Sending in the Cavalry: The Growing Militarization of Counterterrorism in Southeast Asia

By Dr. See Seng Tan PRISM Volume 7 no. 4

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Dr. See Seng Tan is Professor of International Relations at the Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, where he also serves as the Deputy Director and Head of Research for the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies

There is a growing consensus among security analysts that the Battle of Marawi in the Philippines, which lasted from May to October 2017, constitutes a watershed moment in the evolution of the terrorist threat in Southeast Asia. Pro–Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants threatened to turn Marawi into “the Mosul of Southeast Asia,” with their astounding ability to operate large groups capable of controlling territory and exposing the inadequacy of the region’s security services.1 Although member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had pondered the question of possible participation by their armed forces in counterterrorism well before the Battle, it is undeniable that Marawi has become the catalyst behind the regional drive to militarize counterterrorism efforts in Southeast Asia.2

Cooperative frameworks furnished by ASEAN have since taken on added significance, especially the defense-oriented arrangements that bring together the defense establishments and armed forces of the ASEAN countries as well as those of external powers including China, India, Japan, and the United States. The growing militarization of counterterrorism efforts will neither be easy nor straightforward, given longstanding regional sensitivities and the potentially diversive ramifications that excessive securitization could have for democratic life within ASEAN countries.

Battle of Marawi: Game Changer?

At their retreat in early February, the defense ministers of the 10 ASEAN member countries identified terrorism as the single biggest threat to their region, even as they recognized a number of other regional security challenges including the South China Sea and North Korea. In a joint statement following the retreat, the ministers noted: “Terrorism is a severe threat to ASEAN’s progress, prosperity and very way of life.”3 Terrorism and insurgency are not new to Southeast Asia. Various groups have taken to violence for ideological, secessionist, and religious reasons since colonialism. Terrorism gathered pace after 9/11 with a series of attacks perpetrated mostly but not exclusively by the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist organization.4 The emergence of the Islamic State or ISIL in Southeast Asia—with the attacks in Jakarta, Indonesia in January 2016 widely seen as the first conducted in its name—is but the latest addition to a complex story of terrorism in the ASEAN region.

That said, some analysts have cautioned against undue exaggeration of the ISIL threat because they see the greater, long-term threat arising from a rejuvenated JI, which has a larger network and is better funded than the pro–ISIL groups in the region.5 The concern has to do not only with possible attacks carried out by “lone wolves” and ISIL affiliates, official or otherwise, but equally if not more worrisome, with future conflicts on the scale and style—and with the savoir faire—of Marawi prosecuted by more established and better resourced terror networks such as the JI in the Philippines, Indonesia, or other parts of the region.

Reportedly, the pro–ISIL groups that drove the conflict in Marawi, particularly the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf, had in mind to turn Mindanao island into a wilayah (province) of ISIL.6 This is not a particularly novel goal in itself since the JI has long aspired to establish an Islamic caliphate in Southeast Asia. But what surprised analysts most about the Marawi conflict was the evident readiness of the militants to take the fight to the Philippine military by engaging in a drawn out urban war and employing tactics that initially confounded the government troops, such as the transformation of the hundreds of densely packed buildings in the city center into a warren of improvised tunnels, and bearing, in addition to the ubiquitous AK–47 assault rifles, high-powered weapons such as the .50 caliber anti-material rifle and M–14 assault rifle.7 What is most sobering about the Marawi episode is the prospect that it could inspire and embolden other groups, if they have the requisite men and material to emulate or even outdo Marawi in scale, style, and substance in other ASEAN cities and urban areas. Such a likelihood could warrant the involvement of the armed forces of the ASEAN countries, whose force capabilities match or exceed that of the Marawi terrorists.

