, the RIMPAC ship porting issue notwithstanding, strategic and diplomatic relations between the US and New Zealand have moved forward since 2007.  Leadership of both states are keen to return to an era of stronger defense ties to help guarantee their security and to enhance stability in the Pacific.  Having met already this year in Washington, DC, the meeting this week between defense bosses is likely more of a touch point to ensure regular high-level dialogue occurs.  With the Washington Declaration in place and successes to build on from the past year, the additional avenues for deepening defense cooperation may be limited but may be milestones nonetheless.

Prospects for Regional Security in Asia

The convergence of economic interests, shared transnational threats perpetuated by globalization and balancing powers are drivers of regional security cooperation in Asia.  As recent events in the South China Sea have illustrated, how to deal with these issues and the conceptualization of threats to state security has differed across Asia.  Therefore, rather than caving to external pressures and trying to be like the European Union or NATO, a regional security framework for Asia would need to be organic and based on the distinct experiences, interests and values of Asian states.  In order to be successful, regional security mechanisms in Asia must: take a pragmatic, bottom-up approach to regionalism; involve China and the US as strategic players; and, establish a clear division of labor among existing political and security entities to promote maximum efficiency.

Increasingly states in Asia are incorporating non-traditional security issues such as energy security, human security, threats caused by climate change and other transnational issues into their traditional state military-centered security institutions.  Attaining security, according to Alan Collins (2003) involves effectively managing threats and having sufficient access to resources to maintain relative peace and stability.  For example, part of China’s energy security strategy is to control the supply chain by gaining equity positions in the oil sector using national oil corporations.

In the wide regional landscape of Asia, states have the goal of political interdependence and territorial integrity, but in part their lack of agreement regarding what constitutes a threat has led to the stalling of deeper regional security cooperation.  Security cooperation in Asia combines power-political and institutional approaches to encompass joint actions to advance a common security goal.  Security architecture, meanwhile describes a broader security environment in which distinct mechanisms and processes interact with the aim of ensuring regional stability.

There is no indication that states in Asia will initiate a new comprehensive regional security architecture.  Europeans frequently criticize the multitude of regional institutions and loosely structured arrangements in Asia; outsiders have argued that Asia must follow a European model to succeed in promoting functional cooperation and real integration.  For Asia, a more likely path is to take a pragmatic, step-by-step, bottom-up approach to regionalism instead of an idealist, comprehensive, top-down pan-Asian ‘vision’ approach similar to Europe.  Given the delicate nature of security and historical animosities built over time, a pragmatic approach such as the institution of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are a way forward for regional security.  Originally started to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism in Central Asia, the SCO has added observers and dialogue partners in addition to additional issues of drug trafficking and economic issues.  The SCO brings together countries which did not previously consult together.

Any approach to regional security in Asia must take into consideration the United States and China as leading regional powers.  The US alliance system is the most important feature of security in Asia and is the central stabilizing factor.  Both the US and China prefer a bilateral structure over multilateral institutions as the most efficient way to organize state security policy, and for the US because of geographic concerns.  The ‘hub and spoke’ pattern enables the central power to have more influence over its junior partners.  Further deepening bilateral security relations is part of the US Asia-Pacific Strategic Engagement Initiative.  Moreover the rise of China and India has led states to reconsider regional security dimensions; as China continues to flex its strategic muscles in the South China Sea and continues with a charm offensive in the Pacific, Asian states will need to gauge future bilateral and multilateral relations.  The incorporation of the US into the East Asia Summit and China into ASEAN + 3 are examples of regional security cooperation extension.

With overlapping membership and areas of capability, the “current alphabet soup of groupings” (Bisley, 2009) has not met the demand for institutionalized security cooperation.  As Jim Rolfe (2008) highlights, relations within and between these organizations are complicated.  Therefore there is a significant need to set out a clear division of labor among political and institutional entities.  The desire for APEC to include a security dimension demonstrates the changing attitudes to security cooperation.  A regional security architecture is needed to facilitate regional order, and the broad range of multilateral mechanisms – including platforms such as the Shangri-La Dialogue, ASEAN Defense Minister’s Meeting, the EAS, ARF and others – need to be catalogued and work together in a more constructive way.  With an active secretariat, historical longevity and due to the fact that it is not led by China, Japan or the US, ASEAN is the premiere regional grouping; it would however need to change its membership rules and the ASEAN way in order to take a central role in security maintenance in Asia.

