November 4, 2011

November 4, 2011 | News Releases on Asia and the Pacific

Study calls for US-Australia-India dialogue to increase regional prosperity and security

SYDNEY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011 – Increased coordination between the United States, Australia and India would yield tremendous progress on maritime security, counterterrorism, nonproliferation and missile defense and other Asia Pacific issues, according to a report released today in Sydney. "Shared Goals, Converging Interests: A Plan for the U.S.-Australia-India Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific" is a joint report issued by Washington, D.C. think tank, The Heritage Foundation, the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, and scholars from Sydney's Lowy Institute for International Policy.

The three organizations will further discuss their findings and recommendations Nov. 7 in a conference at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. That conference is titled "Managing the Challenges for Stability in the Indo-Pacific Region: Role of India, US and Australia."

In releasing the report today, representatives of the three groups called three-way discussions between the nations “key” to advancing shared interests and values throughout the region. According to, Heritage Vice President of Foreign Policy Kim Holmes "a robust, principled trilateral relationship among the U.S., India and Australia is critical to developing a regional architecture that ensures a stable, secure and democratic order will permeate the Indo-Pacific region far into the future."

Heritage Foundation Asian Studies Director Walter Lohman focused his remarks on converging American, Indian, and Australian interests in the western Pacific. “The truth is, all three of us are engaged one way or another in hedging against the rise of China; preparing for the worst outcome even as we seek cooperation,” said Lohman.

Both Holmes and Lohman were critical of the Obama administration’s strategy to “pivot” from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Asia-Pacific as insufficiently taking into account America’s global obligations. Holmes stressed the American commitment to the Pacific, saying that “it is unrealistic to think that the United States can sustain a trillion dollar cut in defense spending over the next decade and still maintain its current level of commitment.”

The report details how a U.S.-Australia-India trilateral dialogue would reinforce and strengthen the various unilateral and bilateral efforts now underway by these nations. Moreover, it notes that those three-way talks would also compliment the new U.S.-Japan-India trilateral dialogue.

"Forging separate trilateral tracks of dialogues will facilitate coordination among the four nations while they remain focused on the specific dynamics of each triad,” the report states. “Integrating economic, political and security relationships among the U.S., Japan, Australia, and India will bolster the collective security of all four countries."

Said Lisa Curtis, a Senior Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and co-author of the report, “Our recommendations outline how to enhance cooperation among like-minded democratic powers and contribute to the ongoing debate on new security architectures in the Asia-Pacific region, We hope it will help catalyze ideas for collective action to promote maritime security, nonproliferation, and other important regional goals."

"Shared Goals, Converging Interests: A Plan for the U.S.-Australia-India Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific" is available on the web at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/11/Shared-Goals-Converging-Interests-A-Plan-for-U-S-Australia-India-Cooperation-in-the-Indo-Pacific.

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