In response to this evolving threat, many ASEAN countries have broadened the remit, and are building the capacity of their police forces and domestic security services to better counter it. It has been suggested that there is in fact a “Southeast Asian approach to counterterrorism,” one that ostensibly emphasizes a “bottom-up” and “indirect” strategy.8 However, ASEAN countries historically have not handled terrorism in the same way. For example, Malaysia and Thailand have relied on more coercive, militaristic responses, whereas Indonesia and Singapore have mostly adopted a non-militaristic, law enforcement approach to tackling the problem. In the post–9/11 period, there has been a growing para-militarization of law enforcement in some ASEAN countries.9 The Indonesian police’s counterterrorism squad, Detachment 88, is one such example. Yet the lesson of Marawi suggests that such a limited response, no matter how successful it hitherto has been, is unlikely to be sufficient. The greater likelihood is that Southeast Asian governments will have to militarize their counterterrorism strategies as broadly as possible, including giving their armed forces key roles in the war on terror—even if it means combating terrorism on home soil. For instance, dissatisfied with the ineffective response of the Indonesian police to terrorist attacks, the Indonesian military purportedly sought to establish a new anti-terror unit known as the Joint Special Operations Command (Koopssusgab) in June 2015.10

Growing Military Cooperation in the Region

Much as Marawi could alter the way terrorism in Southeast Asia would henceforth be conducted, the manner in which ASEAN countries respond to the terrorist threat could also change in a number of ways. First, ASEAN countries and their defense establishments are likely to deepen their collaboration in counterterrorism not only among themselves but also with their external partners. They will do so through joint exercises, sharing information, and enhancing their force capabilities within existing frameworks such as the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), which comprises all ten ASEAN countries, and its “plus” spinoff, the ADMM+, which comprises the ASEAN ten plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. In this respect, joint counterterrorism exercises such as the one that took place in Singapore in May 2016 involving 40 Special Forces teams from all 18 ADMM+ countries could well increase.11 Efforts by the ADMM to deepen regional collaboration among the ASEAN defense establishments are backed up by interrelated supporting frameworks such as the ASEAN Chiefs of Defense Forces’ Informal Meeting (ACDFIM), the ASEAN Military Intelligence Informal Meeting (AMIIM), the ASEAN Military Operations Informal Meeting (AMOIM), and the like.12

In August, a Royal Thai Coast Guardsman (left), A Philippine sailor (center), and a Philippine Coast Guardsman practice tactical visit, search, and seizure procedures during the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise that included participants from nine partner nations. SEACAT began in 2002 under the name “Southeast Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism” but was renamed in 2012 to expand the scope of training among regional navies and coast guards. (DOD/Micah Blechner)
In August, a Royal Thai Coast Guardsman (left), A Philippine sailor (center), and a Philippine Coast Guardsman practice tactical visit, search, and seizure procedures during the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise that included participants from nine partner nations. SEACAT began in 2002 under the name “Southeast Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism” but was renamed in 2012 to expand the scope of training among regional navies and coast guards. (DOD/Micah Blechner)
In August, a Royal Thai Coast Guardsman (left), A Philippine sailor (center), and a Philippine Coast Guardsman practice tactical visit, search, and seizure procedures during the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise that included participants from nine partner nations. SEACAT began in 2002 under the name “Southeast Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism” but was renamed in 2012 to expand the scope of training among regional navies and coast guards. (DOD/Micah Blechner)
In August, a Royal Thai Coast Guardsman (left), A Philippine sailor (center), and a Philippine Coast Guardsman practice tactical visit, search, and seizure procedures during the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise that included participants from nine partner nations. SEACAT began in 2002 under the name “Southeast Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism” but was renamed in 2012 to expand the scope of training among regional navies and coast guards. (DOD/Micah Blechner)
In August, a Royal Thai Coast Guardsman (left), A Philippine sailor (center), and a Philippine Coast Guardsman practice tactical visit, search, and seizure procedures during the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise that included participants from nine partner nations. SEACAT began in 2002 under the name “Southeast Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism” but was renamed in 2012 to expand the scope of training among regional navies and coast guards. (DOD/Micah Blechner)
Photo By: DOD/Micah Blechner
VIRIN: 181104-D-BD104-027

