Does Asia need a new maritime organisation?

Photo from a Kyodo News airplane shows the Haijian 51 and other Chinese maritime surveillance vessels in Japanese territorial waters about 12 kilometers north-northeast of Uotsuri Island of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea at 2 p.m. on April 23, 2013. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Prashanth Parameswaran, The Diplomat

Some are calling for a new institution to manage Asia’s maritime disputes.

‘The physical contours of East Asia’, leading geopolitical analyst Robert Kaplan recently wrote, ‘argue for a naval century’. Given the significance of the maritime realm in the region — which is the source of rich energy resources and vital maritime trade routes, as well as raging territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas — few would disagree. Read more…

The perils of legislating Abe’s collective self-defence

People protest against Shinzo Abe's defence policy change outside the Japanese prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, 1 July 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: J. Patrick Boyd, Waseda University

On 1 July 2014, the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a decision reinterpreting the Japanese constitution’s Article 9 ‘peace clause’ to allow the country to exercise collective self-defence — the right to use force to aid an ally under attack. Read more…

Peace in Mindanao delayed but not derailed

Members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) aboard trucks after they were asked to reposition their fighters to pave a way for the government all out offensive against muslim rebels the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Datu Unsay town, Maguindanao province, southern Philippines, 27 February 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Mark Turner, UNSW Canberra

Recent events have reignited separatist conflict in the Philippines.

In the early hours of 25 January 2015, commandos of the police Special Action Force (SAF) set out to capture or kill Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorist bombers, Zulkifli bin Hir (known by the alias ‘Marwan’) and Basit Usman, who were hiding in the rural areas of Mamasapano, Mindanao in the Philippines. Read more…

Pakistan and the crucible of terror

Mourners are overcome as they pass the site of a suicide bomb attack in Quetta in August 2013. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack upon a funeral procession. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Imtiaz Gul, CRSS, Islamabad

Within days of 11 September 2001, Pakistan became an inseparable element in calculations about responding to al-Qaeda. Not only was Pakistan seen as a potential springboard for punitive action against the transnational organisation, but it also came to be regarded as a crucible of terrorism. Read more…

Some Malaysian inequality measures more equal than others

A boy runs at a temple casted with shadows of traditional Chinese lantern decorations ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Hwok-Aun Lee, University of Malaya

Is inequality in Malaysia going up or down? Answers differ. Official statistics unambiguously show household income inequality going down in the past decade, but almost everyone seems to think it has gone up. So what’s going on? Read more…

Revitalising Japan’s security policy: Between pacifism and the modern world

Japanese soldiers carry an injured non-combatant during the annual multinational military exercise, Cobra Gold, at a military base in Thailand on 15 February 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Hitoshi Tanaka, JCIE

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Such milestones offer an opportunity to reflect on the progress made and the steps needed to ensure that such tragic events are never repeated. Read more…

Balancing rivalry and perspectives in the Asia Pacific

Australian, US and Chinese troops at the opening ceremony of Exercise Kowari in Darwin, October 2014. (Photo: Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence).

Author: Michael G. Roskin

China or the US? One is Australia’s largest trading partner, the other its traditional security ally. But what happens if Australia is forced to choose between them — will economics or history win out?

Malcolm Fraser, the former Australian prime minister (1975–83), wants Australia to end its security dependency on the United States Read more…