This event took place in January 2024.

In January 2024, Pacific Forum hosted key industry partners, congressional members and staffers, and defense officials from 12 nations for the Operationalizing Integration in the Indo-Pacific (OIIP), in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. As the regional security environment continues to deteriorate, this dialogue sought to facilitate dialogue and solutions between the private and public sectors in the hopes of hastening integration at the levels of policy, doctrine, technology and equipment, and munitions, in order to bolster deterrence. It sought to bring together industry experts, practitioners, and policymakers identify blockages in the areas of command-and-control (C2), critical tech exchange, standardization, and defense industrial research and development and to discuss ways of overcoming these challenges.



Building a Shared Narrative and Sense of Urgency:  Is there a sufficiently shared view of the security environment to drive coherence of effort among disparate stakeholders?

Security Environment: How are critical technologies changing the capabilities, operations, logistics, and tactical doctrine of potential adversaries in the Indo-Pacific?

Impact of Ukraine on Warfare: How are new technologies enabling or hindering interoperability on the battlefield in Ukraine? How relevant is this to the Indo-Pacific context?

Critical Technologies and Challenges Impacting Standardization: What specific technologies will be critical in high-intensity warfare and what are the implications for US Forces and our allies?

All-Domain C2 Across the Continuum of Conflict: What degree of interoperability – to the point of interchangeability – is required through the continuum of competition-crisis-conflict in the current operational environment?

Maintaining Capacity – Endurance over the Long Term: How do we ensure combined forces can stay in the fight for as long as required?

Conference Highlights

Admiral John Aquilino kicks off the conference with a keynote address. 


16 January, 2024

One of the benefits
of what we've been trying to do in INDOPACOM is to keep the theme consistent. If I changed my story every day or every year, I will be questioned on what is your plan and what are you doing? So we continue to assess it. The story has been consistent from INDOPACOM and I have an unbelievable team. Many of them are here today, and I hope that you'll spend time with them.


To John, David and the team, this is an unbelievable list of attendees and presenters. And my hat's off to you for what you've driven here. It's incredibly impressive.

I also have many partners and friends here and the allies and partners who have come—thank you for coming. The Indo Pacific is the most important region in the world to everybody, no matter where you live. I talked about how great this forum is. We're going to talk, but bottom line is at the end of this, I'm going to ask for some help. So standby, we're going to do this together.

The national defense strategies from the last three administrations identified the Indo Pacific as the most consequential theater with the most concerning security challenges. Three administrations. Now that said, I think it's safe to say that the landscape in this theater has drastically changed in a way that should be concerning to all of us.

I continue to articulate that we are in the most dangerous time that I've seen in 20 years or in my 40 years of doing business. Now, I said that when I took this job. Then Ukraine happened. And then I said it again and kept highlighting it's going in the wrong direction. And then Israel happened and the Hamas attacks. So just when you think it can't get any worse, you get proven wrong.

We have to address the security challenges and we need to understand that for the United States, as well as our allies and partners, we're not going to do this alone. And it's going to take all forms of power from our government. It can't be military alone. So the military aspect is influential. It allows the other forms of national power to operate from a position of strength and therefore it's a critical aspect of delivering the deterrence against these adversaries. Now the theme we've used at INDOPACOM has been highlighted before I got up here is we need to think, act, and operate differently in this security environment, in this day and age against this set of adversaries.

How should we think, act, and operate differently? We need to be disruptive with our processes. Our procedures today won't allow us to get after the adversaries that are moving incredibly quickly. We have to be disruptive in our own ways. So I'll give you a little sight picture of the environment as I see. And again, I'm going to ask for some help. And as I talk through this, I want you to think about what you can do. What you must do to help us go faster.

This theater has four of the five security challenges: the PRC, the Russians, the North Koreans, and violent extremists. And just recently we had an Iranian maritime task group go through on top of that. If you think those are separate, or if our adversaries are not taking advantage or helping to drive additional dilemmas that provide a problem set for the like-minded nations, then you're kidding yourself.

The PRC in particular, signal their clear intention to modernize their force at the fastest pace that we've seen since World War Two. Despite an economy that's falling out underneath, that's a concern. That's a constant, a choice made by leadership. And we understand that they've made that choice, not just conventional, but in strategic nuclear as well.

