Partners Prone to Terror: Conditions for Terrorism in the Asia-Pacific Region

Authored by:  Daniel T. Murphy

INTRODUCTION

In January 2012, the Pentagon announced that the U.S. military would begin to shrink the Army and Marine Corps, reduce forces in Europe, and make further cuts to our nation’s nuclear arsenal.  We will depend “more on coalitions with allies and avoid the large-scale counterinsurgency and nation-building operations that have marked the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” and shift focus to the Asia Pacific region to “counter China’s rising influence and North Korea’s unpredictability.”[1]  Whether our refocus from Southwest Asia to the Asia Pacific region is the result of our “country’s dire fiscal problems,”[2] our reduced dependence on Middle Eastern oil,[3] or OEF/OIF battle fatigue,[4] we are coming to terms with the fact that our geographic and operational worlds will significantly change.

As we move into our new neighborhood, we will be watching China develop into a peer competitor or near-peer competitor in the coming years.[5]  We will continue to build strong partnerships with countries like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, who today are casting nervous glances in the direction of Beijing.  We will also continue to cooperate with next-tier countries like Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, who are vying for territory, energy and other natural resources in the region.[6]  While some of these countries have competing interests, they are, in general, peaceful with one-another, growth-oriented and modernizing.  In the words of Freedom House, “Over the past five years, the Asia-Pacific region has been the only one to record steady gains in political rights and civil liberties. Although (the region) is home to China, where over half the world’s Not Free population lives, and North Korea, the least free country in the world, a number of Asia-Pacific countries have made impressive gains in the institutions of electoral democracy—elections, political parties, pluralism—and in freedom of association.”[7]  In other words, Asia Pacific is not the land of Wahhabists, IEDs, and disenfranchised youth educated in hatred.  So, as we shift operations from Southwest Asia to the Asia Pacific region, are we finally leaving terrorism in the rearview mirror?

Unfortunately not.  Terrorism will still matter. The United States is pivoting from Southwest Asia to the Asia Pacific region because we believe that is where conflict may occur in the near future.  And, if conflict does escalate in the region, terrorism will certainly be a component, because terrorism, in today’s world, has been proven effective.  Terrorism is not an alternative to armed conflict.  Rather, it is a tactic of armed conflict.  This paper will show that the conditions under which terrorism thrive are very present throughout the Asia Pacific region.

WHERE TERRORISM PREVAILS

In his 2003 book, State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror, author Robert Rotberg compares strong states, where terrorism and other forms of violence struggle to take root, and weak states where violence prevails.  According to Rotberg, strong states control their territories, and deliver a full range of political goods to their citizens.  They typically have a relatively high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, and score relatively high on the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index (HDI), on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI), and on the Freedom House Freedom Index.  They offer reasonably high levels of security, political freedom, civil liberties, education, healthcare, and public services, and they foster environments conducive to economic opportunity.[8]

In contrast, weak states typically harbor ethnic, religious, linguistic and other tensions that may or may not have evolved into overt violence.  Urban crime rates are typically high and on the rise.  The government’s ability to provide political goods is diminished or diminishing.  Physical infrastructure, schools, hospitals, transportation and communications networks show signs of deterioration. GDP per capita and other economic indicators have fallen or are falling, corruption is on the rise, and government leadership (whether elected or non-elected) grows more despotic.[9]

The Asia Pacific region has several strong states with whom we closely cooperate.  These states include: Australia; New Zealand; Japan; South Korea and Taiwan.  While these countries, like the United States, may endure future terrorist attacks, they are unlikely to become weak states in the near future.  They are the countries with whom we know we will continue to partner.  Yet, there are other potential partners in the region.  Our National Security Strategy directs us to build “new and deeper partnerships in every region.”[10]  Collaboration is similarly emphasized in our National Defense Strategy,[11] in our National Military Strategy,[12] and in all strategy documents down to the combatant command level.  PACOM’s regional strategy says we will “strengthen and expand relationships with allies and partners.”[13]  And the Pentagon said in January 2012, that we would depend “more on coalitions with allies.”[14]   The question is – With which states should we partner?  As we select future allies in the Asia Pacific region, it will be beneficial for us to know which states are likely to be strong states, and which states will most likely be prone to weakness and violence.  To present the challenge in very real terms – As we transition operations to the Asia Pacific region, should we “return” to the Philippines, as many are predicting we will?  Or, will our troops and resources be less exposed to terrorism if we return to Vietnam instead?

