US and Australian policy in an uncertain Indo-Pacific

US and Australian policy in an uncertain Indo-Pacific



1 May 2018


Sir Roland Wilson 1.02 Conference Room, Australian National University, Canberra


Public forum

Recent developments in US Asia policy have caused a good deal of uncertainty over the past 15 months. President Trump’s rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and unilateral pursuit of trade tariffs, along with his scepticism of US alliances and the administration’s newly competitive approach to China herald potentially major—if sometimes incongruous—shifts in American policy. Although the White House’s “free and open Indo-Pacific” concept has been welcomed by regional allies and partners, much remains unclear about the policies and resources that will turn this vision into a strategy.

Amidst an increasingly challenging regional security environment, how should we make sense of US policy in Asia? What should Australia, which has recently released its own Indo-Pacific strategy, do to advance its security and economic interests during this period of flux? And how might Washington and Canberra strengthen their collective responses to the challenges of Chinese assertiveness, grey-zone competition, and instability on the Korean Peninsula?

This event is proudly co-sponsored by the Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs and the Australian Institute of International Affairs.


  • Dr Zack Cooper
    Dr Zack Cooper
    Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

    Zack Cooper is a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies US strategy and alliances in Asia. Zack is also co-director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown and Princeton Universities, and a partner at Armitage International.

  • Lindsey Ford
    Lindsey Ford
    David M. Rubenstein Fellow - Foreign Policy, Center for East Asia Policy Studies

    Lindsey Ford is a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Center for East Asia Policy Studies. She is also an adjunct lecturer at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

  • Allan Gyngell, AO
    Allan Gyngell, AO
    National President, Australian Institute of International Affairs

    Allan Gyngell AO is the National President of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. He is an honorary professor with the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific and was most recently Director of the ANU Crawford Leadership Forum. He was the Director-General of the Australian Office of National Assessments (ONA) from 2009 to 2013. He has a wide background in international policymaking and analysis and has written and spoken extensively on Australian foreign policy, Asian regional relations and the development of global and regional institutions.

  • Ashley Townshend
    Ashley Townshend
    Non-Resident Senior Fellow, United States Studies Centre

    Ashley Townshend is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the United States Studies Centre and Senior Fellow for Indo-Pacific Security at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the founding co-chair of the annual US-Australia Indo-Pacific Deterrence Dialogue and was the Director of Foreign Policy and Defence at the United States Studies Centre from June 2017 to June 2022.

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