Their expansive claims in the South China Sea are not just thought anymore. What we are seeing as it applies to Second Thomas Shoal and our Philippine partners is that the rhetoric and the actions, whether it’s lawfare, information warfare, or physical actions, they are now attempting to enforce that illegal claim. Illegal as proven by the 2016 tribunal ruling. The ruling determined that China had no legal claim inside of the 10 dash line or 9 dash line or whatever might be next, which could be an 11 dash line. And the revisionist history that's driven their own story. But it is not recognized by any of the like-minded nations.

The pressure campaign against Taiwan continues, and we're watching it in the wake of the elections. I'm not sure what they're going to do, but I expect some demonstration of force against Taiwan in the near term purely based on a free and fair election of which a candidate was elected. Additionally, their pressurization of all nations that recognize Taiwan. We've just seen the impact of their course of campaigning against Nauru, who just shifted their diplomatic recognition back to the PRC.

So what are we going to do about it? What have we done in INDOPACOM? And how are we going to continue to take this and go faster? Secretary Austin described it as integrated deterrence. And that is the synchronization of all forms of national power tied with the Joint Force linked with our allies and partners in all domains. To prevent conflict. And at INDOPACOM, we've taken it on from day one of my time and it focuses around four lines of effort.

We have to deliver advanced capabilities quickly. We must improve our theater posture throughout the region. The area covers half the globe. And we have to be postured correctly, in space and in places with our allies and partners. We have to synchronize our campaign activities and our operations. And then lastly, and probably most importantly, our improved linkage and relationships and interoperability with our allies and partners.

Number one is the advanced capabilities. Primarily, we have to advance and improve our ability to deliver decision superiority in the near term. I must know where every adversary force is every second at all times. And I need the network and the weapons that allow me to close blue kill chains. Think click and shoot. We have got to be able to pull those together.

And the capabilities that we're working to deliver across that spectrum are the joint fires network, the INDOPACOM Mission Network, previously we referred to it as the Mission Partner Environment. PMTEC or the Pacific Multi-Domain Training and Experimentation Capability. And Storm Breaker, our ability to campaign, assess, and plan.

So that set of capabilities has consistently been my request now for three years. Those capabilities are needed by not only at INDOPACOM but all the combatant commanders. The ability to maintain decision superiority against any adversary, I would argue every combatant commander wants and needs it.

Joint posture: laying down the ability to move forces forward, to be able to sustain the force, to be able to train and operate with our allies and partners in their home territory—provides an asymmetric advantage. Additionally, it's needed for the United States to be able to meet our mutual defense treaty responsibilities whether they be our posture in Japan, Korea, our EDCA sites in the Philippines, inside of Australia.

This is about us coming together when invited, to be interoperable and to operate together—our operations and activities. We are the only nation with our partners that can operate in combat in all domains and synchronize those effects—under the sea, above the sea, on the sea, on the land, in space and in cyberspace in ways that no adversary can. And that means we do it with the Joint Force every day. And we do it with the combined force every day in the theater to deliver those deterrent effects.

The United States INDOPACOM campaign plan was developed three years ago and has been in execution. And every one of our allies and partners, understands what we're doing—why, when and where. And they are welcome to join us at any point. And I've also asked those allies and partners wherever you want me to go with you. Go ahead and ask.

We've developed and increased our mini and multilateral operations throughout the theater. And not just with the United States in the lead. Talisman Sabre from the Australians: huge expansion of that capability led by my Australian counterparts. Trilateral activities with Japan and Korea. Cobra Gold with Thailand. Balikatan with the Philippines. Every one of those exercises has been increased and almost every one of those are led by our allies and partners combined with the United States.

We are in a different place than we've ever been. Now, if you're interested in the long version of this, you can get the INDOPACOM 1254 report mandated by Congress for me to deliver to the Hill so that they can understand the capabilities needed by INDOPACOM to be able to deliver the deterrence associated with the Pacific Deterrence Initiative. And it lays out the whole thing.

