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The political economy of US maritime strategy in the Indo-Pacific

Furse, T. (2022). The political economy of US maritime strategy in the Indo-Pacific. The Pacific Review, doi: 10.1080/09512748.2022.2111455


Political economy impacts and influences a state's military strategy. This article focuses on how the integration of the US political economy in the Indo-Pacific drives US Navy officers and the broader national security state to establish the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). Investigating the strategic thought of senior Naval officers shows that they think far beyond military threats and engage with the United States and the Indo-Pacific political economy. Even as the US Navy competes with China's military, its FOIP strategy benefits corporate elites in both China and the US, whose cooperation creates a mutually supportive economic relationship. This argument leads to the finding that the US hegemony in the region is a strategy that avoids a bipolar 'New Cold War' of an entirely de-coupled US and China. The FOIP supported by the US Navy continues to integrate China into regional and global economies, even as it attempts to push back against China by gathering allies and partners. The emphasis on international political economy highlights how the region is a network of 'patchwork' relations, where states rely on one another for economic prosperity. Through investigating speeches and strategic papers from US Naval officials, this paper demonstrates how the US competes and cooperates with China in the context of relations in the region that are in constant flux.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercialNoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publisher Keywords: United States, China, political economy, Indo-Pacific, US Navy
Subjects: J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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