Transnational Security Threats in Asia:

Conference Report


Introduction: Transnational security issues are emerging as key security challenges for Asia-Pacific states.  Transnational security issues can be defined as nonmilitary threats that cross borders and either threaten the political and social integrity of a nation or the health of that nation’s inhabitants.  Moreover, unlike traditional security challenges, transnational threats emerge slowly and often do not elicit a focused or timely policy response.  Examples of key transnational threats include transnational crime, terrorism, maritime piracy, arms trafficking, illegal migration, infectious disease and environmental degradation, among others.  As transnational challenges grow in severity and scale, many security planners throughout the region are characterizing them as key challenges to the nation state in the 21st century.  As part of its effort to collect data about and analyze these issues, the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies held a three-day meeting (8-10 August 2000) that focused on transnational security threats from both a regional perspective as well as an issue-based perspective.  This summary is intended to provide highlights of the key discussions.


Sub-Regional Perspectives on Transnational Security Threats:  The first half of the conference looked at transnational security threats from a sub-regional perspective.  The Asia-Pacific region was subdivided into four major sub-regions: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the South Pacific.  The following are key findings of the sub-regional groups:


                (1) Northeast Asia:  Representatives from three northeast Asian nations--Japan, China and Russia--provided their perspectives on key transnational challenges.  China emphasized that narcotics trafficking was its primary and most serious transnational challenge, while Japan stressed its concerns regarding a spectrum of transnational issues, including the smuggling of arms and drugs, maritime piracy, money laundering, illegal migration and the spread of infectious disease. Russia tended to emphasize terrorism as its major transnational worry, although traditional security issues--such as the Korean Peninsula and the question of Theatre Missile Defense--continue to dominate foreign policy thinking.


                (2) Southeast Asia:  Representatives from two Southeast Asian nations—the Philippines and Thailand—emphasized the challenge of controlling borders in the context of transnational security challenges.  The two countries also highlighted the major challenge posed by narcotics trafficking.  They also revealed a common concern about one particular drug--methamphetamines (known as shabu in the Philippines)--that is growing in popularity.  The representative from the Philippines also listed terrorism as a major transnational threat, especially in light of the recent kidnapping case involving the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).


                (3) South Asia:  Narcotics trafficking, arms smuggling, illegal migration and terrorism were listed as the key transnational challenges for South Asia.  India complained that its porous land border provides a favorable terrain for infiltration, smuggling, and trafficking and has fostered militant terrorism in the Punjab, Kashmir and North Eastern States.  Pakistan emphasized the challenge of terrorism, narcotics smuggling, and illegal migration.  To counter narcotics, Pakistan has established cooperative arrangements with a number of nearby states, including China, Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgystan.   In Sri Lanka, the primary transnational concerns are terrorism and ethnic conflict, related to the LTTE insurgency.


                (4) South Pacific:  Transnational threats in the South Pacific mirror many of the problems found in other parts of Asia, although environmental degradation is given a much higher priority.  Island states are naturally concerned about climate change (and its predicted effect on sea levels, which could effectively result in the elimination of some or all of their territory).  The Marshall Islands and Papua New Guinea are concerned about human smuggling, while Australia is concerned about an entire spectrum of transnational crime including white collar crime and money laundering.


Issue-based Perspectives on Transnational Security Threats:   The second half of the conference considered transnational security threats from the perspective of specific transnational security subject matters.  To facilitate this inquiry, the conference was sub-divided into eight working groups, each of which examined a specific transnational security threat.  The topics included (and their summary conclusions) are as follows:


                (1) Transnational Crime: The Asia-Pacific region is a major crossroads for transnational crime activities and international criminal syndicates.   A variety of transnational crimes occur in the region, including narcotics trafficking, human smuggling, credit card fraud, and cybercrime. Criminal organizations are taking advantage of globalization and loose border arrangements to disguise the scale and locations of their operations.  Crime in the region thrives in the presence of government corruption or in areas with weak government structures.   Making matters worse, crime--especially sophisticated transnational crime--can undermine the development of legal or democratic institutions.


                (2)  Infectious Disease:  Infectious disease is a major threat to the Asia-Pacific region and is growing in severity for a variety of reasons: globalization and increased travel, urbanization, changing sexual habits, poor water quality, invasion of humans into natural areas containing latent pathogens, etc.  Common diseases in the region include AIDS/HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Dengue Fever, Cholera, etc.   Diseases not only detract from human security and quality of life, they can also undermine national security by degrading civil governance, causing a disruptive loss in the labor force, and posing an enormous burden on government health budgets.  According to panel participants, diseases must be managed or mitigated by the use of regional initiatives and international cooperation.


(3) Transnational Terrorism:  The threat of terrorism in the Asia-Pacific region has not abated with the end of the Cold War; if anything, the problem has worsened due to increased globalization, more cooperation between terrorist organizations, and the emergence of new terrorist sources and tactics.  Various terrorist groups in Asia are increasingly linked with each other and with suppliers of money, weapons and training outside the region. Terrorism overlaps with other transnational security threats, as terrorist groups frequently engage in organized crime and narcotics trafficking to raise funds.  Combating terrorism effectively may prove to be an obstacle to democratization in Asia, exacerbating the tension between state police powers and individual rights.


(4) Maritime Crime:  Maritime piracy and maritime crime are growing transnational challenges in the Asia-Pacific region.   Among the crimes committed on the high seas are piracy, drug trafficking, human smuggling, illegal fishing, and offenses against the environment.   Traditional law enforcement initiatives are constrained in Asian maritime regions because of jurisdictional issues, political sensitivities, failure of states to accept responsibility, lack of enforcement capacity, among other reasons.  To diminish maritime crime, states should share information and cooperate for their common good.  Coordination must also occur between regional and international agencies.


                (5) Environmental Degradation: The Asia-Pacific region is witnessing an almost catastrophic destruction of its environment.   Air, water, and land pollution are rife and the trend in most countries is worsening.  Key environmental challenges in the region include poor water quality, food insecurity, marine pollution, depletion of fish resources, deforestation, acid rain (and transboundary pollution), and global climate change.  Environmental issues have traditionally been excluded from the realm of traditional security issues.  As environmental problems worsen, however, that perception is changing.  In some cases—such as the 1997 smog crisis in Southeast Asia—environmental degradation has caused major inter-state tensions.   Responses to environmental crises must include both a crisis response (to an immediate crisis) and a more long-term preventive defense (including effective early warning systems).