We are now on our fifth year with Admiral Davidson before me. I am getting ready to deliver my third testimony. It's required to deliver on the day the budget is dropped. And we've synchronized it in the Building with service chiefs. So the story's been consistent. That report has been about 90% consistent for three years.

I'm going ask you to go faster. That said, I have a responsibility so let me tell you what we have done to try to go faster in INDOPACOM and I think what you're going to find is there's some places that you have a real canny ability to plug in and help me do this. At the NDIA conference a few months ago in August, I articulated the establishment of the joint mission accelerator directorate, JMAD. I'm going to ask Mr. Rob Morrison to stand up. He's a great point of contact along with Dr. K to feed in capabilities that can deliver so the JMAD director is targeted to take those four capabilities I talked about. Joint Fires Network, INDOPACOM Mission Network, PMTEC, and Storm Breaker—link them together so that they can be connected.

We can pull efficiencies from the architecture so that we're not doing stuff twice and paying for more things and then we can go after it pretty hard. It pulls in the Department. Rob has direct contact with those players along with Doug Beck from DIU to leverage him. And we're taking all comers.

I'm looking for mature capabilities, not developmental. This is about delivering a capability in the near term. The joint fires network, I expect to deliver a 1.0 version prototype tied to Valiant Shield in 24. And from there, I expect to expand it.

Second, we have been working from my Day One to make sure we get the command and control in the theater correct. It's been a learning environment. And we've moved it down the field. So we began on Day One of my time with a shift to a supported / supporting relationship in a way that could quickly spin up to a joint task force in time of crisis or conflict.

Within eight months, we started socializing a joint task force on Guam in a phased approach, initially to stand up the Guam Defense System. I have a responsibility to defend the homeland and Guam is the homeland. We also need the ability to employ offensive capability from Guam and lastly, we need to be able to sustain the force from Guam. So this phased approach of a JTF, and in the short term, as a capability development focus, and then a transition in the midterm to a forward fighting JTF.

Now I got the greatest staff out there and what we continue to do is learn so we're investigating what does next look like? Will that give us what we need? Will it deliver in the short term, or do we need to take some adjustments and we continue to do that work.

Let me tell you where you can help and I need your help. We need your help. The region needs your help. So I told you what I'm doing and there's a variety of other things we're going after. But let me tell you what I think would be helpful from your different areas.

To the congressional team, thank you for all the support to the Indo Pacific Command and our service members. Their families are civilian warriors. But boy, we need a budget—and that is not pejorative. I don't downplay the complexities of the political world we live in. But this national security need is real and it's coming fast. We need a budget. I'm still operating off of the 23 budget. And we're about to submit the 25 budget. The loss of buying power is real. And it's devastating.

For the private sector, you won't be surprised for me to say this, but we have got to go faster. The industrial base. Thanks to Congress, the upcoming supplemental has quite a bit of industrial base funding that we need. We have to get on a warfighting footing. “Just in time” will not work in this day and age. So anywhere you can press—press. I highlighted the four critical capabilities to deliver decision superiority. Focus there, and then look at the rest of my list.

For the services, we have got to figure out how to break the processes that we operate in. We have got to find ways to go faster. I always give this example. When we had a problem in Iraq and Afghanistan based on IEDs, we delivered thousands of MRAPs in an unbelievably short amount of time. We need that same push. When we could focus on an area, we can do this, but remaining late to our processes won't do anything but slow us down. So question all the processes. Let my team know. And I think we can help figure it out how to go faster for the allies and partners.

To our allies and partners, first thanks for everything you do. We are an international headquarters. And the relationships have never been stronger. But I do need your voice. We’re better when we're together when we speak from the same positions. And when we highlight the need to maintain the international order in a way that benefits all of us. That can't be just me screaming, it has got to be all of us. It's got to be visual. It's got to be a team. Otherwise we're going to get run over on everything we're doing. We have to make sure we're articulating it in the information space.

Lastly, back to the interagency, the services and the rest of the Department. I talked about being disruptive and breaking processes. We can't focus on single domains. We can't focus on single agencies. We can't focus on single services. The report that I submit is targeted to deliver joint capabilities. I always give this example when it comes time for the shooting. I don't care what senses, I don't care what shoots. All I need to know is that it’s been hit. And it can't be done in service stovepipes. We can't afford it. We need to start focusing from the start, on delivering joint capabilities.