PARTNERS PRONE TO TERROR

The remainder of this paper is a comparative review of the less strong states in Asia Pacific with whom we could additionally partner.  Specifically, this section will, objectively and subjectively, address conditions of instability in the following eight countries (presented alphabetically): Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.  The intention is to identify which of these countries may be more or less prone to violence – especially terrorism – in the near future.  Along with Rotberg’s recommendation to compare GDP, HDI, CPI and Freedom Index, I have added Foreign Policy magazine’s Failed State Index, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU’s) Underlying Vulnerability and Economic Distress Scores, the World Bank’s Labor Force Participation Rate, and the CIA’s Unemployment Rate and Poverty Rate.

Brunei

Looking first at the indexes suggested by Rotberg, Brunei measures up well against the other seven countries.  Brunei’s HDI score is .838.  Of the eight countries, only Singapore scores higher.[15]   On the CPI, Brunei scores a 55, which is in the middle of the pack.[16]  Based on its Civil Liberty score of five and Political Rights score of six, Brunei is less free than all of the other counties except Vietnam on the Freedom Index.[17]  Brunei has the second best score (64.1) after Singapore on the Foreign Policy Failed States ranking,[18] is second highest in GDP Per Capita at $49,500, and has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the region at 2.7 percent.[19]   Based on the numbers, Brunei seems to be a country that is less prone to terror.  The country has been ruled by a Sultanate from the same family for more than six centuries, has extensive offshore petroleum and natural gas fields, and has been called “the world’s most stable macro-economy” by the World Economic Forum.[20]

There are certainly some things working against Brunei.  Brunei’s economy is highly dependent on the energy sector, and is therefore highly vulnerable to fluctuations in oil and gas prices.[21]  During the next twenty years, Brunei’s oil reserves will be depleted.  In thirty years, the country’s natural-gas resources will also be depleted.  The government’s Wawasan Brunei 2035 strategic plan recognizes that, without a transition to a non-energy-based economy, “a much less pleasant future for Brunei could await.”[22]  The plan is to transition the country to become a “regional trading and financial hub – a mini Singapore with an enterprising, knowledge-based economy.”[23]  Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah recently said, “We seek to diversify our economy by promoting investment, increasing food self-sufficiency, encouraging opportunities for women and maintaining high standards of governance in public and private sectors.”[24]  While the country’s economic vision is well defined, the question is whether it can be achieved.  According to one Financial Times analyst, “Efforts to diversify have met with only limited success.  As with many oil-rich economies, there is often little incentive to nurture homegrown products and industries when there are plenty of funds being generated by the energy sector to pay for imports.”[25]

In addition, the U.S. State Department continues to be concerned that terrorist groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), based in nearby Indonesia, may have the capability to carry out attacks in Brunei.[26]  Brunei is China’s fastest growing supplier of crude oil, currently at 71,796 barrels per year, up 565.7% from 2009.[27]  Indirect terror attacks against Brunei’s energy infrastructure would certainly get the attention of China and other countries dependent on that supply.  Brunei would be the target of terror, but China and other importers of Brunei crude would be the targets of influence.[28]  Still, Brunei’s indices are mostly positive, and the country has thus far not endured terrorist attack.  Thus, Brunei may be less prone to terror than some of its neighbors.

Indonesia

The indicators for Indonesia tell a different story.  Of the eight countries, Indonesia scores in the bottom three in all areas: .617 on the HDI;[29] 32 on the CPI;[30] a three and a two in the Civil Liberties an Political Rights dimensions of the Freedom Index; [31] 6.7 in Underlying Vulnerability and a 7 in Economic Distress on the EIU Democracy Index;[32] 80.6 on the Failed States Index;[33] $4,700 in GDP Per Capita; and 6.6 percent unemployment.[34]

In 2002, JI conducted a terror attack against two crowded nightclubs in Bali, killing 202 people, including seven Americans.  In 2004, JI exploded a car bomb outside the Australian embassy in Kuningan District, South Jakarta, killing nine people, and wounding more than 150. The Bali and Jakarta attacks triggered a nationwide crackdown and an internationally backed upgrade of the country’s counterterrorism capabilities.  Western countries helped Indonesia build a new terrorist-investigation police squad known as Detachment 88, and the country modernized its legal code to improve targeting and prosecution of terrorist groups.  While there have been no major attacks by JI in Indonesia since 2009, there have been regular arrests of members of lesser groups planning and carrying out smaller attacks.