                (6) Small-Arms Trafficking:  Small-arms trafficking is a major threat to the stability of Asia-Pacific countries and is often linked to other transnational challenges such as crime and terrorism.  In many cases, the excess supply of arms is the result of wars that have occurred in the past, such as in Afghanistan which has an extensive supply of small arms.  Other factors increasing the trafficking of small-arms include unresolved Asian border disputes (which can foster porous borders), economic disparities between states, and the existence of two of the world's largest opiate producers in the world, among others.   Measures that might ameliorate the problem might include eliminating the current weapons glut (with buy-backs or other measures) and ratifying international conventions and agreements, such as the proposed protocol to the Palermo Convention on Organized Crime.


                (7) Illegal Migration:  Illegal migration and human smuggling are growing transnational challenges in Asia and are inextricably linked to economic disparities that exist throughout the region.  Migration in the region has increased substantially in the past 25 years.  Roughly a third of the world's refugees are located in Asia, and yet most Asian nations are not parties to international refugee treaties.  Moreover, many Asian and Pacific nations do not consider themselves "immigration countries" and, consequently, view immigration as a long-term cultural and economic threat.    Migrant smuggling is growing more severe in the region, and is affecting many Western countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States.  Illegal migration can lead to crime in host countries, as migrants who are unable to find legitimate employment must turn to crime to survive.  Effective management of migration in the region must require honest assessment and avoidance of xenophobic mass expulsion polices.  


(8) Military Responses to Transnational Threats:  As the severity of transnational challenges grow in the region, countries are increasingly inclined to deploy military forces to address them.   This trend reflects the reality of conflict in the post Cold War world, which features the rise of sub-national conflicts that may displace traditional state-to-state conflict.   Regarding specific transnational issues, military forces are likely to be involved based on a 'spectrum of relevance'.  For example, certain transnational issues—money laundering and computer crime—would be less likely to require a military response.  Issues such as drug trafficking, maritime piracy and terrorism, however, are more likely to evoke a military response.  The challenge for many military forces is to adjust the traditional military culture—with its preference for traditional war-fighting missions—to take into account the reality of these new, non-traditional missions.  Military forces will also need to learn to cooperate with their law enforcement counterparts.  


I.            Introduction


Transnational security challenges are emerging as the dark and violent side of globalization.  Rapid economic, technological and social changes have brought an unprecedented era of beneficent international trade, migration, and communication throughout the world.  But such changes have also spawned a much more sinister by-product in the form of international crime, terrorism, human smuggling, arms trafficking, environmental degradation and infectious disease.  Many countries in the Asia-Pacific region are slowly recognizing that transnational security issues are emerging as their top security challenges, and may pose an even more long-term threat to state and regional security than inter-state conflict.  Moreover, military forces in the region are discovering that in addition to their traditional role of defending their home country from external attack, they must contend with the ever-present reality of transnational security issues that threaten to undermine the very foundation of their societies.


At their most basic level, transnational security issues can be defined as nonmilitary threats that cross borders and either threaten the political and social integrity of a nation or the health of its inhabitants.  They are often driven by non-state actors—such as criminal gangs or terrorist groups—who have little regard for international laws or standards.  They often emerge slowly, beyond the scrutinizing gaze of the international media and only get noticed after a particular catastrophic event—an interception of a human smuggling vessel or a region-wide pollution crisis. Their causes are multifarious and not easily ascertainable.  Solutions are equally elusive, especially for long-term problems that cannot simply be swept away by a single policy change or introduction of an international law or convention.  Yet their effects can be devastating and long-lasting. 


From a human security perspective, transnational security threats destroy lives and ultimately undermine the fabric of human society.  In the United States, for example, over 15,000 people die every year as a result of the narcotics trade—including collateral violence and health impacts.  In Thailand, the influx of methamphetamine pills from neighboring Burma (Myanmar) is devastating Thailand’s young population, where rates of drug addiction are skyrocketing.  The AIDS epidemic—and its precursor HIV—is marching across Asia with determined speed and far-reaching impact.  International health authorities now consider Asia to be the next epicenter—outside of Southern Africa—for the global AIDS epidemic.  In southwest China, narcotics trafficking across the China-Burmese border is facilitating the spread of HIV into neighboring Yunnan and other Chinese provinces. 


Moreover, the Asia-Pacific region confronts massive environmental degradation.    Transboundary pollution is spawning both human health and diplomatic problems throughout the region.  Climate change poses the ultimate environmental wildcard and if predictions concerning its effects are accurate, it could decimate coastal areas and entire island states.  Economic disparities among countries in the region are spurring large-scale human smuggling and illegal migration.  Small-arms trafficking is fueling a rise in transnational crime and terrorism.  Sea lanes are increasingly infested with pirates who no longer hesitate to murder ship crews or create environmental devastation as part of their illegal acts.   These are just a few examples of the transnational challenges that the region confronts. 


To explore the vast array of transnational security challenges facing the region, the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) held a three-day conference that looked at transnational issues from both a regional perspective as well as a subject-matter perspective.  Eight working groups explored specific aspects of transnational security challenges, including transnational crime, terrorism, small-arms trafficking, infectious disease, illegal migration, environmental degradation and the role of the military in addressing transnational security challenges.   The structure of this conference report follows that of the conference itself.  The first part provides a survey of transnational issues from a regional perspective.  That is followed by an inquiry into transnational issues from a subject-matter perspective.


II.        Sub-Regional Survey of Transnational Issues


            A.            Northeast Asia


            Perspectives on transnational security threats in Northeast Asia were provided by China, Japan and Russia.  All three nations emphasized certain common themes, such as concern about crime and narcotics.  The representative from China was particularly concerned about narcotics trafficking, which was described as China’s top transnational security threat. 


