Asia’s Lethal Naval Arms Race

Regional maritime disputes increase tensions.

Asia’s Lethal Naval Arms Race

Sheryn Lee

Claims that a destabilizing ‘arms race’ is underway in the Asia–Pacific have become commonplace and are supported by reports that regional defense spending has surpassed Europe for the third consecutive year. As my ASPI report released today shows, the corollary of this situation is intensifying naval competition in the region. The implications for Australia and the Australian Defense Force (ADF) are significant.

Decisions on arms acquisitions in the Asia–Pacific continue to be driven by a multitude of strategic rationales and domestic factors. The significant changes underway since 2008 raise questions regarding the primary motivation behind regional naval acquisitions, including their supporting air capabilities.

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Source: nationalinterest.org

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