Ralph A. Cossa

Ralph A. Cossa is President of the Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu, a non-profit, foreign policy research institute affiliated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. As the autonomous Asia-Pacific arm of CSIS, Pacific Forum is a vital component of the foreign policy and security think tank ranked number-one in the world for the last three years. The Pacific Forum has provided policy-oriented analysis and promoted dialogue on regional security, political, and economic issues in the Asia-Pacific region since 1975.

Mr. Cossa is a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Experts and Eminent Persons Group and a specialist in East Asian security affairs. He is senior editor of the Pacific Forum’s quarterly electronic journal, Comparative Connections and co-authors its "Regional Overview".  

Mr. Cossa is a founding member of the Steering Committee of the multinational Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP), a non-governmental organization focusing on regional confidence building and multilateral security dialogue, and currently serves as one of its two international co-chairs. He also co-chaired the CSCAP Study Group on Countering the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and also serves as Executive Director of the U.S. Member Committee (USCSCAP).

Mr. Cossa is a board member of the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council (Honolulu) and the Worldwide Support for Development (Tokyo), as well as the CSIS Board of Trustees. He is a political/military affairs and national security specialist with over 40 years of experience in formulating, articulating, and implementing US security policy in the Asia-Pacific region. He writes a regular column for The Japan Times and is a frequent contributor to other international and domestic newspapers and periodicals.

Recent works include “Planning for the Future of the ROK-US Alliance: A Joint Vision for Today and Post-Reunification,” Evaluation of 60 Years of ROK-US Alliance and Plan for the Future, Korean Institute for Defense Analysis, Sept 2013, pp. 61-75 (English), pp. 76-87 (Korean); “Hugh White’s The China Choice: A Critical Analysis,” Security Challenges, Vol 9-1 (2013), pp. 35-42; “Obama’s Nuclear Agenda: the Next Four Years” (with David Santoro), New Asia (Korea), vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 72-77; “Global Strategy: Our first Obligation” (with Brad Glosser-man), in Insurgent Intellectual: Essays in Honour of Professor Desmond Ball, ed. Brendan Talylor, Nicholas Farrelly, Sheryn Lee, ISEAS Press (Singapore, 2012), pp. 19-29; “Dealing with North Korea: What’s Coming Next?” ISPS Analysis (Milan), No. 123 (June 2012), pp. 1-6; “And You Think North Korea’s Crazy?” The Diplomat. March 2012; “Next Steps with North Korea and the Six-Party Talks,” ASAN Institute Issue Brief No. 16, Dec 20, 2011; “Extended Deterrence and Disarmament: Japan and the New US Nuclear Posture,” with Brad Glosserman, in The Nonproliferation Review, March 2011, Vol. 18, No. 1; “The Sino-U.S. Relationship: Respecting Each Other’s Core Interests,” American Foreign Policy Interests, Vol. 32, No. 5, October 2010, pp. 269-275; The United States and the Asia-Pacific Region: Security Strategy for the Obama Administration (Washington DC: Center for a New American Security, 2009); “How to get Asia Right: Recommendations for the Obama Administration,” American Foreign Policy Interests, Vol. 31, No. 1, Jan-Feb 2009, pp. 3-11.

Mr Cossa served in the United States Air Force from 1966-1993, achieving the rank of Colonel, and last serving as Special Assistant to the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command. He served previously as Deputy Director for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University's Institute for National Strategic Studies, and earlier as a National Security Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.