Asia’s Security Scenario Securing Asia 2013


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Mr. Maroof Raza, Mentor, Security Watch India Author & Media Commentator

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Asia’s Security Scenario Securing Asia 2013

  1. 1. ASIA’s SECURITY SCENARIO By Maroof Raza
  2. 2. Facets of Asian Threats & Terrorism • The first is of indigenous origin, driven by poor governance, corruption, ethnic inequalities, denominational differences, a sense of persecution and in some cases as a ‘state sponsored’ menace. (Examples: India’s Maoists movement, Pakistan’s Pashtun disaffection and persecution of the Balochis; the anti Sunni stance of the Iranian Governments; ethnic disparities in Central Asia; China’s persecution of ethnic and religious sections, and the Sunni-Shia divide and intolerance of Wahabi culture in Saudi Arabia). • Secondly, tansnational terrorism is being used by some as an instrument of policy by certain powers. For example: Pakistan’s support for terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir and terrorist attacks on India cities, such as Mumbai; US/Israeli support and use of Jundullah to undermine Iranian Government; Iranian support for the uprising in Bahrain; acts of terrorism against Israel supported by an assortment of Arab States; Pakistani support of the Taliban in the war in Afghanistan; Al-Qaeda’s Pan Islamic designs against many countries such as India, and most Central Asian Republics.
  3. 3. The Threat of Terrorism • Terrorism impacts the stability and unity of a country, and is much larger than other traditional law and order issues. Terrorist organisations have taken control of the major drug producing areas in Asia (Afghanistan and South-East Asia) that provides the means to finance their strategy and operations. This makes them inter-dependent on prevailing organised crime syndicates. In exchange, terrorist organisations provide organised crime syndicates protection and sanctuary from security agencies, thus dangerously undermining the stability and internal security of the countries in which they operate. • The deeply entrenched terrorist and organised crime nexus in Asia has serious repercussions on the ability of states to manage their internal security problems. A benign security environment is crucial to attract and deploy investment that furthers national growth. To achieve this, Asian states are constrained to create and deploy a large law and order apparatus that causes exceptional strains on national budgets. For example China spent more on police and domestic surveillance in 2011 than its defence budget, a phenomenon that is fast spreading even into the robust Asian economic powers. • In Asia, unlike the Western democracies, the military is generally deployed to tackle highly organised terrorist organisations. In the Philippines and Indonesia it is felt that the military’s role should increase to help restore order in the midst of domestic disorder. Bangladesh, China, India, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and most Central Asian States have committed their militaries to suppress and eliminate terrorism.
  4. 4. Confronting Terrorism in Asia • However, just eliminating terrorism is not sufficient to create a stable internal security environment. Simultaneous action is required to eliminate elements that engender circumstances for the rise of terrorist groups. These fall into four primary categories: a) First is the imperative to eradicate organized crime, in all its manifestations. b) Second, carry out reforms to improve social, economic and political institutions. c) Third, review national doctrines to maintain law and order and reorganize and modernize judicial and police forces to effectively deal with law and order issues. d) Fourth, is the area of non-traditional security threats, in non-military sources, such as, cross-border environmental degradation and resource depletion, infectious diseases, natural disasters, irregular migration, food shortages, and other forms of trans-national crimes. • There is a steady broadening of factors that has to be taken into account by a state in formulating and executing security policy. Other domestic agencies involved today in internal security management include the media, public opinion, and think tanks. These are secondary factors but increasingly influential in security-policy making. • The growing security threats to China and India, the two Asian giants, requires special attention as the stability and industrial progress of Asia largely depends on the stability of these two countries and the influence they may have on the security environment of Asia is greatly shaped by their policies towards each other and their regional alignments. For the purposes of this study, Asia has been divided into: a) North Asian, (b) Southeast Asia, (c) South Asia, (d) Central Asia and (e) West Asia.
  5. 5. Map of North East Asia
  6. 6. NORTH EAST ASIA: • COUNTRIES: China, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan • Although North Asia has some of the most developed nations in the world (Japan, South Korea and Taiwan), its less developed states (North Korea) are plagued by poor governance, corruption, a sense of persecution, and ethnic inequalities in its population. • Whereas the more affluent states witness organized crime by transnational groups, intra-regional relations are uneasy because of China’s aggressive policies. Terrorism could also manifests in North-East Asia most visibly by Islamic fundamentalist groups.
  7. 7. Map of South East Asia