As recently as October 27, 2012, Indonesian police arrested eleven people suspected of planning a series of terrorist attacks on targets in Indonesia, including the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, the Australian Embassy, a U.S. mining company in Jakarta, and the police mobile brigade headquarters in Central Java.[35]   Like Brunei, Indonesia is one of China’s fastest growing importers of crude oil, currently ranked seventh, at 441,256 barrels per year, up 132.3% from 2009[36] – Again, a lucrative target for an extremist group seeking to exert influence using an indirect terrorism model.  Indonesia would be the target of terror, but China and other importers of Indonesian crude would be the targets of influence.

When thinking about terrorism and insurgency in archipelagic nations such as Indonesia, analysts must step back and assess how the environment could potentially evolve.  For example, consider a situation where Indonesia suffers consecutive years of economic recession, shrinking GDP, and shrinking government revenues.  Budgetary constraints prevent the government from continuing expenditures on public works and welfare programs, and the populace becomes anxious.  JI and several secessionist groups regain operational traction throughout the islands.  Using tactics learned from wars in the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, and the Nigerian Delta, they determine to strike out against oil and gas infrastructure and against international shipping that passes through multiple chokepoints just a few miles from the coastline.  Using lessons learned from the Sri Lankan Civil War, the insurgents construct tiny navies “created out of fiberglass and willpower.”  They purchase inexpensive recreational powerboats and 250-horsepower outboard motors on the commercial market, and they purchase hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS) units from Amazon.com.  They obtain anti-ship missiles from a nation state sponsor, and they purchase or construct mines to deploy quietly at night.  According to Naval War College professor Paul Povlock, “None of these vessels will be transformational or win any prizes for naval architecture, but they will be good enough to get the job done.”  And, the psychological effect of a newscast showing the sinking of Indonesian, Malaysian or Philippine naval vessels and commercial shipping will be significant.  The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) “Sea Tigers” carried on a similar naval war for twenty-five years in a battle space less permissive than the archipelagoes of the South Pacific.  According to Povlock, future maritime insurgents will be “aggressive in exploiting the maritime boundaries of fragile states.”[37]

Indonesia’s indices are comparatively negative, and the country has already suffered a major terrorist attack.  Thus, Indonesia may be more prone to terror than some of its neighbors.

Malaysia

The indices suggest Malaysia is somewhere in the middle of the pack – Neither more nor less prone to terrorism.  Malaysia is among the middle three countries on the HDI (.761),[38] the CPI (49),[39] and the Freedom Index, scoring fours in the Civil Liberties and Political Rights dimensions.  Malaysia also scores in the middle on the Failed States Index (68.5)[40] and in GDP Per Capita ($16,200).[41]  The country scores low on the EIU Democracy Index with a 7.1 in Underlying Vulnerability and a 6 in Economic Distress.[42]  The unemployment rate is relatively high (3.1 percent), the poverty rate relatively low (3.8 percent), and the Labor Force Participation Percentage low (61 percent).[43]

Unlike neighboring Indonesia, Malaysia has not had a spectacular terrorist attack like the Bali nightclub bombing.  Yet, Malaysia has had its share of extremist activity in the last decade.  The Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM) or Malaysian Mujahedeen Movement, is a radical group that is trying to overthrow the Malaysian government, and wants to establish a pan-regional Islamic state, comprising Malaysia, Indonesia and the southern Philippines.  While Malaysian authorities have captured many KMM members since 2001, smaller, more violent extremist groups have split from the organization.  In late 2011, police arrested thirteen suspected terrorists in the town of Tawau on the east coast of north Borneo.  The group included seven Malaysians, five Indonesians and a Filipino who were allegedly planning a terrorist attack using small arms and targeting foreigners.[44]  The Naval War College continues to wargame a scenario (unclassified) where an Islamic nationalist warlord in Malaysia’s Kalimantan province overthrows the provincial government, seeks to unite Borneo under a single Islamic flag, and marches west across the island to take control of the oil from Sabah and Sarawak provinces.[45]

Malaysia’s pro-Malay affirmative action program has also contributed to a potential terror-prone environment.  In 2011, Prime Minister Najib Razak hinted that the issue could cause Malaysia to become as destabilized as Egypt.   The policy, which began in the early 1970s, was intended to reduce poverty among the indigenous Malaysian Bumiputra population, and to speed up the redistribution of wealth from Chinese-Malaysians and Indian-Malaysians to Bumiputras.  As a result, an estimated 60 percent of Bumiputras who found employment between 1971 and 2000 were hired through state-interventionist policies.  And, while Bumiputras comprise only 65 percent of the population, they make up 95 percent of the Malaysian civil service, which is the largest and best paid in Asia.  Companies in some industries are required to reserve at least 30 per cent of their equity for Bumiputras, and many are required to have a Bumiputra business partner.  Special bank loans are created exclusively for Bumiputra-owned businesses, and all banks are required to reserve at least 20 percent of their lending for Bumiputras.  “Especially galling for other Malaysians is the preference given to Malay firms in the government procurement sectors: a real prize given the size of the public sector in the economy.”  Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large said racial conflict in Malaysia was a “distinct possibility.”[46]

