Addressing Transnational Threats in Southeast Asia: Environmental Security and Counter Terrorism

  • January 15, 2004
  • Dr Kent H Butts, LTC Curtis W Turner

Terrorist organizations in Southeast Asia have demonstrated the ability to exploit environmental disasters or degradation to undermine governmental legitimacy and gain popular support. One of the major causes of regional stability is poverty. Developing a regional counter terrorism capability, particularly as it pertains to poverty, developing efficient WMD consequence management, Disaster Response, and Critical Infrastructure Management programs, may serve as a rallying point of commons concern for countries in the region, and a foundation for other cooperative endeavors. In response to a request from the United States Pacific Command, the USAWC Center for Strategic Leadership conducted a Environmental Security and Counter Terrorism Conference in Manila, Philippines facilitated an assessment of the region's key Environmental Security issues, identify military roles in preventing terrorist activities, and develop multilateral plans for preventing and responding to disasters. The results of that assessment, taken from the perspective of representatives from Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, are addressed in this paper.