            Japan also emphasized the threat of illegal drugs, but, in addition, listed other transnational problems such as arms smuggling, nuclear smuggling, infectious disease, illegal migration, environmental degradation and international terrorism.  The Japanese representative also noted that the Japan Self-Defense Force might have a role in countering these threats if they threaten Japan’s internal security environment.   He also stressed the importance of having a regional approach to mitigating these threats.


            Similarly, Russia expressed concern about such transnational threats as crime and corruption in its society, but viewed these threats as part of the larger threat of economic disintegration and social fragmentation.  The Russian representative also described his country’s concerns about maritime piracy, environmental degradation and arms trafficking and suggested that only international cooperation could mitigate these threats.


            B.            Southeast Asia


            Representatives from Thailand and the Philippines described an array of transnational security threats to their nations.  Drug trafficking was described by both countries as a major security problem.  In the Philippines, the increase in the use of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) is a major concern for police and health authorities.  Methamphetamine use is also rising in Thailand.  In 1995, Thai officials seized over 539.43 kilograms of methamphetamine; four years later, that number exceeded 4,504.28 kilograms. 


Throughout the region, according to the two representatives, drug trafficking is spurring violence and increasingly involves money laundering, and other transnational crimes—such as terrorism and kidnapping.  On the issue of terrorism, the Philippines stressed that this was one of their top challenges.  The Philippines representative described five terrorist groups that pose a threat to that country’s internal security, including the New Peoples Army (NPA), the Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB), the MNLF-Islamic Command Council (ICC), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).   Other transnational challenges included arms smuggling, human smuggling, and maritime piracy. 


            C.            South Asia


            Representatives from three countries, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, enunciated South Asia’s perspectives on transnational security threats.  Common concerns within all three countries included worries about trans-border narcotics trafficking, terrorism, small-arms trafficking and illegal migration.


            The representative from Pakistan noted that the major transnational threats facing his country include terrorism, narcotics smuggling and illegal migration.  Like Pakistan, India is also concerned terrorism, narcotics smuggling and illegal migration.  In addition to these issues, the Indian representative also highlighted his nation’s worries about maritime piracy and crime, cyber-crime and money laundering.   The Indian representative noted India is a haven for illegal transnational activities because of the country’s size, economic status, border span, infrastructure, and geographic location. 


Sri Lanka’s primary transnational security concern is terrorism, especially in light of its on-going struggle with the northern-based LTTE (Tamil Tigers).   The LTTE was described by the Sri Lankan representative as a “cancerous movement…[that] has spread over all directions of the globe.”  The representative also lamented the success with which the LTTE has internationalized its operations—including crucial fund-raising—particularly in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.


As noted earlier, illegal migration was a major common theme throughout the region. In India, there are 15 million refugees, including asylum seekers, economic migrants, and others.  India considers the long, sustained influx of mass numbers of refugees to be a “cause for international destabilization and friction.”   In Sri Lanka, the government is concerned about growing human smuggling to India, Myanmar and various Western countries, some of which is engineered by the LTTE.  


            D.            South Pacific/Oceania


            Representatives from three countries—Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Marshall Islands—described transnational security threats from a South Pacific/Oceania perspective.  Like their counterparts in other sub-regions, all three countries were concerned with certain key transnational threats, including crime, environmental degradation, narcotics trafficking, and illegal migration.


            Of these various transnational issues, all three nations especially emphasized the pernicious threat of narcotics trafficking.  Australia noted that the porous borders in its northern territory makes it a target for drug smuggling.  Similarly, the Marshall Islands representative noted that island states are particularly vulnerable to drug smuggling because they are dispersed over an area encompassing two million square miles of ocean.  Consequently, international drug trafficking syndicates view the region as a key transshipment point for drugs headed for richer nations.


The Marshall Islands representative also noted that for many island states, environmental issues constitute a major security concern, especially the complex issue of climate change.  Given their intense concern about climate change, many island states are urging industrialized nations to sign and ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which seeks to limit the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.


Papua New Guinea described illegal migration as one of its top transnational security threats, particularly the organized trafficking of migrants.  Human smuggling has grown in the region and is affecting states in various ways, such as by promoting crime or altering ethnic balances.  Pacific island states are sometimes used as transit areas for on-going human smuggling to Western countries, while Australia is considered a key smuggling destination. 


            Australia noted that it faces an ‘arc of instability’, which refers to the geographic region that stretches across from the Northwest (including Indonesia and East Timor), to the North (which features continued instability, including a lack of resolution of the Bougainville crisis) and to the Northeast and the East (which feature instability in the Solomon Islands, Fiji and latent problems in other Pacific Island countries).  Instability within this region will impact Australia in numerous ways, one of which is to make the nation more vulnerable to transnational problems that may originate in those areas.     


III.       Issue-Based Perspectives on Transnational Threats


            A.            Transnational Crime


The session on transnational crime focused on the various transnational criminal threats confronting the Asia-Pacific region.   A Japanese presenter noted that his country is facing four major types of transnational crime: (1) small arms trafficking (2) drug trafficking (3) credit card fraud and (4) human smuggling.  He also asserted that small firearms are flowing into Japan from the United States, China, and South Africa.  Narcotics smuggling is fueled by many immigrant groups, with Iranian nationals playing a prominent role.  Credit card fraud, meanwhile, is partially an outgrowth of the lack of domestic laws against this category of crime. Finally, human smuggling involves many countries.  In particular, he noted that the Philippines is emerging as a major source country for young women who are smuggled into Japan where they are often forced to work in the sex industry.


Outside of Japan, it was observed that narcotics trafficking continues to be a major challenge for the entire region.  In the Philippines, Chinese organized crime groups are joining with their Philippine counterparts to import methamphetamine hydrochloride (known as shabu) into the Philippines.  In China, two recent drug seizures suggest growing cooperation between Chinese and Colombian criminal gangs.  Criminal groups are entering into transnational alliances to facilitate drug trafficking and are exploiting countries or areas with loose government structures and minimal law enforcement activities (such as Cambodia or Burma).   One presenter noted that this is an expected outcome since transnational crime thrives within weaknesses in particular jurisdictions.  Dysfunctional or underdeveloped civil institutions act as a magnet for international criminal cartels eager to find a venue for their illicit activities. 