Second, the Marawi conflict engendered separate offers of military assistance from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore to their imperiled ASEAN neighbor. Traditionally, most ASEAN countries have viewed with suspicion the prospect of each other’s armed forces traipsing on their home soil. Yet member countries have committed troops to one another’s aid, as Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia have been doing in support of the implementation of the 1997 Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities between the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).13 Together with external parties, ASEAN militaries are increasingly involved in humanitarian operations around the region. Moreover, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore—the so-called “core countries” of ASEAN—have had a long history of security cooperation among themselves, including the Malacca Strait Sea Patrols, or MSSP, comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, and the Eyes-in- the-Sky initiative.14 More recently, Indonesia and Malaysia established the Trilateral Maritime Patrol (or INDOMALPHI) with the Philippines in June 2017 to patrol the Sulu-Sulawesi seas, long a hub for transnational organized crime and militancy.15

In February 2018, ASEAN defense officials signed the Our Eyes Initiative, a cooperative arrangement aimed at countering terrorism.16 Championed most vigorously by the Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, the present membership of Our Eyes includes Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Modeled after the post–World War II Five Eyes alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Our Eyes involves the sharing of strategic—and, subsequently, operational and tactical—intelligence on terrorism among all member countries of ASEAN. Our Eyes envisages the establishment of centers in each ASEAN country whose purpose would be to facilitate intra-regional communication, intelligence-sharing, and counterterrorism cooperation among and across national defense (as well as homeland security) establishments. Moreover, the initiative follows closely the ASEAN emphasis on open security regionalism through cooperation with select ASEAN dialogue partner countries, as exemplified by the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ADMM+.17 Reportedly, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States have been identified as the first set of partners with whom the ASEAN states could cooperate. Although China is not included in this set, it is likely just a matter of time before the invitation is extended to China to participate, in the light of ongoing efforts by both ASEAN and China to explore concrete ways to boost their defense ties.18 However, for Our Eyes to work effectively, participating countries would first have to manage and overcome the deep-seated distrust that persists among them. In this respect, it is noteworthy that when introducing the initiative in October 2017, Ryamizard felt the need to explain how “Our Eyes would have nothing to do with politics. It is purely an initiative to fight the existence of terrorist groups and maintain peace in our region.”19

The prospect that cooperative initiatives such as the Malacca Sea Straits Patrols, the Trilateral Maritime Patrol, and Our Eyes could conceivably serve as models for intra-ASEAN military collaboration against terrorism raises the question of whether such collaboration, if and when it takes place, might warrant resort by the ASEAN countries to the “ASEAN-minus-X” formula. Codified in the ASEAN Charter, the formula allows member countries ready to participate in economic initiatives to do so, while those that are not ready could join in later; a form of minilateralism.20 In recent years, the unity and cohesion of ASEAN, fragile even in the best of times, have been rocked by the South China Sea disputes, not least because of China’s efforts to ensure that the ASEAN states—four of which (Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam) are South China Sea claimant countries themselves—do not band together and balance against it. In the light of ASEAN’s seeming inconsequence as a diplomatic actor in the South China Sea because of its consensus model, some analysts have proposed that ASEAN should consider expanding ASEAN-minus-X to include the security domain as well, if only to ensure that ASEAN avoids the dire prospect of being consigned to irrelevance in perpetuity.21 It has also been argued that in fact the principle has already been applied on an informal basis to counterterrorism cooperation, since the ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism (ACCT), signed in January 2007, entered into force in May 2011 upon ratification by only six of the ten ASEAN countries.22 However, it is highly unlikely that ASEAN countries would consent to the broad application of ASEAN-minus-X to security collaboration among themselves because of the possibility that they could one day end up, intentionally or otherwise, as the target of collective security action undertaken by their fellow members or, at the very least, be “outvoted” by other members given that ASEAN-minus-X, under certain conditions, could conceivably function much like a majority-rule formula.23

