A new regional architecture - those are the buzzwords flying about the staterooms and think-tanks of Asia as new challenges loom. In plain terms, it means creating a new security body to ease tensions in the long term by getting leaders talking formally, openly - and regularly. Just 15 years ago, such a concept was unthinkable given the cold war-era divides and suspicions that plagued the region. Now, however, it is widely seen as essential as growth, development and integration take place against the backdrop of rising military spending, competition for resources and energy and new strategic rivalries. No one is pretending it is going to be easy. A key part of the debate that surfaced during two regional security conferences over the past week involves the role of the US. Shut out of the inaugural East Asia Summit of leaders last December, Washington has made clear during the last week that it wants in - just as it made sure it did not miss out on the creation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum (Apec) 17 years ago. Its allies such as Singapore and Japan are already talking up Washington's involvement. Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned of 'rivalry, antagonism and conflict' if Asian countries turned inward.