A senior defense official underscored today the imperative for defense industrial base collaboration between the U.S. and its allies throughout the Indo-Pacific to ensure lasting peace and security in the region.

Jedidiah P. Royal, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, echoed Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III in noting a “new convergence” within the Indo-Pacific that is yielding “a more capable network of partnerships” focused on solving key regional challenges.  

“What you are seeing with this new convergence is a very practical, tactile implementation in the form of force posture agreements, multilateral exercises, improved interoperability and beyond,” Royal said during a panel discussion hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.  

“At the very core of this is a foundation and a commitment to collaboration,” he said. “We know that collaboration is the answer. And the defense industrial base is no different.” 

Royal said key to advancing the collective goal of defense industrial resilience throughout the region is tapping into the broad range of natural advantages that partners bring to the table.  

His remarks follow Austin’s address at this year’s International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore earlier this month where the secretary reinforced the U.S. and its partners’ commitment to strengthening defense industrial cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

“Together with our friends in the region, we’re breaking down national barriers and better integrating our defense industries,” Austin said.   

“We’re also working together to fortify the shared capacity of the defense industrial bases of our allies and partners,” he said. “That’s why so many countries — including the United States — are endorsing a Statement of Principles today to strengthen the resilience of the region’s defense industrial bases.” 

The joint statement outlines the signatories’ commitment to working collectively to expand industrial base capability, capacity and workforce. The partner nations also aim to increase supply chain resilience, promote defense innovation and improve information sharing, among other steps.

The statement of principles also emphasizes the collective commitment to collaborate with industry, capital providers, academia and other nongovernment partners to bolster regional defense industrial resilience. 

Royal noted today that 12 signatories to the joint statement have also agreed to establish a multinational forum, the Partnership for Indo-Pacific Industrial Resilience, to exchange lessons learned and best practices. The forum will also allow partner countries to highlight emerging opportunities to further bolster the strength of the regional industrial base.  

“Our goal with these efforts is to unlock these new sources of supply as well as manufacturing and engineering talent of this pivotal region in ways that will support the United States, our allies and our partners,” Royal said.  

“This will increase the purchasing power of the U.S. defense budget, provide greater assurance in critical supply chains and drive improved readiness,” he added. “And just as importantly it will further embed the new convergence already happening in the Indo-Pacific in increasingly practical ways.”

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