Three administrations—the same strategy. Great strategies are needed. But the art is the implementation. We have been implementing the strategy to deliver what the Secretary has tasked us to do. Number one, prevent this conflict. And then number two, if you fail at Mission one, you better be ready to fight and win. The United States military and especially in wartime with our allies and partners, is the most formidable force on the planet. Don't lose sight of it. But we have to continue to work to keep that advantage.

Our adversaries are going to continue to challenge us in all domains. We have to continue to integrate. We do it better than anyone else. So we have to do it together. We have to do it quickly. We have to continue to get better. Because if we don't, the international order is going to change. If we do it together we'll be able to maintain the free and open Indo Pacific that benefits all of us. Thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to taking some of your questions.

A packed room as ADM Aquilino delivers the Keynote Address. 



First Keynote Panel
CHAIR: RADM Pete Gumataotao APCSS
VADM Jan Christian Kaack, Germany
Lt Gen Sir Rob Magowan, UK
ADM Samuel Paparo, PacFleet

CHAIR: RADM Pete Gumataotao APCSS
VADM Jan Christian Kaack, Germany
Lt Gen Sir Rob Magowan, UK
ADM Samuel Paparo, PacFleet

Second Session: Regional Security
CHAIR: James Rogers, Council on Geostrategy
Prof. Michi Narushige, GRIPS
Dr. Lee, Sejong Institute 
Prof. Rory Medcalf, NSC, ANU

ADM Samuel Paparo, Commander



Member of Parliament, 30th Prime Minister of Australia asks a question.



The AUKUS breakfast roundtable kicks off with Major Gen Jay Bargeron, INDOPACOM, VADM Sir Nick Hine, RN (ret.), and RADM Ian Murray, RAN.

RADM Geoffroy d'Andigné, Joint Commander of the French Armed Forces in the Indo-Pacific.


Congressional Staffers in the AUKUS roundtable




RADM Yuki Sekiguchi, JMSDF (ret.) asks a question. 


ADM John Aquilino and Scott Morrison, MP, take a moment.

Audience members during Critical Technology panel.


Ellen Nakashima, from Washington Post, poses a question.



A strong Navy and Air Force team from Germany.



The Critical Technology breakfast roundtable kicks off with Rob Morrison, INDOPACOM, Jared Dunnmon, DIU, and Mitch Skiles, Palantir.

Critical Missions panel 
Chair: Dr. Satu Limaye, RADM Yuki Sekiguchi, JMSDF (ret.), RADM Geoffroy d'Andigné, and LtGen Lewis Craparotta, USMC (ret.)

ADM Scott Swift, USN (ret.) and LtGen Lewis Craparotta, USMC (ret.) in discussion. 


Lt Gen Jung Woon Lee, ROK Army (ret.) and Dr. Sang Hyun Lee, Sejong in discussion. 


The first dinner.


Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks AUKUS with Ralph Cossa, Pacific Forum.


Three PacForum Presidents and a former Young Leader.


Critical Technologies panel
Chair: Ellen Nakashima, WaPo, William Blair, Lockheed, Dr. George Ka'iliwai, INDOPACOM, Chris Valentino, Peraton, and Liz Martin, AWS.

Dr. George Ka'iliwai, Director, J8, INDOPACOM, makes a point.



German guests in discussion after lunch. 



Policy Planning panel 
Chair Suzy Vares-Lum, EWC, Lt Gen Jung Woon Lee, ROK Army (ret.), Dr. Benedetta Berti, NATO, Raquel Garbers, DND (Canada)

Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks AUKUS with Ralph Cossa, Pacific Forum.

The first dinner


Assistant Secretary of Defense for Defense Industrial Base Policy, Dr. Laura Taylor-Kale kicks off the second day of the conference with a keynote address on the National Defense Industrial Strategy (NDIS). 


KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Assistant Secretary of Defense, IBP, The HON Taylor-Kale 

17 January 2024


Good morning and thank you for the introduction. Also, thanks to Dr. David Santoro and the Pacific Forum International team for hosting us.  I am delighted to be with you.