            In addition to more traditional transnational crimes—such as drug trafficking or credit card fraud—internet-based, or “e-crime”, presents an entirely new frontier for international criminal groups.  As one presenter noted, “of all crime types, e-crime appears most amenable to manipulation by criminals working across jurisdictions.”  But in some cases, the criminals are operating domestically and are using international channels—and the weakness inherent in poor institutional arrangements between nations—to obfuscate their true origins.  


            It was noted that the process of globalization—and its related trends of increased mobility and communication—is fueling a process that can be described as ‘convergence.’  Convergence allows criminal organizations to learn through international networks about opportunities in other jurisdictions.   Convergence is also apparent in the circuitous routes used to smuggle illicit products or human beings.  The use of multiple transit countries effectively disguises the origins and modus operandi of criminal operations.  Narcotics trafficking into Australia, for instance, has been facilitated by the use of such diverse transit countries as Mauritius, Solomon Islands and Tonga. 


Participants in the working group also noted that many countries have been reluctant to move from their domestic definitions of crime to an international definition.  It was noted that many countries view transnational crime as “something out there” and too often blame “someone out there” for their crime problems, although the problem is often related to domestic conditions.  For example, corruption, a clearly domestic problem in many countries, tends to both foster transnational crime and impede cooperation across jurisdictions against international criminal activity. 


Another aspect of transnational crime is the displacement effect created by enforcement efforts.  This refers to the tendency of criminal organizations to adjust their operating locations, methods and criminal activity in response to law enforcement “crackdowns.”  For example, in the field of people trafficking, smugglers changed boat routes through Indonesia in response to crackdowns by Indonesian authorities.  Furthermore, since the mid-1980s, drug traffickers have changed their transit routes out of Burma in response to increased enforcement efforts by Thailand.  This shift is reflected in the changing pattern of heroin seizures between Thailand and China in the years 1989 through 1996.


            B.            Infectious Disease


            The panel on infectious disease and security explored the rise of infectious disease around the Asia-Pacific region and addressed how this issue affects regional security.  Underpinning the discussions was the idea that the concept of security—and particularly its traditional emphasis on state-based conflict—should be expanded to reflect current post Cold War realities.  As one presenter noted, security should be defined “not merely as the absence of external physical, or internal political threats, but as the attainment of national and global sustainability and resilience.”  Because security is generally defined in military terms, resources generally flow to military forces accordingly.  If, however, the causal links between disease and security can be established, it could expand the flow of resources into this critical area.


            One presenter noted that infectious disease poses a security threat to the nation state and its inhabitants for the following five reasons: (1) It impacts the state’s most basic unit—the human being; (2) It can undermine public confidence in the state’s general custodian function; (3) Because of its trans-border fluidity and ephemeral nature, diseases cannot be controlled by traditional border control mechanisms; (4) Transnational disease pandemics can complicate already tense bilateral and multilateral relations and thus indirectly cause regional instability; (5) Disease can threaten military operations by disabling soldiers and diminishing the will of nations to participate in coalition operations.


            The burgeoning AIDS/HIV epidemic clearly provides a direct example of the linkage between disease and security.  More than 34 million people around the world are infected with HIV, a trend that continues to worsen.  In Africa, the epidemic is so severe that it threatens to stall or perhaps undermine economic development in many countries.  In Southeast Asia, the HIV epidemic is growing faster than in any other part of the world.   It threatens to overwhelm health budgets in many countries as the cost of HIV treatment continues to skyrocket.   In Papua New Guinea, AIDS not only threatens human beings, it also undermines social structures because of the fear and stigma generated by the disease.  In many countries, one of the societal effects of the HIV epidemic is the creation of large orphan populations as parents and older relatives succumb to the disease.


            The presenter noted that international pandemics are growing because of various medical, demographic and social factors.  One of these factors is rising antibiotic resistance.  Medical advances have led to a sharp reduction of many infectious diseases that traditionally killed millions.  Much of this progress is linked to the introduction of antibiotics.  But recently many antibiotic resistant strains have emerged that threaten human populations once again.   Diseases that could once be controlled by relatively inexpensive antibiotics must now be treated with more expensive medication for much longer periods of time.  In East Asia, examples of antibiotic resistant diseases include Mycobacterium tuberculosis, cholera, and malaria.   Environmental degradation is another factor fueling the spread of infectious diseases.  Climate change is expected to result in a greater incidence of disease through its influence on insect vectors as well as other means.  Researchers assert, for instance, that a small increase in average temperature in the United States may allow mosquitoes carrying Dengue Fever to reach as far north as New York City.


            Globalization and international migration also facilitate the rise and spread of infectious diseases.  Every year, millions of people migrate to other countries, either permanently or temporarily.  Millions more are displaced by humanitarian emergencies and other factors.  As human beings move into previously uninhabited areas, they may risk contact with pathogens (traditionally associated with animals) that have mutated to infect humans.  According to the presenter, examples of such mutations include the following: the zoonosis of measles from animal distemper, smallpox mutated from cow or monkey pox, and influenza related to Newcastle disease or fowl or swine influenza.  International migration is also a major risk in large-scale pandemics.  Immigrants and refugees can carry diseases from their homeland to their new country of destination, even before the disease is recognized.  In the United Kingdom, there have been cases of malaria acquired by individuals living near airports.  The resurgence of tuberculosis in many developed countries, moreover, is partially linked to mass immigration from countries where the disease is highly prevalent. 


            As noted earlier, disease poses a threat to human security and state security in a number of ways.  First, disease threatens individuals through death or disability.  Second, when countries face mass outbreaks of disease, they can undermine state capabilities and public confidence.  Disease, as one participant noted, is inherently political because of the powerful psychological and emotional reactions that it invokes.  People react violently to threats of disease and focus their ire on political leaders whom they have trusted for protection against such calamities.  Disease can also exacerbate inter-state tensions or cause conflict.  When India experienced an outbreak of the plague in 1994, many countries around the world cut trade and tourism links with India, resulting in massive revenue loss in excess of $2 billion.  The global reaction to India’s plague—and Indian indignation over what it perceived as unfair treatment—almost assures that countries will have an incentive to hide internal disease outbreaks in the future.