Because of the changing regional landscape in Asia, the prospects for security cooperation rely primarily on the attitudes of regional powers.  China, India, the US and Japan approach state and regional security based upon their own interests.  These powers have already demonstrated their desire to take part in multilateral institutions alongside deepening of bilateral relationships and alliances.  There is genuine interest in Asia in the ability of cooperative elements of existing security architecture to reduce strategic uncertainties, improve policy coordination and collaborate on nontraditional security problems.  While the drivers for regional cooperation are evident, nationalism (including increased military modernization), historical animosity, and balance of power thinking remain as impediments to a concerted architecture.  Therefore, when considering regional security architecture in Asia, policymakers must take into account the achievement of relative international strategic stability in the post-Cold War period for such a diverse region.  A forced architecture from non-Asian states (such as former Australian PM Kevin Rudd’s Australian-led Asia-Pacific community) has already been rejected, and is a clear sign that like ASEAN, movements must be made from within Asia.

New Militarism: Obama’s Strategy at Home and Abroad

The predator drone resembles a modified miniature passenger jet more than the aggressive looking F-15 or B-1 manned fighter jets and bombers that we are used to. But the remote-operated predator and its peers, with their surveillance equipment and payload of Hell Fire missiles, represent a new age of aggression that appears to require less of US citizens and US allies when even more is at stake.

Like the predator drone, President Barack Obama doesn’t bear the outward militarism of his predecessor. On paper he has withdrawn from one bloody war in the Middle East, is in the process of withdrawing from another, and claims to have greatly decreased the number of civilian casualties in ongoing conflicts. Of course Obama hasn’t turned away from America’s militarist tradition in its entirety, as his reelection ads are quick to point out that America’s worst enemy, Osama Bin Laden, was killed on his watch. But, he has ended the rhetoric of “good versus evil” which was already on the way out at the end of George W. Bush’s second term.

On the flip side, Obama is presiding over stepped-up CIA operations in Afghanistan with forays into neighboring countries and secretive wars and assassinations on both sides of the Gulf of Aden. The current administration has increased funding toward cyber warfare that would put the US on the offensive, and there is building rhetoric and geopolitical maneuvering around a “turn to the Pacific” intended to combat China’s growing influence. Add this to the rash of antidemocratic legislation at home and moves to extend definitions of criminal threats to the state, undermine due process and gag protests and you get a very different perspective on the current administration.

A recent New York Times article reports on Obama’s hands-on approach to personally signing-off on individual drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. The article quotes one of the Bush administration’s top national security lawyers John B. Bellinger III, who attributes the lack of global scrutiny over “hundreds of drone strikes in several different countries, including killing at least some civilians” to Obama’s “liberal reputation” and “softer packaging.” The drone campaign has also avoided criticism at home as it reduces the possibility of US casualties while maintaining a “tough on terrorism” image.

The New York Times article sheds light on the current administration’s controversial method of counting civilian casualties. The method “counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.” In effect the counting method is based on guilt by association: “people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good.” And the method is likely contributing to low collateral deaths in official accounts.

The drone campaign has set a number of worrying precedents. There have been 14 strikes in Yemen, and 6 in Pakistan just since April and the Department of Defense and CIA are staying tight lipped about strikes in Somalia flown out of a base in the neighboring country of Djibouti. Make no mistake; China and Russia are watching the US strategy of crossing national borders and killing foreign nationals with impunity.

