With September 11, terrorism has come to dominate the security concerns of nation-states, especially in Asia, affecting both inter- and intra-regional relations significantly. Though for many Asian countries terrorism was nothing new, threats of transnational terrorism introduced new security challenges, which significantly changed the nature of domestic politics and state-society relations of the regional states and relations among them and with states in other regions. In the new dynamics, the traditional bilateral alliance systems that underpinned much of the security structure and relations in the past are found to be inadequate to deal with the challenge of transnational terrorism. There is thus a need for cooperation among the nations in the region and greater engagement with extra-regional partners through multilateral arrangements. Both India and Southeast Asia grapple with an array of security threats including those from transnational terrorism. Ironically, terrorism provides unique opportunities to both to work together. This article argues that the common desire to fight terrorism could be the imperative that would establish foundations for mutually beneficial partnerships both in their economic and security relations. India and Southeast Asia have substantial experience to deal with terrorism. Both could leverage their mutual expertise to deal with the threat decisively. Besides, economic cooperation between India and the countries in Southeast Asia has the potential to accelerate the pace of development, which in turn could help them to resolve both intra- and inter-regional tensions and to develop the quality of life.
Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs – Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Published: Dec 28, 2006
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