The timing of this event is excellent.  As President Biden has noted, we are living in a decisive decade, with peer and near-peer threats to contend with.  No one, I believe, understands this better than those of you in the Indo-Pacific region. You live daily with these threats that we back in Washington only read about.


Helping you meet those threats is why I am here today. I am the Department of Defense’s first Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy, and my organization is also relatively new, although parts of it have been in existence for some time.


The elevation of this role indicates the importance of industrial policy to the Department of Defense. And even though the DoD has been involved in industrial policy for about a hundred years, historically we have not shown up well in the US economic interagency. It has not been well understood by Department leadership just how defense budgets impact industry, or how industry can best be incentivized. My office of Industrial Base Policy is working to help DoD better understand industry perspectives while guiding the industrial base to better respond to global tensions.


One of my primary tasks was to create and implement the DoD’s first-ever National Defense Industrial Strategy, or NDIS. The NDIS is nested in the National Defense Strategy and will contribute significantly to integrated deterrence, one of Secretary Austin’s key actions that build enduring advantages for the United States and our allies and partners.

Additionally, the NDIS is initiating generational change to help build a more robust, resilient, and modernized defense industrial base ecosystem. This is the first time we have put pen to paper to map out a strategy and vision for the defense industry.


The Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks directed creation of the NDIS in March of last year. She recognized the need to modernize our industrial base and seized the opportunity to leverage work that had been done to support the Ukraine to create a vision for a modernized defense industrial ecosystem.


My team then began a crash program to research, write, staff, and finalize this Strategy. I’m very proud of them and their work. Not only did they create a visionary document, but they also helped to socialize it within the DoD, with industry, and across the other parts of the executive branch of the US government as well as with Congress. They incorporated and reconciled more than a thousand comments to create the final Strategy.


I’m very proud to announce that we published the NDIS last week, and I’d encourage you – if you haven’t already – to go to our website at businessdefense.gov and download it.


I’m going to talk this morning about the NDIS, what it means for the Indo-Pacific region, and what a fully integrated modernized defense industrial ecosystem might look like.


We are implementing the National Defense Industrial Strategy now because as part of the effort to re-energize US manufacturing and build the kind of modernized defense industrial ecosystem we need to enable our National Defense Strategy to meet the global challenges our nation and our allies and partners will confront.


Many recent factors and events, to include the COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the sustained challenges the nation confronts in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world have demonstrated that the industrial base we have built in peace must now be re-energized to meet the threats facing us today and for the future.


The NDIS will guide the Department’s engagement, policy development, and investment in the industrial base over the next 3-5 years. The current state of the industrial base is the result of decades of policy decisions; it will not be changed in one or two years.


It is important to note that DoD cannot address every industrial base issue alone. Defense production and services are part of a vast, diverse ecosystem that draws from technology and manufacturing sectors. We need our partners, both inside and outside DoD and especially in the Indo-Pacific region, to work with us to create this modernized defense industrial ecosystem.


The NDIS lays out four strategic priorities to serve as guiding beacons for industrial action and resource prioritization in support of the development of a modern industrial ecosystem. Each of the four priorities has associated long-term actions that promote flexibility and dynamic capabilities as we build this ecosystem.


These four priorities are building resilient supply chains, improving workforce readiness, leveraging flexible acquisition strategies, and enabling economic deterrence.


This morning I’ll discuss the first and last priorities, as I believe that while all are of interest to you, those two – resilient supply chains and economic deterrence – have special applicability here in the Indo-Pacific region.


The first strategic priority is to build resilient supply chains that can securely produce the products, services, and technologies needed now and in the future at speed, scale, and cost.


We learned during the COVID crisis that industrial supply chains are increasingly complex and global, resulting in dependencies on overseas vendors’ products and strategic raw materials.  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine further highlighted the condition of our supply chains, based as they were on “just in time” delivery and weapon procurements that were driven by annual training requirements vice combat operations.

The NDIS articulates discrete actions we must take to build resilient supply chains. For example, we must properly incentivize industry to improve resiliency by investing in extra capacity. As my boss, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Dr. Bill LaPlante has noted, industry rightfully remains reluctant to build additional capacity at risk, until they have a clear, consistent demand signal or business case from the DoD.

