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Challenges to ASEAN's Regional Security
LTC Lau Jianmin Jamin

In this essay, the author argues that the ASEAN region is beset by a range of regional security challenges and that co-operation in the ASEAN region is undermined by a number of factors. He begins by outlining the international security threats facing the ASEAN region and the transnational phenomena that can potentially destabilise the region. He then assesses how regional co-operation has been undermined by a lack of common identity and the complex and varied internal politics of ASEAN countries. He then examines the institution of ASEAN and contends that the mechanism of co-operation amongst ASEAN members is undermined by a range of factors. The author makes a holistic assessment of how successful ASEAN has been in fostering regional security and coopera tion, in relation to its stated challenges. He concludes that despite its criticisms, ASEAN’s overall success in preventing armed conflict in a highly volatile region is indeed commendable.


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Is Non-Offensive Defence Viable as a Strategy for National Security?
LTC Goh Nichola

Non-Offensive Defence is described as the strategic defence stance taken by a country to safeguard its national interest. Without being aggressive with its military, a nation can potentially deter an aggressor, through its uneven terrain or foreign alliances. In this essay, the author states that non-offensive defence is viable as a strategy only if certain conditions are fulfilled—suitable geography, benign strategic environment and neutral foreign outreach. In the case of Japan, the author puts forth an additional condition, which is alliances. In the author’s opinion, however, Non-Offensive defence is only fully viable if the three conditions highlighted above are met.


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Is There a Likelihood That Weapons Acquisitions Can Become Destabilising?
MAJ Ragumaran s/o Davindran

According to the author, over the past 15 years, with weapons acquisitions playing a central role, the total defence expenditure for ASEAN has doubled in absolute terms. Against this backdrop, researchers have questioned if the changing arms dynamic would have an adverse effect on regional stability. The author will use the ASEAN context to argue that the weapons acquisition processes alone do not lead to destabilisation. The author presents his argument in three segments. In the first segment, he provides a review of weapons acquisition to establish a common understanding of key terminologies that would surface throughout his essay. He then proceeds to analyse the reasons behind the weapons acquisition processes and highlight if there are other underlying factors that would cause destabilisation. Finally, the author provides an antithesis analysis on the India-Pakistan conflict to evaluate the robustness of the hypothesis and to discredit the argument that weapons acquisition alone contributes to destabilisation.


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How Can Threat Assessments Become Self-Fulfilling Prophecies?
ME5 Tang Zhan Sheng

In this essay, the writer examines how threat assessments can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Firstly, he explains the concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy which results from actors believing and expecting a purported eventual state of affairs and then unwi􀆫ngly rendering it true via their corresponding a􀆩empts to manipulate its emergence. Next, he analyses how states make threat assessments in the context of an anarchic system. Through the examples of the Cuban missile crisis, Al Qaeda in Iraq and bioterrorism, he illustrates the role of perception and misperception in transforming threat assessments into self-fulfilling prophecies. He then discusses the nuclear domino theory and its association with Taiwan to exemplify how a vicious, self-fulfillment spiral can be negated. Finally, the writer concludes that when caught in a self-fulfilling prophecy, it will be best to reflect on the prophesied outcome and alter one's behaviour in response, so as to break out of the self-fulfillment cycle.


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Despite Changes in Technology, it is Still Possible to Identify Continuities in Navel Warfare
ME5 Dhanashanker S/O Ramakrishnan

In this essay, the author elaborates on the relevant continuities in naval warfare within the maritime operating environment which could dictate naval warfare principles. He first defines the maritime operating environment and what it means to a􀆩ain supremacy within the maritime domain. Then, he highlights how technology has shaped naval warfare tactics. Subsequently, the author discusses emerging naval hybrid warfare. He concludes with a current affair case study regarding the naval activities concerning the South China Sea.


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Last updated on 03 Aug 2021
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