U.S.-Asia Security Initiative


usnavy flickr uspacificfleet
In Sasebo, Japan, members from the maritime forces of India, Japan and the United States observe a trilateral naval field exercise in July 2014.
Photo credit: 
Flickr/U.S. Pacific Fleet

Launched in summer 2015, the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative (USASI) was founded at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) on the premise that there is a role for an institution that not only fosters groundbreaking research, but also serves to convene academic and governmental expertise from across the Asia-Pacific region in a dialogue aiming to inform policy and strategy.

With the post-Cold War international order increasingly under strain and a new and uncertain multipolar system emerging in Asia, the need arose for research about how developments in the Asia-Pacific region impact U.S. interests, and how to respond. USASI was established to facilitate inter-disciplinary, policy-relevant research on security and international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and to offer practical steps that stakeholders can take to strengthen U.S. alliance commitments in the region. It aimed to look beyond simplistic notions of nations engaging harmoniously or competing against each other, and explore a range of policy options. The initiative was completed in summer 2019.

During its existance, the initiative buildt synergies with existing activities at Stanford, engaging faculty and researchers from the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and APARC, as well as partners from peer institutions and organizations working in related fields.

Foundational components of the initiative included:

  • Core working group of experts from Stanford and peer institutions to convene in the United States and Asia.
  • Educational opportunities for Stanford students.
  • Speaker series open to the public.
  • Resources such as policy reports and articles made available online.

From 2017 to 2019, the Taiwan Democracy Project joind APARC as part of the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative and renamed Taiwan Democracy and Security Project (TDSP). TDSP examined the political, social and regional dynamics confronting democracy in Taiwan, with a focus on Taiwan’s security environment and the challenges and opportunities presented by its neighbors in the Western Pacific. TDSP organized an annual conference, a speaker series, and a student internship program, in addition to serving as a gateway for exchanges between Taiwan and the Stanford community.