(Pause, drink water)

 One way DoD can incentivize industry is via contracts. For example, the war in Ukraine increased demand for 155mm artillery ammunition. In response, the DoD invested in expanding existing production facilities in Pennsylvania and broke ground on a new production facility in Texas to respond to the higher demand signal. In addition to these investments made in December 2022, the U.S. Army awarded contracts worth $1.5 billion in September 2023 to meet its goal of delivering more than 80,000 projectiles per month by the end of FY2025. This represents a 200% increase of production capacity for this munition.


In short, when incentivized properly, industry steps up.


Another way to provide incentive is through investments made via programs like the Defense Production Act, or DPA. First enacted by Congress in 1950, the DPA authorizes the President to ensure the availability of industry for U.S. defense, essential civilian, and homeland security requirements. With DPA authorities, we can set priorities on Federal contracts and allocations of scarce materials. We can also provide incentives like loans, grants, and purchases to develop, maintain, modernize, and expand industrial production capacity.

My office manages the DPA, and in calendar year 2023 we made more than $780 million of awards in key areas such as kinetic capabilities, microelectronics, and strategic and critical materials.


I’m very pleased to note that the US Congress worked with us on the DPA and just made Australia and the United Kingdom eligible for grants and loans, joining the United States and Canada under this program. This one action vastly increases the available organizations that can bring needed capabilities to help create extra defense industrial base capacity.


Another action identified in the NDIS to build resilient supply chains is to engage allies and partners to expand global defense production. This is necessary because, for example, China has a commanding lead in mining and refining rare earth elements and critical minerals used in production of microelectronics, rare earth magnets, and other key defense systems.


But it’s not an insurmountable lead. For example, we can work with countries in the Indo-Pacific region to either expand or modernize current processing facilities. By taking additional actions such as working to improve international collaboration mechanisms, providing financing, and improving permitting, we can improve mining capabilities as well as find new sources. These actions taken together can significantly reduce the PRC’s leverage in rare earth elements and critical minerals.


In the Indo-Pacific region, I think we can develop a networked cooperative framework that enhances defense industrial output by working with allies and partners to de-risk supply chains and advance our ability to engage in co-production, co-sustainment, maintenance, repair, and overhaul. A term that has been used to describe this activity is “friend shoring,” wherein allies and partners build defense production facilities in partner nations. Both sides benefit from the enhanced collaboration, workforce improvements, innovation, and increased capacity realized from such arrangements.


The United States has a complex web of friend-shoring-suitable alliances and partnerships around the world; a partial list includes Australia, Canada, the European Union, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. The choice of which nations to continue or expand friend-shoring is predicated on a multitude of factors including history, shared values, public and political support, as well as security assurance, supply chain resilience, and industrial and technological capabilities.


This kind of co-production and friend shoring has been called production diplomacy by Under Secretary LaPlante - and we mention it the NDIS as well. We are actively engaged in production diplomacy in Europe, for example. 


In the wake of the Russian Federation’s unprovoked aggression towards Ukraine, the U.S. led the international community to rally to their defense, organizing recurring engagements of the heads of Ministries of Defense and National Armaments Directors to coordinate support efforts.


These engagements have jump-started initiatives to expand ammunition production, establish an international support fund, and organize the delivery and sustainment of critical capabilities. The German defense company Rheinmetall recently announced an initiative to produce armored vehicles in Ukraine later this year.

Building off the global experience of the Ukraine conflict, there may be opportunities to similarly convene the leadership of allied and partner nations within the Indo-Pacific, to deepen multilateral collaboration on regional industrial base and manufacturing production challenges.


Rather than wait for emergency circumstances, investing in these relationships now will yield fruit, should we collectively face a crisis in coming years. This is the power of production-oriented diplomacy.

(Pause, drink water)

For example, Australia is working to produce Guided Multiple Launch Rockets as part of the AUKUS agreement. They are also engaged in building an integrated air and missile defense capability. This kind of activity could be expanded across the Indo-Pacific for all sorts of capabilities.

