Transnational Security Challenges in Southeast Asia: The Need for Multinational Military Cooperation and Coordination in ASEAN   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Abstract: "Recently, the association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has accelerated the process of realizing a closer-knit ASEAN community by 2015 through implementing holistic and synergistic solutions with an emphasis on military cooperation. Economic development and political stability in the region facilitate the expansion of a cooperative agenda defense which has been marked by the inception of regular sessions of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus. However, the military cooperation sphere is considered to be lagging behind and remains a domain waiting for improvement. This thesis ascertains that there is a need for stronger and closer military cooperation and coordination under the ASEAN framework in order to address transnational security challenges in the region. It starts by highlighting key ASEAN security architectures, major developments, and predominant patterns of military ties in Southeast Asia. This research then scrutinizes the strategic context surrounding ASEAN military cooperative practices by closely looking at each member country's perspective on security cooperation. The strategic importance of ASEAN's geographic location and its combined military capabilities as well as the serious security issues that confront the region are examined. Analyses of two case studies - the international search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370, and the Malacca Strait Patrols, are presented as a way to identify the benefits that multilateral military cooperation in ASEAN can create and the obstacles to such an approach. The thesis concludes by asserting that multilateral military cooperation under the ASEAN framework is necessary to tackle transnational security issues in the region."

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