5506752962_cf902bf8c7_bConfidence in the capacity of the Asia-Pacific region to preserve a flexible but fundamentally robust security order weakened noticeably over the past year. Despite being clearly anticipated and exhaustively studied for some 25 years, the management of the Asia Pacific’s strategic transformation is headed toward outcomes at the worst-case end of the spectrum. A security order is a complex tapestry of norms, laws, conventions, deterrents, opportunities, mechanisms for conflict avoidance and resolution, and so on. Many commentators assess that the prevailing order is unravelling and some have even warned of a new Cold War, or argued that 2014 was beginning to look like an ominous echo of 1914. While these contentions have, on the whole, been disputed as analytically unsound and unduly alarmist, the president of the United States has signalled graphically that serious concern is no longer misplaced. Addressing the UN Security Council in September 2014, President Obama spoke of a “pervasive sense of unease” across the globe and of a world “at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.” More