The Future of the ADMM-Plus in the Indo-Pacific

Since its establishment, the ADMM-Plus has evolved into a valuable component of the regional security architecture. It facilitates not only dialogue among the region’s defense ministers and officials, but also practical initiatives involving the regional militaries to address transnational security concerns. It bears noting that the ADMM-Plus emerged and progressed during a time when circumstances were more conducive for multilateralism in the Indo-Pacific. These circumstances are now changing, with expected implications for regional multilateralism including the ASEAN-led groupings. Looking ahead, whether the ADMM-Plus would continue to retain its relevance in the regional security architecture would arguably depend on the development of three overlapping factors: (i) intra-ASEAN dynamics and the ADMM’s leadership; (ii) major power rivalry and the existence of competing options for multilateralism; and (iii) the attitudes towards practical cooperation under the ADMM-Plus framework. This brief reviews the evolution of the ADMM-Plus as a regional mechanism.

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