Moving forward, the ASEAN defense establishments are likely to leverage these existing forms of cooperation in their quest for new and innovative approaches in response to the growing scale and complexity of the terrorist threat in their region. At the ADMM retreat held in Singapore in early February 2018, the Defense Minister of Singapore announced the development of a “3R” framework—namely, resilience, response, and recovery—that would tie the region’s counterterrorism initiatives together.24 Reportedly, the aims of the 3R would be accomplished through: building resilience against radicalization and enabling the prevention of terrorist attacks; coordinating counterterrorism responses to address ongoing threats; and, recovering from any terrorist attacks that occur. The 3R framework presumably not only provides a coherent and comprehensive regional approach against terrorism, it also enhances ASEAN’s centrality as well as coordination and partnership among the various counterterrorism initiatives of the ASEAN member countries. The framework acknowledges the historical differences and varying force capabilities among the ASEAN member states and seeks to enhance counterterrorism cooperation among the ASEAN militaries by leveraging their niche capabilities to better complement the efforts of home front or internal security agencies. At the same time, through the 3R framework, the ASEAN states also seek to shore up their capabilities to respond to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats from terrorist groups and rogue actors. Indeed, the potential employment of CBRN weapons by such groups renders the integration of the armed forces to the overall counterterrorism strategy of ASEAN states all the more crucial. In that regard, ASEAN has announced the establishment of an ASEAN Armies Information Sharing Workshop (AAISW) as a way to enhance cooperation among the region’s armed forces in response to CBRN threats.25 Not unlike the Our Eyes Initiative, the 3R remains a work in progress with—despite the post–9/11 emphasis in the region on a “whole-of-government cum society” approach to counterterrorism—much work still to be done on how the plans and efforts of the armed forces and home front agencies can best be integrated.26

In May 2017, a Filipino solder participates counterterrorism training in the U.S.—Philippines Balikatan Military Exercise at Fort Magsaysay in the Philippines. (U.S. Marine Corps/Matthew Casbarro)
In May 2017, a Filipino solder participates counterterrorism training in the U.S.—Philippines Balikatan Military Exercise at Fort Magsaysay in the Philippines. (U.S. Marine Corps/Matthew Casbarro)
In May 2017, a Filipino solder participates counterterrorism training in the U.S.—Philippines Balikatan Military Exercise at Fort Magsaysay in the Philippines. (U.S. Marine Corps/Matthew Casbarro)
In May 2017, a Filipino solder participates counterterrorism training in the U.S.—Philippines Balikatan Military Exercise at Fort Magsaysay in the Philippines. (U.S. Marine Corps/Matthew Casbarro)
In May 2017, a Filipino solder participates counterterrorism training in the U.S.—Philippines Balikatan Military Exercise at Fort Magsaysay in the Philippines. (U.S. Marine Corps/Matthew Casbarro)
Photo By: U.S. Marine Corps/Matthew Casbarro
VIRIN: 181104-D-BD104-028

ASEAN’s Challenge: Balancing Security and Liberty

Needless to say, the prospect of Southeast Asian militaries joining the fight against terrorism is by no means a foregone conclusion especially in a region with a difficult history of rule by the military.27 The prospect of a growing regional role in counterterrorism for ASEAN’s armed forces raises questions over how national governments are to avoid stepping on civil liberties at home even as they work to protect their citizens from terrorism and violence. Democratic transition in Southeast Asia has been patchy, uneven, and—as evidenced by the 2014 coup d’état in Thailand led by General (now Prime Minister) Prayut Chan-o-cha, the then-commander of the Royal Thai Army—prone to authoritarian reversal.28 Hence, even as Southeast Asian countries brace themselves for the likelihood of a growing role for their armed forces in counterterrorism, they ought to bear in mind the consequences such a development could have for civil liberties at home as well as for regional sensitivities abroad.

