The terrorist threat in the Asia-Pacific: The current situation and how it can be improved

Andrew T H Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there has been mixed progress in the U.S.-led Global War on Terror. In Southeast Asia, the situation in Indonesia has improved due to the successes of Indonesian counter-terrorism efforts in 2007. However, the situation in places such as Sulawesi, Maluku, and Aceh remains fragile due to the failure of post-conflict reconstruction. The situation in the southern Philippines has improved due to ongoing peace negotiations, but the main threat has come from smaller radical groups. However, circumstances in southern Thailand have deteriorated due to gross mismanagement by the government. In China, the spread of radical ideology through Central Asia has galvanized the ETIM separatists, who have shown renewed signs of vigor. The key challenge for counter-terrorism is in dealing with the increasing operational effectiveness of local groups. Countering terrorism requires the recognition that the roots of Muslim alienation lie in local political, economic, and social issues and conflicts. It requires a comprehensive approach, focusing on winning hearts and minds, building consensus against terrorism, and global cooperation, all of which takes time and effort to bear fruit, thus requiring patience and a long-term perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-213
Number of pages15
JournalKorean Journal of Defense Analysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008
Externally publishedYes


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