In terms of American civil liberties, the September 2011 execution of the American citizen and radical cleric-propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen indicated that the administration could secretively order the execution of American citizens overseas without trial. Attorney General Eric Holder met complaints that the administration had violated the Fifth Amendment guarantee to due process by asserting that “due process and judicial process are not one and the same.” This can be added to the policies that Obama has retained from the Bush years including rendition, military commissions and indefinite detention. Not to be outdone, Obama has also helped push through the National Defense Authorization Act which enables indefinite detention of US citizens at home and bills like HR-347 to increasingly limit and criminalize domestic rights to protests.

Keeping the US’s recent history and ongoing conflicts in the Middle East in mind, it is surprising that Obama’s proclaimed pivot to the Asia-Pacific region is being heralded with optimism. Asia has seen its share of proxy wars (i.e. the Korean and Vietnam wars) and the Pacific has been the theater for war between military powers in the past. At the heart of this pivot are US-China relations and US interests in maintaining access to sea channels and trading partners in the Asia-Pacific. On the one hand, the US is getting ready to engage China on a cyber battlefield, as the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has recently secured a half billion dollars to fund research on cyber weapons and the US and China have already engaged in cyber war games. On the other hand, the US has posted troops in Darwin, Australia, and is working on military technology better equipped for operations in Asia and the Pacific.

We shouldn’t be lured into complacency by Obama’s liberal legal background. The ACLU is steadily building a list of civil rights claims against this administration and foreign administrations should be weary of US moves into the Asia-Pacific region with new tensions building between the US and China. US military strategy under Obama is best represented by the innocuous drones which have become the centerpiece of a take-no-prisoners campaign in the Middle East.

Tai Neilson is a PhD student in Cultural Studies at George Mason University.

NATO’s Enduring Alliance

The highly anticipated twenty-fifth North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit began May 20 in Chicago; most of the NATO member states are facing defense budget cuts, their publics have grown tired of the war in Afghanistan, and some are worrying about NATO inevitably becoming militarily irrelevant.  In an election year, the Obama Administration wants to look strong on defense while leading the alliance to a reasonable exit from Afghanistan.  Despite the Administration’s policy ‘turn’ to the Asia-Pacific, NATO remains a formidable alliance structure unlike any other.  While not all 28 members may pull their weight (only two states follow the mandate that defense budgets be 2% of GDP), the collective defense alliance remains a pertinent force that states in East Asia and the Pacific were never able to replicate.  Smart Defense and the institution of missile defense capability have been achievements outside of the ISAF operation in Afghanistan.

In Lisbon in 2010 NATO leaders agreed to develop a missile defense capability, and that concept has now come to fruition.  In Chicago, leaders announced that they have achieved an interim missile defense capability. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated “Our system will link together missile defense assets from different Allies – satellites, ships, radars and interceptors – under NATO command and control. It will allow us to defend against threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.”  The controversial capability has added tension to the Russia-NATO relationship, but NATO has not left any room to back down. 

Planning for the next decade, NATO leaders seek to “embrace a new culture of cooperation”.  ‘Smart Defense’ is the buzz word for the Obama Administration and NATO member states.  More than 20 multinational projects gained approval ‘at an affordable price’- a sign that members still want to continue to develop and protect the alliance.  As would be expected, leaders agreed to boost military exercises, training and education.  According to the NATO Secretary General, 

 “Our goal is NATO Forces 2020 – an Alliance that deals with today’s economic challenges, and is prepared for the security challenges of the future. These decisions show that despite the economic challenges, Allies are committed to acquire, develop and maintain the capabilities and the skills we need to ensure that our Alliance remains fit for purpose and fit for the future.”

The forward-looking nature of discussions illustrates that member states see the benefit of maintaining a strong and cohesive structure and scope.  While NATO assists with anti-piracy in the Gulf of Aden, intervened in Libya and participated in a training mission in Iraq, it is important that NATO does not get overstretched or over-utilized in conflicts around the globe (that are not related to Article 5 of the Treaty).  The collective defense treaty should not get confused with international peacekeeping or policing forces; given that NATO member states do not explicitly seek expansion of activities much outside of their realm, regional powers in Asia have no cause for concern regarding the missile defense or smart defense initiatives.  Furthermore, NATO member states will be relieved that they are not being coerced into the Obama Administration’s overt Pacific turn.