The likelihood of militarization is especially poignant for countries with a complicated military past, such as Indonesia. For example, the Indonesian military’s establishment of its counterterror unit Koopssusgab immediately reignited fears, unjustified or otherwise, over potential interference by the military once again in the country’s civilian affairs. On the other hand, there are regional sensitivities as well. As noted earlier, the possibility that ASEAN countries may soon find soldiers from other nations, including external powers, operating on their home soil cannot be ruled out. For instance, some studies have shown how persistent mutual distrust among ASEAN countries, the primacy of the deterrence logic, and their enduring preoccupation with sovereignty concerns have complicated and even hindered the implementation of humanitarian and search-and-rescue missions in the region.29 If the quest to establish deeper and more extensive intra-ASEAN collaboration in counterterrorism is likely to be hampered by these same reasons, what other impacts may arise when the armed forces of the ASEAN countries enter the fray. How affected countries and societies in need of external assistance are able to host foreign troops and to facilitate counterinsurgency operations without jeopardizing their sovereignty is likely to emerge as a key concern as ASEAN countries and their militaries cooperate to tackle the common challenge of terrorism in their neck of the woods. PRISM

Notes

1 Primrose Riordan, “Region facing ‘a Mosul of its own’ in Marawi,” The Australian, August 9, 2017, available at <https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/region-facing-a-mosul-of-its-own-in-marawi/news-story/e668d955fec0680474dabb16d53b9649>

2 See, for example, Tan See Seng, “After Marawi: Military’s Regional Role In Counter-Terrorism?— Analysis,” Eurasia Review, February 2, 2018, available at <https://www.eurasiareview.com/02022018-after-marawi-militarys-regional-role-in-counter-terrorism-analysis/>, and, See Seng Tan, “Countering Terrorism in ASEAN After Marawi: a Regional Role for the Military?” PacNet No. 11, February 2, 2018, available at <https://www.csis.org/analysis/pacnet-11-countering-terrorism-asean-after-marawi-regional-role-military>.

3 “Joint Statement by the ASEAN Defence Ministers on Countering Terrorism in ASEAN,” MINDEF Singapore, February 6, 2018, available at <https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/portal/mindef/news-and-events/latest-releases/article-detail/2018/february/06feb18_js>.

4 Kumar Ramakrishna and See Seng Tan, eds., After Bali: The Threat of Terrorism in Southeast Asia (Singapore: World Scientific, 2003); Andrew T. H. Tan, ed., A Handbook of Terrorism and Insurgency in Southeast Asia (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2007); Bruce Vaughn, Emma Chanlett-Avery, Ben Dolven, Mark E. Manyin, Michael F. Martin, and Larry A. Niksch, Terrorism in Southeast Asia, CRS Report for Congress, October 16, 2009, available at <https://fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RL34194.pdf>; and, Arabinda Acharya, Whither Southeast Asia Terrorism? (London: Imperial College Press, 2015).

5 Joseph Chinyong Liow, “Congressional Testimony: ISIL in the Pacific: Assessing Terrorism in Southeast Asia and the Threat to the Homeland,” Testimony before the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence Committee on Homeland Security United States House of Representatives, April 27, 2016, 6–7, available at <https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Liow-ISIL-in-the-Pacific-Full-Testimony.pdf>.

6 See, Marawi, the “East Asia Wilayah” and Indonesia, IPAC Report No. 38, July 21, 2017 (Jakarta: Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, 2017), available at <http://file.understandingconflict.org/file/2017/07/IPAC_Report_38.pdf>.

7 “Tunnels reveal terrorists’ ratlike tactics,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 27, 2017, available at <http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/940926/tunnels-reveal-terrorists-ratlike-tactics>. Jeoffrey Maintem, ‘Militants fighting in Marawi using gov’t-owned guns, says Army exec’, Philippine Daily Inquirer, September 15, 2017, available at <http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/930750/militants-fighting-in-marawi-using-govt-owned-guns-says-army-exec#ixzz57Bm8OLWr>.