            Another security aspect of disease is bio-terrorism.  As one presenter noted, biological warfare has been used sporadically throughout history.  During the World War II years and earlier, Japan’s notorious Unit 731 performed biological experiments on Chinese nationals that resulted in thousands of deaths.  According to some estimates, Japan deployed biological warfare agents in Myanmar (Burma), Indonesia, Russia, Singapore and Thailand during this period.  More recently, Iraq has displayed a propensity to use biological war agents, although much of Iraq’s capability has reportedly been destroyed.  For security and law enforcement officials today, a bio-terrorist attack remains a primary concern.  As part of their security preparations for the 2000 Summer Olympics, Australian officials prepared contingency plans to address a possible terrorist attack involving biological weapons.  Similar concerns are evident in many other countries throughout the world.


            C.            Transnational Terrorism


The session on transnational terrorism examined recent developments in terrorism in Asia and attempted to predict future trends.  Terrorism was defined by one presenter as “the systematic use of violence that is employed by non-state actors to achieve specific political objectives.”   He also asserted that terrorism has been effective in achieving short-term goals (e.g., disruption of society), but generally ineffective in achieving long-term goals (e.g., gaining national independence).   Another presenter noted that international terrorism’s center of gravity has shifted eastward from the Middle East to Central and South Asia.   He also asserted that states are increasingly distancing themselves from terrorist groups.  These groups, in turn, must rely more heavily on organized crime to fund their activities.  Terrorists also rely on refugee and diaspora communities to help them accumulate weapons.


One presenter also noted that terrorist activity is rife in South Asia.  The region is the home to six of the world’s 16 highest-intensity conflicts (Assam, India, Bihar, Pakistan, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, and Nepal), plus 11 of the globe’s 17 lower-intensity conflicts.  India has several serious separatist movements that regularly result in violence, plus the dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir.  Pakistan is riddled with conflict between government and dissident groups and between Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims.  Similarly, Nepal has suffered violence stemming from a Gurkha separatist movement and an insurgency by the Nepal Communist Party. 


Another presenter focused on terrorism in East and Southeast Asia.  He argued that during the Cold War, an array of sub-state Communist and ethno-separatist groups used terrorism to achieve their political goals.  Terrorism, unlike traditional conventional warfare, is seen as relatively inexpensive.  Some have described it as a high yield/low cost method of warfare.  Weak political groups can achieve leveraged social and political influence through the use of terrorism, which requires relatively little personal risk to the perpetrators.  The presenter focused his inquiry on three major terrorist groups: the Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB) and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Philippines; the PULO and New PULO in Thailand; and the Aum Shinrikyo Supreme Truth Cult in Japan.


            The Alex Boncayao Brigade, according to the presenter, is the self-described “punitive” armed wing of a leftist faction that split off from the New People’s Army in 1993.   The group claims a membership of 500, although most experts believe the actual number to be around 100.  The group has engaged in acts of violence to “protect Manila’s urban poor from exploitative business practices.”   The group claims responsibility for bombing the head offices of Shell Philippines, Caltex and Petron (the Philippines national oil corporation).  In early 1996, however, the government under President Ramos, launched a major offensive against the group which led to the arrest of much of the group’s leadership.  Nevertheless, the group demonstrated that it could continue to wield power and influence.  Following the election of President Joseph Estrada in 1998, the group announced an escalation of its “People’s Struggle.”  A series of bombings and shootings, including the assassination of a senior officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in 1998, have been attributed to the group.  Despite these operations, the presenter asserted that the long-term prospects for the ABB are relatively bleak, due to the impact of the 1996 arrests and the lack of a unifying cause that can mobilize a large number of Filipinos.


            Unlike the ABB, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) poses a much greater challenge to the government of the Philippines.  The insurgent movement can be traced back to 1989 and is governed by Caliph and other religious leaders who, together, constitute the so-called Minsupala Islamic Theocratic Shadow Government (MIT-SG).  According to Philippine military estimates, the ASG has a support base of 1,148, with more than 330 fighters.  The primary goal of the ASG is to create an independent Islamic State in Mindanao (MIS).  According to the presenter, the ASG also sees its objectives as “intimately tied to an integrated effort aimed at asserting the global dominance of Islam through armed struggle.”  ASG claims responsibility for a series of recent attacks, including a 1993 attack on the San Pedro Cathedral in Davao City; a 1994 ambush of a bus in Basilan, resulting in the massacre of 45 Christian passengers; a 1995 raid on the coastal settlement of Ipil that led to the death of 53 civilians; the February 2000 bombings of two inter-island ferries, resulting in 45 civilian deaths.  Most recently, the ASG was behind the recent kidnapping of 71 elementary school teachers, children and international tourists.  By August 2000, over 20 hostages had been released, four had been beheaded and another 15 rescued by the Philippine military.


            Finally, the Aum Shinrikyo is best known for its sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, which killed twelve and injured over 5000.  The group was founded in 1984 and bases its belief system on “an idiosyncratic fusion of mystical Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism, mixed with the Apocalyptic Revelations of St. John and the Sixteenth Century predictions of seer-astrologer Nostradamus.”  The leader of the group, Shoko Asahara, once predicted that a nuclear war would erupt between Japan and the United States, which would wipe out 90 percent of Japan’s population.  In the wake of this destruction, Aum would be able to rise up and usher in a new, spiritually pure world.  Estimates regarding the number of members in the Aum Shinrikyo group range between 10,000 and 30,000. 


At its peak in 1995, Aum Shinrikyo had nearly US$1 billion at its disposal, much of which was used to build an elaborate chemical/biological weapons program.  The development of this program was facilitated by the cult’s policies of recruiting students from Japan’s top universities who specialized in physics, biochemistry, biology and electrical engineering.   In April 1990, the group attempted major terrorist attacks using biological agents at three major locations: the Japanese Diet (Parliament), the Yokosuka naval base (home to the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet) and the Narita International Airport.  These attacks were unsuccessful.  Later in June 1993, the group used botulinum toxin in an attempt to murder the Japanese royal family during the wedding of Prince Naruhito.  During the same month, the group attempted another attack in which they released anthrax spores from the top of a building they owned in Tokyo.  As the presenter noted, Aum Shinkyo may represent a new type of terrorist organization that “blends open-ended and higly volatile millenarian belief structures with the type of extremist Manichean outlook characteristic of many fundamentalist religious organizations.”


