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ASEAN-US Defense Dialogue

Interagency work is challenging but is imperative. This was stressed by Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana during the ASEAN-US Defense Dialogue on September 30, a view which is equally shared by the other defense ministers attending the forum.

Secretary Lorenzana elaborated on the Philippines' experience with interagency work in dealing with maritime security concerns through the National Coast Watch System. Interagency may well be the way forward in regard to the trilateral cooperation among the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, an initiative that has recently taken off given the commitment of the three countries' defense ministers.

Meeting in Hawaii, the defense ministers of ASEAN and the US exchanged views on common security challenges specifically natural and manmade disasters, maritime security and violent extremism and terrorism. 

Addressing these challenges also necessitate interaction and collaborative effort across levels, from the tactical to the operational and at the policy level. Policy would set the direction but things need to be concretized at the operational and tactical level. Timely sharing of information is something that must likewise be undertaken. Having maritime domain awareness is key in the ability of countries to share information with their other partners.

Hosted  by US Secretary of Defense, this is the second ASEAN-US informal dialogue held in the US after the first one was conducted in 2014.