8 Kumar Ramakrishna, “‘The Southeast Asian Approach’ to Counter-Terrorism: Learning from Indonesia and Malaysia,” The Journal of Conflict Studies, Vol. 25, No. 1 (2005), available at <https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/jcs/article/view/189/333 >.

9 Peter Chalk, Angel Rabasa, William Rosenau, and Leanne Piggott, The Evolving Terrorist Threat to Southeast Asia: A Net Assessment (Santa Monica, CA: National Defense Research Institute, RAND Corporation, 2009), 83.

10 See, Tan See Seng, “Military’s regional role in counter-terrorism,” New Straits Times, February 7, 2018, available at <https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2018/02/332838/militarys-regional-role-counter-terrorism>; and, Rohan Gunaratna, “Counterterrorism: ASEAN Militaries’ Growing Role,” RSIS Commentaries, CO18042, March 13, 2018, available at <http://www.rsis.edu.sg/rsis-publication/icpvtr/co18042-counterterrorism-asean-militaries-growing-role/#.WqoC_E0h33g>. On the other hand, there have been unconfirmed reports that Koopssusgab may just have been scrapped. Inaugurated in 2015 by General Moeldoko, then Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI), there has since been no mention of it whatsoever, including in the TNI official website. Although the Koopssusgab was supposed to be a new combined unit, it however effectively comprised old TNI anti-terror units established in the 1980s and early 1990s, such as Gultor-81 Komando Pasukan Khusus (Kopassus) TNI Angkatan Darat (established 1982), Detasemen Jala Mengkara (Denjaka) Marinir TNI Angkatan Laut (established 1984), and Satuan Bravo-90 Korps Pasukan Khas (Korpaskhas) TNI Angkatan Udara (established 1990). The author is indebted to Emirza Adi Syailendra for this information.

11 For a recent analysis of ADMM+ “mil to mil” exercises, see See Seng Tan, “The ADMM-Plus: Regionalism That Works?” Asia Policy, No. 22 (July 2016), 70–75.

12 Prashanth Parameswaran, “What Did the ASEAN Defense Chiefs Meeting in Singapore Achieve?” The Diplomat, March 8, 2018, available at <https://thediplomat.com/2018/03/what-did-the-asean-defense-chiefs-meeting-in-singapore-achieve/>.

13 Joseph Raymond Silva Franco, “Malaysia: Unsung Hero of the Philippine Peace Process,” Asian Security, Vol. 9, No. 3 (2013), pp. 211–230.

14 “Member states mark 10th anniversary of Malacca Straits Patrol,” Channel News Asia, April 21, 2016, available at <https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/member-states-mark-10th-anniversary-of-malacca-straits-patrol-8068218>.

15 Grace Guiang, “Are Minilaterals the Future of ASEAN security?” East Asia Forum, September 30, 2017, available at <http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2017/09/30/are-minilaterals-the-future-of-asean-security/#more-89218>.

16 Prashanth Parameswaran, “What’s Next for the New ASEAN ‘Our Eyes’ Intelligence Initiative?” The Diplomat, January 27, 2018, available at <https://thediplomat.com/2018/01/asean-launches-new-our-eyes-intelligence-initiative/>.

17 See Seng Tan, “A Tale of Two Institutions: The ARF, ADMM-Plus and Security Regionalism in the Asia Pacific,” Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol. 39, No. 2 (August 2017), 259–264.

18 Lim Yan Liang, “Singapore and China to deepen defence ties, cooperation,” The Straits Times, September 23, 2017, available at <http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/spore-and-china-to-deepen-defence-ties-cooperation>.

19 “Indonesia proposes ‘mini-Interpol’ plan to boost Asean counter-terrorism efforts,” The Straits Times, October 24, 2017, available at <http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/indonesia-proposes-mini-interpol-plan-to-boost-asean-counter-terrorism-efforts>.

20 Stewart Patrick, “The Unruled World: The Case for Good Enough Global Governance,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 39, No. 1 (January/February 2014), 58–73.