Some have argued that, with the exception of some “mopping up operations” in the east, the War on Terror in Malaysia has been won.[47]  That is probably an overly optimistic assessment for Malaysia.  While the indicators don’t blink red for Malaysia, neither are they green.  Thus, Malaysia remains in the middle of the pack of eight countries.

Papua New Guinea

The indicators for Papua New Guinea certainly do blink red.  Of the eight countries, Papua New Guinea scores at the bottom on the HDI (.466),[48] at the bottom of the CPI (25),[49] and in the middle range on the Freedom Index, scoring a three in Civil Liberties and a four in Political Rights. [50]  The country scores low on the EIU Democracy Index with a 5.8 in Underlying Vulnerability and an 8 in Economic Distress,[51] lowest of the eight on the Failed States Index (83.7),[52] and lowest in GDP Per Capita ($2,500).  Papua New Guinea has a high poverty rate (37 percent),[53] low unemployment rate (1.9 percent), and high Labor Force Participation Percentage (72 percent).[54]

The Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, abbreviated OPM) is an extremist organization established in 1965 to overthrow the governments in the Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia, and to eliminate non-native populations from the island.  OPM is a secessionist, rather than an Islamist group, and has not conducted any large-scale Bali-like attacks on the island.  However, OPM continues to conduct small attacks, even in recent months.  In April 2012, members of OPM attacked a civilian aircraft flown by Trigana Air while it was taxiing at Mulia Airport on Puncak Jaya, Papua.  The attack caused the aircraft to crash, and resulted in a fatality and four others being injured.  In November 2012, OPM claimed responsibility for killing three police officers in the Papua district of Lanny Jaya.[55]  And, in December 2012, members of OPM were involved in an hour-long shootout with security forces in Pirime district.  According to an OPM commander-in-chief, “hundreds of the movement’s members had besieged the capital of Lanny, Tiom Jaya to fight for the separation of Papua from Indonesia.”[56]

Indicators of violence are blinking red in Papua New Guinea.  Terrorist attacks have been happening regularly and recently, and there is no indication that they will soon abate.   The country is an excellent example of how, if the social and economic conditions are ripe for terrorism, terrorism will occur.  In the case of Papua New Guinea, the local security forces are the targets of terror, and the regional governments are the targets of influence.  The intention is to demonstrate the vulnerability of the central government.

Philippines

The Constraint Indicators for the Philippines are generally negative.  Of the eight countries, the Philippines scores in the middle three on the HDI at .644,[57] on the CPI (34),[58] and on the Freedom Index, scoring a three and a three in Civil Liberties and a three in Political Rights. [59]  The Philippines scores low on the EIU Democracy Index, with a 4.6 in Underlying Vulnerability and 9 in Economic Distress.[60]  The country scores low on the Failed States Index (83.2),[61] low in GDP Per Capita ($4,100), has a high Poverty Rate (26.5 percent),[62] high Unemployment Rate (3 percent), and a low Labor Force Participation Percentage (64 percent).[63]

The Philippine government faces threats from multiple terrorist organizations. Manila is engaged in decades long struggles against the ethnic Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the southern Philippines, and the Maoist-inspired New People’s Army insurgency throughout the country. In 2002, Abu Sayyaf conducted a mass kidnapping at an upscale resort.  Two Americans were killed in the attack.  One was beheaded.  As recent as July 2012, twelve Philippine soldiers were killed in Basilan in an attack on an Abu Sayyaf encampment. [64]

In the months after September 11, 2001, U.S. forces began working alongside Philippine military forces to eradicate the Abu Sayyaf terrorist organization and other al-Qaida-affiliated groups in southern Mindanao.  The Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF) put in place after the attack has had significant successes.  As of late 2012, there are perhaps a few hundred terrorists remaining in the region.  Most terrorist leaders have been killed, and terrorist movements have been confined primarily to the dense jungles on the islands of Jolo and Basilan.  U.S. forces have been reduced from a high of 600 in 2010, to about 400.[65]  And, in October 2012, the Aquino administration signed a peace agreement with the MILF establishing a new autonomous region that will be administered by Muslims in Mindanao.[66]