  8. 8. South East Asia: Threats • Southeast Asia is geographically divided into two sub-regions: Mainland Southeast Asia (or Indochina) comprising Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Peninsular Malaysia; and Maritime Southeast Asia comprising East Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and East Timor. • The primary factors that threaten regional security and stability are : Diverse ethnicity, terrorism, secessionism, insurgencies, piracy, extraordinary maritime centric ungoverned spaces, inadequacy of state machinery to cope with aberrations in prevailing law and order situation, drug-trafficking and related national and trans-national organised crime. • Terrorists groups such as the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) have flourished, often using conflict territories as safe havens to establish their training camps and bases of support. So much so, that the 9/11 Commission Report designated Southeast Asia as a terrorist sanctuary, and a second front in the US Global War on Terror (GWOT).
  9. 9. S.E. Asia :Insurgencies • Most South East Asian states are ripe for and are experiencing insurgencies aimed at overthrowing the constituted government through the use of subversion and armed conflict. • Guerrilla warfare, intermittent conventional military methods, and terror tactics are employed to gain control of territory and the populace in order to create liberated zones and establish a counter-state. South East Asian insurgents utilise the space provided by the many ungoverned territories to achieve their objectives by undermining state and regional security. • The region is inundated by poorly controlled land or maritime borders because of which, the central government’s authority is eroded dangerously or does not extend to parts of the country. Consequently these are either conducive to insurgent or terrorist presence, or are ungovernable areas where despite the structures of state authority, they tend to remain outside the jurisdiction of the government, especially in their maritime extended economic zones
  10. 10. Map of South Asia
  11. 11. South Asia: Battles Within • Long running secessionist movements have vitiated stability in states and of the region, such as: Kashmiri separatism in India’s Jammu & Kashmir; Balochistan and Pashtun problems in Pakistan; until recently the Sinhala- Tamil clashes in Sri Lanka ,and the Khalistan movement in Punjab in India in the 1980s. • These internal conflicts challenge the region’s economic viability, and seriously undermine the social conditions necessary to ensure stability. They lead to problems such as human rights violations, displacement and poverty that engender further escalation of violence. • The more recent turmoil in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region (Af-Pak) is significant in the larger context of internal security and stability of the region. Since 1947, Afghanistan has demanded that the NWFP must become a part of an independent “Pashtunistan”. All official Afghanistan maps depict the area between the Khyber Pass and the Indus River including Baluchistan as “Pashtunistan”. This dispute poses a potential threat to the stability of the region, beyond the current instability and the NATO versus Taliban fights in Afghanistan.
  12. 12. Afghanistan Maoist Taliban
  13. 13. Map of Central Asia
  14. 14. Central Asia: Stability & Security • The management of internal security and stability of the Central Asian states is undermined by external pressures engendered by its significant geo- strategic location. It is the hub that connects the strategic interests of three major global powers: the US, China and Russia, and the newly emerging Pan- Islamic aspirations of the Muslim countries located to its South. The abundance of strategic energy reserves and subsurface strategic resources in and around the region; shift of the US strategic security focus from Europe to Asia; westward expansion of NATO; unstable nature of Southern Russia and western provinces of China; the predominantly Muslim composition of the peoples; all contribute to increasing international interference, which vitiates the internal security and stability of the Central Asian states. • Creating a common regional security architecture is difficult for a number of reasons: first, the Central Asian states perceive threats to their security and stability differently and apply disparate approaches to mitigate them; second; some threats are country specific and require individual, not collective responses; third, the nature and intensity of external threats are unequal; fourth, disparate military and law and order systems and structures preclude a common security structure; fifth; incongruence in socioeconomic security are difficult to balance; and, sixth, intra-regional rivalry has yet to be contained sufficiently to generate the levels of trust necessary for a common regional security structure.
  15. 15. Anti Russia Terror Group/US nato operation in Afghanistan US NATO operation in Afghanistan Chians Xinxiang region & Taliban in afpack region
  16. 16. Map of West Asia
  17. 17. West Asia: Terror Threats • Countries in the region: Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Armenia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Qatar, United Arab Republics, Israel and Egypt (only partially) • Terrorist groups in the Middle East have diverse origins, ideologies, and organisational structures, but can be roughly classified as traditional and new generation groups. • The former, such as the PLO, date back to the 1960-70s era, are relatively bureaucratic, maintain a nationalist agenda, and are partly supported by states such as Syria, Libya, and Iran. The new-generation groups of the 1980-90s eras are flexible and hold a radical Islamic ideology, such as Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Hezbollah, Algeria’s Armed Islamic Group (GIA), the Egyptian Islamic Group (IG), and Al Qaeda are the most active terrorist organisations in and around the region.
  18. 18. Palestine Rebels for Syria
  19. 19. THANK YOU