New Faces of Old Alliances

Three out of America’s five Asia-Pacific allies have gone through power transitions in recent months: in March the Republic of Korea elected Yoon Seok-youl, the Philippines elected Ferdinand (Bongbong) Marcos Jr, and Australia elected the Albanese government in May. While the alliances built in the 1950s have outlasted many power transitions, domestic politics do make significant imprints on alliance politics.

Today’s security environment has become more challenging, requiring even stronger security assurances and, arguably, putting some of the alliance commitments – made in a different era – to the test. At the same time, regional relationships have become more complex with expanded inter-dependencies and growing networks beyond hub-and-spoke ties to the US.

Held on Thursday 21 July, and moderated by Perth USAsia Centre Principal Policy Fellow Dr Huong Le Thu, this webinar explored the domestic outlooks of new governments in the Republic of Korea, the Philippines and Australia, and examined their expectations, attitudes and policies towards US alliances in Asia.

Dr Huong Le Thu – Principal Policy Fellow, Perth USAsia Centre (moderator)

Dr Huong Le Thu joined the Perth USAsia Centre in June 2022. She has more than 15 years of experience working in academia and think tanks across the Indo-Pacific: in Taiwan (National Chengchi University), Singapore (ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute), and Australia (ANU and ASPI). She has held short-term visiting fellowships at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta, and KMAG, Seoul.

Dr Le Thu is also a non-resident fellow at CSIS, Southeast Asia Program, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University. She holds a PhD from the National University and an MA in international studies from Jagiellonian University in Poland. She speaks five languages and has published in four of them. Read more.

Professor Gordon Flake – CEO, Perth USAsia Centre

Professor Gordon Flake is the founding CEO of the Perth USAsia Centre at The University of Western Australia. Professor Flake is one of the world’s leading authorities on strategic developments in the Indo-Pacific. Having spent twenty-five years in the US foreign policy community focused on the Korean Peninsula, and Northeast Asia and now eight years in Australia’s Indian Ocean capital, he is an expert on key strategic relationships in the broader Indo-Pacific. He has authored many scholarly and policy studies on security developments in the region, and their policy implications for the US and its regional partners.

Dr Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby – Associate Professor, De La Salle University

Dr Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby is Associate Professor in the Department of International Studies at De La Salle University. Her areas of specialisation are ASEAN’s external relations, security cooperation, and critical international relations theory. She is a frequent resource speaker in various Track II fora and roundtables by national government agencies.

Dr Iain D. Henry – Lecturer, Australian National University

Dr Iain D. Henry is a Senior Lecturer in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University. He is the author of Reliability and Alliance Interdependence: The United States and Its Allies in Asia, 1949-1969 (Cornell University Press, 2022). His research has been published in International Security, Contemporary Politics, and The Australian Journal of International Affairs.

Dr Michael J. Green – CEO, United States Studies Centre

Dr Michael Jonathan Green is CEO of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Previously Dr Green was senior vice president for Asia, Japan Chair, and Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and director of Asian Studies and Chair in Modern and Contemporary Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He served on the staff of the National Security Council (NSC) from 2001 through 2005, first as director for Asian affairs with responsibility for Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, and then as special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director for Asia, with responsibility for East Asia and South Asia.

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