While JSOTF has had significant success in the Philippines, and while the government has signed a peace agreement with one of the largest insurgent groups, the counter-terrorism effort in the south remains “a work in progress, with the rugged terrain and hundreds of miles of shoreline making the area difficult to police.”[67] The Philippines remain a country more prone to terrorist attacks.  Similar to Indonesia and Malaysia, the Philippines is an archipelagic environment where a “fiberglass and willpower” maritime insurgency could flourish.[68]  And, as evidenced by the 2012 Scarborough Reef incident, the country also faces increased tension with China over disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea.[69]

Singapore

The indicators for Singapore are positive across the board.  Of the eight countries, Singapore scores highest on the HDI (.866),[70] highest on the CPI (34),[71] and in the middle range on the Freedom Index, scoring fours in the Civil Liberties and Political Rights dimensions. [72]  Singapore scores high on the EIU Democracy Index, with a 3.3 in Underlying Vulnerability and a 6 in Economic Distress,[73] highest (best) on the Failed States Index (35.6),[74] and highest in GDP Per Capita ($59,700).  The country essentially has zero poverty,[75] the Second Lowest Unemployment Rate (2 percent), and a middle-range Labor Force Participation Percentage (67 percent).[76]

Singapore has not had any significant terror attack since 1991, when four Pakistani nationals hijacked Singapore Airlines Flight 117, and demanded the release of Pakistan Peoples Party members from Pakistani jails.  Singapore’s Special Operations Force stormed the aircraft, killed the hijackers and freed the passengers and crew.  In 2001, fifteen members of JI were arrested for planning embassy attacks in Singapore and against U.S. Navy targets in the country.  The government made an additional twenty-four arrests 2002.  Since that time, Singapore has become a model for counter-terrorism planning.  In 2006, authorities conducted a large-scale emergency preparedness exercise named Northstar V, which included twenty-two agencies, 2,000 emergency personnel, 3,400 civilian commuters, and a simulated terrorist bomb attack on subway and bus stations. The exercise simulated five hundred mock casualties caused by explosions and chemical agents.[77]  Singapore’s indicators, thirty-year track record, and proactive stance make the country less prone to terror attacks.

Thailand

Like Malaysia, Thailand is in the middle of the pack of eight – Neither more nor less prone to terrorism.  Thailand is among the middle three countries on the HDI (.682),[78] on the CPI (37),[79] on the Freedom Index, scoring fours in the Civil Liberties and Political Rights dimensions, and in GDP Per Capita ($9,400). [80]  Thailand scores low on the EIU Democracy Index with a 7.1 in Underlying Vulnerability and a 7 in Economic Distress,[81] and is in the lower three on the Failed States Index (77).[82]   The unemployment rate is relatively low (less than one percent), the poverty rate low (8.1 percent), and the Labor Force Participation Percentage high (72 percent).[83]

While the indices suggest Thailand may be less prone to terrorism, reality says otherwise.  Terrorist attacks have been occurring with increasing frequency in the southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala since January 2004, and more than 5,000 people have been killed.  In September 2011, suspected Muslim insurgents detonated three bombs in Sungai Kolok in Narathiwat province, killing four people and leaving more than 60 wounded.  In October, insurgents staged coordinated attacks at more than thirty locations in Yala city, killing three, and injuring more than fifty. In April 2012, insurgents killed fourteen people and wounded 340 with car bombs that targeted Saturday shoppers and a high-rise hotel frequented by foreign tourists, also in Yala city.  An initial set of explosives planted inside a parked pickup truck destroyed an area of restaurants and shops.  Twenty minutes later, as onlookers gathered at the blast site, a second car bomb exploded, causing the majority of casualties.  Eleven were killed and 110 wounded. [84]

The Thai government has imposed a state of emergency since 2005, giving security forces special powers to arrest and detain suspects in the three provinces.  Yet, the violence continues.  The insurgents have not made public pronouncements but are thought to be fighting for an independent Muslim state.  Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani are the only Muslim-dominated provinces in the predominantly Buddhist country.   The three provinces were part of an Islamic sultanate until they were annexed by Thailand in the early twentieth century.[85]   While Thailand’s indicators suggest a Singapore-like environment that is less prone to terrorism, real-world events, especially in the southern provinces prove otherwise.  Amongst the eight countries, Thailand is a country more prone to terrorism.