21 See, for example: Ralf Emmers, “ASEAN minus X: Should This Formula Be Extended?” RSIS Commentaries, No. CO17199, October 24, 2017, available at <https://www.rsis.edu.sg/rsis-publication/cms/co17199-asean-minus-x-should-this-formula-be-extended/#.Ws1_4k0h33g>; and Richard Javad Heydarian, “ASEAN needs to move to minilateralism,” East Asia Forum, December 5, 2017, available at <http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2017/12/05/asean-needs-to-move-to-minilateralism/>.

22 The ACCT was completely ratified by all ten ASEAN states in January 2013. For an analysis of counterterrorism law and policy in Southeast Asia, see, See Seng Tan and Hitoshi Nasu, “ASEAN and the Development of Counter-Terrorism Law and Policy in Southeast Asia,” UNSW Law Journal, Vol. 39, No. 3 (2016), 1219–1238.

23 As Dewi Fortuna Anwar, one of Indonesia’s leading political scientists, has cautioned about application of ASEAN-minus-X (or 10-X, as she calls it): “There are already those that have suggested that a more flexible sort of consensus should be taken in the realms of politics and security, similar to that in the economic realm that uses the 10-X formula, because the credibility of ASEAN will diminish if it too often fails to reach an agreement on strategic issues. Yet it must also be asked whether removing the consensus principle in politics and security matters, which are ‘high politics’ and related to the core interests of a nation that are often not negotiable, will truly strengthen ASEAN or not? What would happen if Indonesia had a different view from all the other ASEAN members on an issue it feels strongly about on principle, but because consensus is no longer needed, ASEAN can still make a decision with majority-rule that overrides Indonesia’s objections?” See, Dewi Fortuna Anwar, “Indonesia, ASEAN and Regional Stability,” Inaugural Lecture as a Member of the Social Science Commission of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences, February 16, 2017, 24.

24 Tan See Seng, “Singapore paving the way for greater regional security,” The Straits Times, February 23, 2018, available at <http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/singapore-paving-the-way-for-greater-regional-security>.

25 As declared in the “Joint Statement of the 15th ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces' Informal Meeting,” Singapore Ministry of Defence, March 8, 2018.

26 Eugene K. B. Tan, “Mutual trust is central in efforts to counter terrorism,” Today, June 24, 2017, available at <http://www.todayonline.com/commentary/commentary-mutual-trust-central-efforts-counter-terrorism >.

27 See, William Case, Contemporary Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia: Structures, Institutions and Agency (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2013); and, Marcus Mietzner, ed., The Political Resurgence of the Military in Southeast Asia: Conflict and Leadership (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2012).

28 See, William Case, “Low-quality democracy and varied authoritarianism: elites and regimes in Southeast Asia today,” The Pacific Review, Vol. 22, No. 3 (2009), 255–269; William Case, ed., Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Democratization (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2015); Lee Morgenbesser and Thomas B. Pepinsky, “Elections as Causes of Democratization: Southeast Asia in Comparative Perspective,” Comparative Political Studies, article first published online on February 27, 2018, available at <https://doi.org/10.1177/0010414018758763>; Clark D. Neher, “Democratization in Southeast Asia,” Asian Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Fall, 1991), 139–152; Erik Paul, Obstacles to Democratization in Southeast Asia: A Study of the Nation State, Regional and Global Order (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010); and, Sorpong Peou, “The Limits and Potential of Liberal Democratization in Southeast Asia,” Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Vol. 33, No. 3 (2014), 19–47.

29 Needless to say, these efforts have not been without their challenges. See, Dylan Ming Hui Loh, “ASEAN’s norm adherence and its unintended consequences in HADR and SAR operations,” The Pacific Review, Vol. 29, No. 4 (2016), pp. 549–572; and, Alan Chong and Jun Yan Chang, “Security competition by proxy: Asia Pacific interstate rivalry in the aftermath of the MH370 incident,” Global Change, Peace & Security, Vol. 28, No. 1 (2016), 75–98.

 


 

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