            D.            Maritime Crime


The panel on maritime piracy noted that maritime crime and piracy are growing challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and are threatening global shipping networks.  One presenter asserted that over 1,455 maritime piracy incidents had been reported to the International Maritime Organization from 1984 until April 1990.  Moreover, despite the fact that the number of piracy reports dropped between 1997 and 1998, the level of violence experienced by ship crews has worsened dramatically.  In 1998, for instance, over 51 crew members were killed and 31 wounded in a series of piracy attacks.  In the Asia-Pacific region, the areas most prone to piracy attack—based on incidents reported in 1999—were the Singapore Straits and areas around Indonesia.


Since maritime piracy is “essentially a crime of opportunity” requiring effective timing and appropriate geography, it is a crime that thrives in Southeast Asia where there are thousands of small vessels plying the waters that can provide camouflage and cover.  Additionally, the region features thousands of small islands—often unmonitored—where pirate groups can base their operations.  A presenter noted that most pirate attacks occur in narrow and busy sea lanes.  In these areas, law enforcement is minimal and government complicity is common.  Pirates will often commit their maritime crimes in the waters of other nations.  A recent example of this was the kidnapping of foreign nationals in Malaysia who were later taken to the Philippines. 


Among the factors that may contribute to maritime piracy are the presence of maritime disputes between nations.  Unsettled maritime boundaries can deter effective enforcement against crime, including piracy, especially since one nation’s enforcement actions may be perceived as intrusions by a neighboring state.  The existence of such gaps in maritime enforcement provide “a great deal of elbow room for maritime pirates to operate.”  The South China Sea with its numerous maritime disputes is a prime example of this phenomenon.  As would be expected, maritime piracy is rife within this region.


Piracy also thrives in the milieu of unsettled questions of international law.  The 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) establishes an obligation to suppress piracy on the high seas.  Yet 80% of piracy is not committed on the high seas; rather, most acts are committed within the territorial waters of particular states.  Although piracy is deemed a universal crime, this does not mean that there is universal jurisdiction.  Pirates take advantage of contested areas where countries are reluctant to conduct naval operations.   Consequently, another trend in maritime piracy is “jurisdiction jumping.”  Pirates will sometimes travel to the territorial waters of another state and then commit a crime against a third state.  Afterwards, they may seek refuge in their home state or another jurisdiction.  This ability to jump to different territories allows the pirates to evade law enforcement actions.  In addition to piracy, other maritime crimes in the Asia-Pacific region include narcotics trafficking and human smuggling.


            Many of the panel members agreed that to effectively counter maritime piracy, regional cooperation must exist on several levels.  First, states would need to cooperate by assisting in the creation of law enforcement mechanisms that can counter piracy.  Laws between countries would have to be standardized or harmonized to allow a common attack on piracy.  Studies would also need to be conducted to illuminate the modus operandi of traffickers of migrants and pirates in order to identify zones of instability. 


            E.            Environmental Degradation


            The panel on environmental degradation examined the myriad of environmental challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region.  Presenters noted that Asia suffers from significant air, land and water pollution and the trend—with very few exceptions—is worsening.  Despite this reality, public consciousness about the issue is still relatively low.   Environmental issues often do not generate the level of attention or concern, as more traditional security issues (such as the threat of a region-wide nuclear war).   Environmental problems are often recognized only after severe damage has occurred and by that time, it is often too late.


Air pollution was highlighted as a particularly serious environmental challenge for the region.  In many of Asia’s urban areas, air pollution exceeds levels considered safe by the World Health Organization (WHO).  Twelve of the world’s 15 most polluted cities (as measured by levels of particulate matter in the air) are located in Asia.  In most Asian cities, the largest source of air pollution is the transportation sector, a trend that is worsening due to the increased reliance on automobiles, motorcycles and buses.  The impact of such pollution on human health is devastating.  Air pollution is now viewed as a significant contributor to chronic health problems in the region.  Air pollution problems are also inherently transnational.  In the case of northeast Asia, China is the major regional emitter of sulfur dioxide and is a significant emitter of nitrogen dioxide.  Prevailing winds carry these pollutants from China to Korea, Japan, and the North Pacific (to include North America).  In Korea, it is estimated that up to 13% of sulfur deposition originates from China and, depending on seasonal changes, the amount of sulfur coming from China often exceeds the amount generated in Korea.  In Japan, sulfur deposition originating from China is estimated to range between 3.5% to over 50%. 


            Another transboundary pollution threat for Northeast Asia is marine pollution, which includes chemical pollutants, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, radioactive waste, sewage, heat waste, oil, and many other materials.   One marine environmental issue in particular threatens to spark conflict in Northeast Asia: the dumping of industrial and nuclear waste into the oceans.   Such dumping practices are preferred by many countries because they are cheap and efficient.   Countries will often dump waste into areas of the ocean where there are overlapping claims.  Russia and Japan have admitted dumping thousands of tons of nuclear waste into the East Sea (Sea of Japan).


            The Yellow Sea, meanwhile, is the dumping ground for industrial pollution from both China and Korea.  The East Sea (Sea of Japan) is used as a dumping ground for industrial waste and has been the site of multiple oil spills.  The breakup of a Russian oil tanker off the Japanese coast in January 1997 caused massive damage to Japan’s sensitive fish and aqua-culture breeding grounds.  The incident caused an international dispute between Japan and Russia as each blamed the other for not taking responsibility for the disaster.


            The panel also noted that deforestation poses another major threat to environmental security throughout the region.  Deforestation continues at a rapid pace throughout the region, and particularly in Southeast Asia.  Over 50% of the original forest cover in Southeast Asia has been destroyed, a trend that shows no sign of abating.  Deforestation can lead to more severe natural disasters and scarcity challenges that can have transnational implications.  One example of the linkage between deforestation and security occurred in 1997 and 1998 when a haze crisis developed in Southeast Asia.  The haze was the result of forest fires in Indonesia—caused in part by excessive logging.  Over 20 million Indonesians suffered from adverse health effects of the haze crisis.  In neighboring states, such as Malaysia and Singapore, officials initially attempted to downplay the severity of the crisis, but eventually they had to abandon their diplomatic posture and point the finger directly at Indonesia.   