Vietnam

Vietnam’s indicators are similar to Indonesia’s, scoring in the bottom three on the HDI (.593),[86] and CPI (31).[87]  Of the eight countries, Vietnam is the only communist state, and scores lowest on the Freedom Index, with a five and a seven in the Civil Liberties and Political Rights dimensions. [88]  Vietnam scores high on the EIU Democracy Index with a 2.5 in Underlying Vulnerability and a 6 in Economic Distress,[89] and in the middle three on the Failed States Index (74).[90]  Vietnam’s GDP Per Capita is low ($3,400).  The Poverty Rate (14.5 percent) and Unemployment Rate (3.6 percent) are in the middle of the pack, and the Labor Force Participation Percentage (77 percent) high.[91]

Vietnam has one small terrorist group called the Free Vietnam Revolutionary Group (FVRG) dedicated to ridding Vietnam of communism. The group has attempted embassy attacks in Bangkok and Manila (but not in Vietnam itself), and has been described as the armed wing of the Government of Free Vietnam Movement, which is headquartered in the United States.[92]  The indices suggest Vietnam should be more prone to terrorism.  In reality, the totalitarian nature of the regime likely makes the country a difficult place for terrorism to take root.

CONCLUSION

Putting aside the strong states in the Asia Pacific region with whom the United States military will surely continue to cooperate (Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and Taiwan), this paper provided a comparative review of the less strong states.  As we select future allies in the region, we will certainly need to select from the pool of eight states described in this paper – Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.  We can certainly be friendly with all eight.  However, with our finite resources, we need to prioritize which countries in the region with whom we will most closely interoperate.  We can benefit by having an informed point-of-view on those countries.  The indices provide a quantitative comparison of the eight countries.  The anecdotal or qualitative information helps complete the picture.  And, in some cases (Thailand, for example), the qualitative information helps correct the picture.

The study suggests that, of the eight countries, two countries, Brunei and Singapore, may be less prone to terrorism.  Three countries, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Thailand (specifically in the southern provinces) may be more prone to terrorism.  And three countries, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, are somewhere in the middle.  This is valuable information for PACOM leadership and our diplomats in Asia Pacific to keep in mind as we seek to “strengthen and expand relationships with allies and partners,”[93] as we try to separate the potential helpers from the potential need-to-be-helped countries, and as we seek to understand where our valuable human resources and equipment will likely be exposed to greater or lesser risk.

APPENDIX

table

TABLE NOTES

1.  Foreign Policy Failed States Index 2012, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/failed_states_index_2012_interactive, last accessed December 7, 2012.

2.  Democracy Index 2011, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), https://www.eiu.com/public/topical_report.aspx?campaignid=DemocracyIndex2011, last accessed December 17, 2012.

3.  ibid.

4.  UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) 2012, United Nations Development Programme, http://hdr.undp.org/en/data/profiles/, last accessed December 7, 2012. 

5.  Corruption Perception Index 2012, Transparency International, http://www.transparency.org/cpi2012/results, last accessed December 7, 2012.

6.  Freedom of the World Report 2012, Freedom House, http://www.freedomhouse.org/reports, last accessed December 7, 2012.

7.  Freedom of the World Report 2012.

8.  ibid.

9.  The World Bank Data Catalog, The World Bank, http://data.worldbank.org/country, last accessed December 17, 2012.

10.  CIA World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/, last accessed December 7, 2012.

11.  CIA World Factbook.

12.  ibid.

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[1] Craig Whitlock and Greg Jaffe, “Obama announces new, leaner military approach,” Washington Post, January 5, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-announces-new-military-approach/2012/01/05/gIQAFWcmcP_story.html, last accessed December 5, 2012.

[2] Craig Whitlock and Greg Jaffe, 2012.

[3] According to a June 27, 2012 article in The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. will reduce its reliance on Middle East oil by fifty percent by the end of the decade and could end it completely by 2035 due to declining demand and the rapid growth of new petroleum sources in the Western Hemisphere.  Angel Gonzalez, “Expanded Oil Drilling Helps U.S. Wean Itself From Mideast,” The Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2012, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304441404577480952719124264.html, last accessed December 5, 2012.

[4] Jim Malone, “Polls Show Americans Weary of Afghan Conflict,” Voice of America, June 21, 2011, http://www.voanews.com/content/polls-show-americans-weary-of-afghan-conflict-124359024/141159.html, last accessed December 5, 2012.