Imagine what our collective defense industrial ecosystems could become if four or five or even ten partners together were producing munitions or other capabilities. Think about how contested logistics could be managed if we invested in fuel transportation capabilities, repair facilities, or spare parts with any number of allies and partners.


The sky is literally the limit, but it may make sense to set our sights initially on lower hanging fruit. If we consider that, as I mentioned, that Australia is producing guided rockets and the Republic of Korea, 155mm artillery shells, I think we’ll see that there is an abundance of opportunity here.


We could build upon these efforts now and set in motion efforts to produce more and different kinds of munitions or even components thereof – for example, solid rocket motors. In Europe, the Norwegian company Nammo is a leader of SRM design and development. We are leveraging their capability to design new hypersonic munitions. In the Indo-Pacific region, Japan developed solid rocket motors for their Epsilon launch vehicle. With the right engagement and investments, we could further develop this capability to expand the kinds of solid rocket motors we can develop in the Indo-Pacific region. There are many other potential examples to consider – and consider them we should.


The next strategic priority I’ll discuss is economic deterrence. This will promote fair and effective market mechanisms that support a resilient defense industrial ecosystem among the U.S. and close international allies and partners and economic security and integrated deterrence. As a result of effective economic deterrence, fear of materially reduced access to U.S. markets, technologies, and innovations will sow doubt in the mind of potential aggressors.


Two specific actions we will undertake to support economic deterrence are, I think, of relevance to the Indo-Pacific region. The first is fortifying alliances to share science and technology. Science- and technology-sharing agreements are necessary to build the trade and security alliances that are critical for economic security.


One example is AUKUS, the trilateral security agreement between Australia, the UK, and the United States. A key component of AUKUS is a well-informed trilateral industrial base that is collaboratively solving operational problems and delivering integrated capabilities at speed and scale. AUKUS allow us to jointly invest in much needed defense capabilities by leveraging the best of our respective industrial bases.


Another example is Security of Supply Arrangements, or SOSAs. These bilateral Arrangements help ensure the mutual supply of defense goods and services. They also allow the DoD to request priority delivery for DoD contracts, subcontracts, or orders from companies in these countries. Additionally, SOSAs can enable the signatory nations to request priority delivery for their contracts and orders with U.S. firms.


The United States currently has SOSAs with 17 nations around the world, to include the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Singapore. We are working on several other Arrangements with interested parties and will continue to look to expand partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region.

The second action we will work on to support economic deterrence is to strengthen enforcement against adversarial capital and cyberattacks. The mitigation of threats arising from foreign transactions must be balanced against the openness of the U.S. economy to foreign ideas, talent, and capital. The DoD must work with other federal executive departments of the US government as well as partners and allies to protect U.S. and allied assets from ownership by commercial entities controlled or influenced by adversarial nations, and from cyber-attacks against entities involved in the maintenance of our defense.


We are taking action now on adversarial capital with NATO, for example. We’re conducting table-top exercises with partners and allies to test procedures and policies to identify areas needing improvement.

We must also educate our collective industry on the threats posed by foreign capital, adversarial ownership, and cyber-attacks and help them to prepare to deter, mitigate, and deflect such threats by improving defenses and lowering risk profiles.

In closing, I will say that I am excited about this new Strategy and what it represents.


By building resilient supply chains, enabling workforce readiness, leveraging flexible acquisition, and creating economic deterrence, the NDIS lays out a vision for the future of a modernized defense industrial ecosystem for the United States.


And in the Ukraine, we have also learned about what is possible when we work together. The success of the National Armaments Directors work in coordinating supply and production issues in that conflict is a model we can build upon for the Indo-Pacific region. 


But I think that ultimately, the NDIS provides us all an opportunity to work together to create a truly global industrial ecosystem.  By drawing on our collective potential, innovation, and creativity, we can create a new, flexible framework that capitalizes on the best each partner brings to the table. This would bring prosperity to its participants, create myriad new opportunities, and deliver the potential to deter any potential adversary.


Thank you for your time and attention. I’ll now take some questions.

For questions regarding potential sponsorship, please contact Dr. John Hemmings: john@pacforum.org.