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Consent & Conquest: How Western Ways of Warfare Spread to the Indo-Pacific, with Evan Laksmana

352 Dineen Hall

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With strategic challenges looming large in Indo-Pacific today—from China's growing military assertiveness to potential flash points in the Korean Peninsula and the disputed waters around the East and Southeast China Seas—one component of the conflict calculus is the comparative strength of the region's military powers. 


A recent report suggested that the Indo-Pacific region witnessed the highest defense spending compared to the rest of world. When and how should we expect the region's resident and aspiring military powers—China, Japan, India, Singapore, and even Indonesia—to fully realize their military potential depends on how well they have been adopting Western conceptions of warfare and military technology. In other words, how and to what extent the region is militarily "Westernized" matters in understanding a wide range of contemporary security challenges. 


This discussion offers preliminary findings from archival research and fieldwork in the US, UK, Australia, and Indonesia over the past year examining the different ways in which Western ways of warfare have historically spread to the Indo-Pacific through a systematic comparison of Meiji Japan, British India, and Cold War Indonesia. 

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