The panel also noted that arguably the ultimate transnational environmental issue for the region is climate change.  Climate change will likely have profound consequences for the region’s environment as well as human health.  Rising sea levels will have disastrous effects on many of Asia’s largest cities that are adjacent to the ocean, such as Bangkok, Calcutta, Karachi, Manila, Bombay, Shanghai and Tokyo.  Moreover, island states consider climate change—and its impact on sea level rise—to be a major threat to survival.  Some Pacific Island states have entered into negotiations with larger countries to expedite the out-migration of their citizens in the event that sea level predictions become reality.


            F.            Small-Arms Trafficking


            The small-arms trafficking session focused on a problem that contributes both to international crime and terrorism and, ultimately, may result in social instability.  One presenter defined the phenomenon of small-arms trafficking as the “import, export, acquisition, sale, delivery, movement, or transfer of firearms, ammunition, explosives and other related materials from or across the territory of one State Party to that of another State if any one of the States concerned does not authorize it.” 


Another presenter disclosed the findings of a previous meeting on small-arms trafficking that was held by the Council on Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP).  Among other things, he noted that small arms are the weapons of choice for most transnational criminal activity.  He also asserted that there is often a strong linkage between weak states and the proliferation of small arms.  Weak states tend to invite small arms trafficking—as well as other forms of crime.  Stronger states may supply arms in expedient cases, although their complicity is often disguised. 


It was noted that the movement of light weapons—in violation of state laws—is contributing to crime and other anti-state elements.  The proliferation of small arms around the world partly reflects the “shift of armed conflict progressively from the regular to the irregular.”  Armed conflict in the future, according to one presenter, will be governed by a “new kaleidoscope where neither the old rules or new weapons apply.” 


            South and Southeast Asia are particularly vulnerable to the scourge of small-arms trafficking due to various factors.  The Afghanistan-Pakistan region arguably contains the world’s largest concentration of weaponry, a situation made more volatile by the fact that it is also a center for terrorist and extremist ideology.  Similarly, Asia has two of the largest opiate producing countries in the world—Myanmar and Afghanistan—and it is well-known that narcotics trafficking, and its collateral violence, depends extensively on the availability of small-arms.


            Similarly, the existence of organized crime cartels in the region—notably those based in Russia, Central Asia and China—contributes to the demand for, and hence the trafficking of small arms.  Additionally, Asia is a tinderbox for unresolved conflicts, including those over land and sea borders, as well as those that are more ethnic or religious in nature.  Within this milieu, small-arms act as a catalyst for instability.   The presenter also noted that the scale of small-arms trafficking in Asia is enormous.  In the late 1980s, there were very few AK-47 assault weapons in South Asia, but now there are over seven million.   The proliferation of small-arms can be partly attributed to military modernization in the developed world.  As old weapons are phased out, they often find themselves in the stream of international commerce within the illegal arms market. 


            The panel also noted that small-arms trafficking threatens the state in several ways.  First, it can undermine democratic institution building as governments seek to control the threat.  Their attempts often result in draconian measures—such as a military takeover of the civilian government. Small arms also sustain domestic criminal groups that erode or challenge the power of the state.  Economic development can be impeded in those states with high levels of small arms.  States at the bottom of development charts are often the same ones experiencing serious internal or external conflicts.  Similarly, efforts to reduce or eliminate border controls (for the purpose of allowing freer trade and exchange) tend to be undermined by the reality of small-arms trafficking.  This harms nations that are in need of such exchanges.


            G.            Illegal Migration


The session on international migration and human smuggling focused on the various causes and effects of migration in the Asia-Pacific region.  As one presenter noted, migration is not a new phenomenon in the region; many countries—such as Thailand—have been shaped by extensive historical migrations.  Asia witnessed one of its largest mass migrations in 1975 after the fall of South Vietnam.  Additionally, the Asia-Pacific region is the source region for millions of migrants and refugees who reside around the world.  But despite this historic reality, migration continues to generate sharp and often emotional reactions in both source and host countries. 


International migration is stimulated by various “push” and “pull” factors.  As one presenter noted, migration “can be explained as a rational choice by people who evaluate the costs and benefits of relocating.”  Push and pull factors can be delineated into four basic categories: (1) political (2) demographic (3) socioeconomic and (4) environmental.  Migration due to political factors has been a common scenario in Asia’s history.  Political suppression or generalized violence in a society may prompt people to emigrate abroad, legally or illegally.  In Fiji, anti-Indian sentiment—reflected in a number of coups by some native Fijians—has spurred emigration from some parts of Fiji’s ethnic Indian community. 


Demographic and economic factors are also powerful stimuli for both legal and illegal migration.  Demographic pressures in China are fueling massive internal migration, some of which is transformed into international migration. Similarly, population growth in the Philippines—a major source country for immigrants in the region—is exacerbating unemployment pressures and thus stimulating emigration.  Moreover, economic factors play a major role in stimulating migration.  In China, income disparities between Fujian and other coastal provinces and nearby Taiwan, Japan, or South Korea has sparked substantial illegal emigration, much of it controlled by human smugglers known as ‘snakeheads.’  Asia’s economic crisis of 1997 also sparked mass migration among particular countries.  Indonesia witnessed the exodus of thousands of its nationals who fled to neighboring Indonesia.  In addition to economic causes, environmental factors—such as climate change, natural disasters or deforestation—also stimulate migration and may become a much greater cause of mass migration in the future.


As the pressures for migration have increased in the region—combined with shrinking avenues for legal migration—the trade in human beings has flourished accordingly.   According to one presenter, between 10 and 50 percent of all illegal migration is organized by smugglers.  Migrant trafficking depends on an array of false passport and fake visa services.  The People’s Republic of China stands out as a major source of smuggled migrants throughout the world.   Most recently British customs officials discovered 58 dead Chinese nationals trapped in a truck near the port city of Dover.  The incident exposed the cruel and callous disregard for human life inherent in the human smuggling trade.  A Chinese presenter noted that the growing problem of illegal Chinese emigration is the result of multiple economic and social factors both within China and in various destination countries.  In general, Chinese migrants are seeking higher-paying jobs in countries that are facing labor shortages.  Moreover, the human smuggling trade thrives within the legal contradictions that often exist in destination states.  On one hand, many of these countries prohibit illegal migration, but simultaneously, they allow or tolerate it because it satisfies the labor needs of domestic industries.