[5] James Dobbins, David C. Gompert, David A. Shlapak, and Andrew Scobell, “Conflict with China: Prospects, Consequences, and Strategies for Deterrence,” The Rand Corporation, 2011, page vii, http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/occasional_papers/2011/RAND_OP344.sum.pdf, last accessed December 5, 2012.

[6] In 2012, China has had naval standoffs with both the Philippines at Scarborough Reef and with Japan in the Senkaku Islands.

[7] “Asia-Pacific Freedom Assessment,” Freedom House website, http://www.freedomhouse.org/regions/asia-pacific, last accessed December 9, 2012.

[8] Robert I. Rotberg, State Failure and State Weakness in a Time of Terror, The World Peace Foundation, Washington, DC, 2003, page 4.

[9] Rotberg, page 4.

[10] National Security Strategy, The White House, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2010.

[11] National Defense Strategy, Department of Defense, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2008.

[12] National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2011: Redefining America’s Military Leadership, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2011.

[13] United States Pacific Command Strategy: Partnership, Readiness, Presence, US Pacific Command, Hawaii: April 2009, p 10.

[14] Craig Whitlock and Greg Jaffe, January 5, 2012.

[15] UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) 2012, United Nations Development Programme, http://hdr.undp.org/en/data/profiles/, last accessed December 7, 2012.

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[17] Freedom of the World Report 2012, Freedom House, http://www.freedomhouse.org/reports, last accessed December 7, 2012.

[18] The Foreign Policy Failed States Index aggregates twelve indicators, including: Demographic Pressures; Refugees and IDPs; Group Grievance; Human Flight; Uneven Development; Poverty and Economic Decline; Legitimacy of the State; Public Services; Human Rights; Security Apparatus; Factionalized Elites; and External Intervention, Foreign Policy Failed States Index 2012, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/failed_states_index_2012_interactive, last accessed December 7, 2012.

[19] CIA World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/, last accessed December 7, 2012.

[20] Brunei Economic Development Board website, http://www.bedb.com.bn/why_advantage.html, last accessed December 7, 2012.

[21] “Brunei Darussalam country brief,” Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/brunei/brunei_brief.html, last accessed December 7, 2012.

[22] “Thinking of its future: Brunei gets ready for when the oil and gas run out,” The Economist, March 19, 2008, http://www.economist.com/node/10881541, last accessed December 21, 2012.

[23] Kieran Cooke, “Brunei Darussalam: Diversifying is hard to do,” Global: The International Briefing, July 2012, http://www.global-briefing.org/2012/07/diversifying-is-hard-to-do/, last accessed December 21, 2012.

[24] Kieran Cooke, July 2012.

[25] Kieran Cooke, July 2012.

[26] U.S. State Department website, http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1073.html, last accessed December 7, 2012.

[27] Daniel Workman, “China’s Top Suppliers of Imported Crude Oil by Country,” ChinaOilWeb, http://suite101.com/article/chinas-top-suppliers-of-imported-crude-oil-by-country-in-2010-a355760, March 4, 2011, last accessed November 25, 2012.

[28] Donald J. Hanle, Terrorism, the Newest Face of Warfare, Potomac Books, Washington DC 2009, page 115.

[29] UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) 2012. 

[30] Corruption Perception Index 2012.

[31] Freedom of the World Report 2012.

[32] Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index 2012, The Economist, https://www.eiu.com/public/topical_report.aspx?campaignid=DemocracyIndex2011, last accessed December 9, 2012.

[33] Foreign Policy Failed States Index 2012.

[34] CIA World Fact Book.

[35] Eric Bellman, Joko Hariyanto, and Andreas Ismar, “Indonesia Arrests 11 in Suspected Terrorist Plot,” The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2012, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204598504578082534023281740.html, last accessed December 8, 2012.

[36] Daniel Workman, “China’s Top Suppliers of Imported Crude Oil by Country,” ChinaOilWeb, http://suite101.com/article/chinas-top-suppliers-of-imported-crude-oil-by-country-in-2010-a355760, March 4, 2011, last accessed November 25, 2012.

[37] Paul A. Povlock, “The Coming Maritime Insurgent Century: Lessons learned from the Sri Lankan Civil War suggest a growth industry for future Sea Tiger-type operators,” Proceedings, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, MD, pages 29-32.

[38] UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) 2012. 

[39] Corruption Perception Index 2012.

[40] Foreign Policy Failed States Index 2012.

[41] Freedom of the World Report 2012.

[42] Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index 2012.

[43] CIA World Fact Book and World Bank website.

