Operational-Level Information Sharing Between the U.S. Navy and Southeast Asia Maritime Institutions   [open pdf - 1MB]

"This thesis investigates the institutional barriers to operational-level information exchange between the U.S. Navy and its ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] counterparts. The study emerged from a stated U.S. Department of Defense objective to facilitate maritime security in the South China Sea through regional maritime domain awareness and partner interoperability. A chief obstacle to this objective is the information sharing behavior of regional maritime institutions. The principal research mechanism is a case study of U.S.-ASEAN information sharing during the 2014 multinational search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Using theoretical propositions derived from relevant literature, the study explores the influence of five institutional factors--culture, policy, technology, relationships, and structure--on information sharing during the search. The case study demonstrated that each factor inhibited effective information exchange to varying degrees. The study also showed that the relative health of strategic-level relationships between stakeholders governed the operational-level behavior of most of these factors during the search. Based on the case findings, this thesis recommends two lines of effort to improve regional information sharing. The first effort focuses on improving strategic-level relationships; the second focuses on development of a U.S.-ASEAN centralized command and control hub."

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