[44] Luke Hunt, “Malaysia’s Terror Mop Up,” ASEAN Beat, January 27, 2012, http://thediplomat.com/asean-beat/2012/01/27/malaysias-terror-mop-up/, last accessed December 8, 2012.

[45] Joint Maritime Operations Course materials, Naval War College, 2010.

[46] John Lee, “Egypt’s fate could yet be Malaysia’s future,” The Australian, February 25, 2011, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/world-commentary/egypts-fate-could-yet-be-malaysias-future/story-e6frg6ux-1226011575110, last accessed December 21, 2012.

[47] Luke Hunt, 2012.

[48] UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) 2012. 

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[50] Freedom of the World Report 2012.

[51] Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index 2012.

[52] Foreign Policy Failed States Index 2012.

[53] CIA World Fact Book.

[54] CIA World Fact Book and World Bank website.

[55] Robert Isidorus and Arientha Primanita, OPM Claims Responsibility for Fatal Attack on Police in Papua, JakartaGlobe, November 30, 2012, http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/opm-claims-responsibility-for-fatal-attack-on-police-in-papua/559087, last accessed December 8, 2012.

[56] “OPM Besieges city in Papua,” The Jakarta Post, December 3, 2012, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/12/03/opm-besieges-city-papua.html, last accessed December 8, 2012.

[57] UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) 2012. 

[58] Corruption Perception Index 2012.

[59] Freedom of the World Report 2012.

[60] Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index 2012.

[61] Foreign Policy Failed States Index 2012.

[62] CIA World Factbook – Philippines.

[63] CIA World Factbook – Philippines and World Bank website.

[64] Wyatt Olson, “US troops see terrorism threat diminish on Philippine island of Mindanao,” Stars and Stripes, September 28, 2012, http://www.stripes.com/news/us-troops-see-terrorism-threat-diminish-on-philippine-island-of-mindanao-1.191126, last accessed December 9, 2012.

[65] Wyatt Olson, “US troops see terrorism threat diminish on Philippine island of Mindanao,” Stars and Stripes, September 28, 2012, http://www.stripes.com/news/us-troops-see-terrorism-threat-diminish-on-philippine-island-of-mindanao-1.191126, last accessed December 9, 2012.

[66] “Rebel leaders, Filipino officials sign landmark peace deal,” cnn.com, October 16, 2012, http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/15/world/asia/philippines-peace-agreement/index.html, last accessed December 26, 2012.

[67] Wyatt Olson, 2012.

[68] Povlock, page 29.

[69] CIA World Factbook – Philippines.

[70] UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) 2012. 

[71] Corruption Perception Index 2012.

[72] Freedom of the World Report 2012.

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[74] Foreign Policy Failed States Index 2012.

[75] CIA World Fact Book.

[76] CIA World Fact Book and World Bank website.

[77] “Exercise NorthStar V on 8 Jan 06 from 6.30am to 9.30am,” Singapore Civil Defence Force Press Release, January 8, 2006, http://www.scdf.gov.sg/content/scdf_internet/en/general/news/news_releases/2006/exercise_northstarvon8jan06from630amto930am.html, last accessed December 9, 2012.

[78] UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) 2012. 

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[83] CIA World Fact Book and World Bank website.

[84] Sumeth Panpetch, “Terrorist attacks in Thailand kill 14, wound 340,” 3 News of New Zealand, April 1, 2012, http://www.3news.co.nz/Terrorist-attacks-in-Thailand-kill-14-wound-340/tabid/417/articleID/248832/Default.aspx, last accessed December 9, 2012.

[85] Sumeth Panpetch, “Terrorist attacks in Thailand kill 14, wound 340,” 3 News of New Zealand, April 1, 2012, http://www.3news.co.nz/Terrorist-attacks-in-Thailand-kill-14-wound-340/tabid/417/articleID/248832/Default.aspx, last accessed December 9, 2012.

[86] UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) 2012. 

[87] Corruption Perception Index 2012.

[88] Freedom of the World Report 2012.

[89] Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index 2012.

[90] Foreign Policy Failed States Index 2012.

[91] CIA World Fact Book.

[92] “Terrorist Organization Profile: Free Vietnam Revolutionary Group,” National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) website, http://www.start.umd.edu/start/data_collections/tops/terrorist_organization_profile.asp?id=3598, last accessed December 9, 2012.

[93] United States Pacific Command Strategy: Partnership, Readiness, Presence, US Pacific Command, Hawaii: April 2009, p 10.

Copyright 2013 Daniel T. Murphy.  All rights reserved.