The presenter also noted that China has exerted extensive efforts—legally as well as politically—to stem the human trade.  Articles 176 and 177 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China specifically prohibits illegal emigration and the activity of organizing illegal emigration (smuggling).  Articles 318 and 321, which were added in March 1997, provide harsher penalties for those caught smuggling people abroad.  Notwithstanding these legal measures, the problem of human smuggling continues almost unabated due to powerful underlying economic factors.  Human smuggling is a problem so vast that no single country can handle it alone.  Successfully mitigating the issue will require extensive and sustained international cooperation.


Another presenter on the international migration panel noted that international cooperation between countries in Asia and North America has helped reduce—although not eliminate entirely—the growing trade in human beings.  Information sharing between various immigration ministries has helped to expose the problem of passport and visa fraud.  The United States and Australia have shared information about recent incidents of human trafficking into Australia.  Similarly, Canada and the United States are cooperating to stem human smuggling into North America.


As the scale of illegal migration grows in the region, it is increasingly being viewed by governments as a security concern.  On the level of human security, international migration can lead to abuse or victimization of migrants.  Human smuggling subjects migrants to unsafe and inhumane conditions.  Upon arrival, migrants may be forced into dangerous occupations, such as the sex trade, where they have few rights or recourse to assistance.  Governments consider migration a security concern because of the perception that it contributes to crime.  Because illegal migrants cannot enter the legal job market, they may feel compelled—either through their own initiative or from coercion by the criminal gangs that smuggled them—to engage in criminal activities, including prostitution, drug trafficking, and theft.  On the international level, countries might view migration as a security issue especially when it is perceived to be the result of manipulation by a sending country.  Governments may force or strongly encourage certain segments of its population to migrate in order to pressure a neighboring state.


            H.            Military Responses to Transnational Threats


            In the post Cold War world, military forces are discovering that their roles are expanding to include missions that involve countering transnational security threats.  The two presenters and one discussant on this panel focused on the evolution of military roles and the changing geopolitical environment throughout the world that is spawning these transnational challenges.  


            One presenter noted that the nature of conflict is changing and that “comfortable security models and industrial age warfare” are out-dated concepts.  Another presenter noted that writers such as Martin van Crevald and Robert Kaplan have depicted a dark and bleak future world in which conflict occurs at the sub-national level between terrorists, criminal gangs, or guerillas.  The state’s primary challenge will be to defend itself from internal and low-intensity conflict, conflict that will eat away at its internal social order.  Yet, the current trend in many military circles is to focus on “business as usual.”  The emphasis on the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) in the United States reflects this trend.  The RMA is primarily geared toward major state-to-state confrontation.  It is not necessarily the most efficient response to transnational threats, which many see as the key mission for military forces in the coming decades.  In other words, as a presenter noted, the United States military is preparing for the conflicts that it wants to be engaged in, not the ones that it will be inevitably drawn into.


            Military forces are likely to be drawn into transnational security missions based on a hierarchy of relevance.  For example, issues such as money laundering and computer crime would probably not elicit a military response, since these threats can be managed more effectively by civilian agencies.  Infectious disease and environmental degradation are more likely to involve military forces.  Military forces often have specialized capabilities that would be useful in large-scale infectious disease outbreaks.  Traditionally, military forces—especially those in the United States—have prepared for scenarios in which infectious disease may be used as a weapon.  In the event of a biological weapons attack, the United States military has contingency plans to assist civilian authorities.  Similarly, military responses to environmental degradation might include disaster relief, drought assistance, or the rebuilding of essential civil infrastructure. 


The trafficking of small-arms, narcotics or illegal migrants might involve military intervention even more directly.  Military forces working as peacekeepers may be able to interdict large shipments of illegal arms.  Similarly, military units may provide key support roles for civilian agencies directly responsible for intercepting illegal drugs.  In the United States, military forces have played a key anti-narcotics role on the U.S.-Mexico border where they provide key intelligence on trafficking trends.  Mass migration may also prompt a military response, as was the case in the Caribbean during the mid-1990s when thousands of Haitians and Cubans attempted to reach the United States.


Of the various transnational security threats, maritime piracy and terrorism may

involve military forces most directly.  Maritime piracy is a growing problem in the Asia-Pacific region.  One presenter noted that the number of piracy attacks in Indonesia doubled in 1999, compared with a year earlier.  This probably reflected the effects of economic crisis and domestic unrest in that country.  States are discovering that by conducting naval patrols through key shipping corridors, they can significantly reduce the incidence of piracy.  Consequently, the role of the military in countering maritime piracy is likely to grow.  Similarly, military forces have extensive experience with terrorism.  Military forces have played key roles in collecting intelligence against terrorist organizations, providing hostage rescue services, and, in the most extreme cases, attacking terrorist facilities and headquarters.


            Although the military can take on these roles, it is culturally not enthusiastic about these types of missions.  There is an institutional bias against ‘Military Operations Other Than War’ (MOOTW).  As one high ranking marine officer stated, many in the U.S. military—like their counterparts in many countries—aspire to ‘heroic war’ in which they direct their energies toward a demon, a dictator or a hated regime, and crush it.  Heroic war has clear objectives and transparent chains of command.  But the reality of future conflict is that it is much more likely to be muddled, with missions more opaque and infused with multiple political and economic objectives.  Countering narcotics trafficking, conducting humanitarian operations, or engaging in peacekeeping operations—these are just a few examples of the likely missions of the future.  They are not so traditionally heroic, but they are necessary.


IV.            Conclusion


            A broad consensus emerged that transnational security issues are a growing challenge for the Asia-Pacific region.  It also became clear that not all states agree about which challenges are more severe.  Problems such as infectious disease, small arms trafficking, and terrorism do not affect every country equally.  Similarly, economic factors may affect the level of priority given to a particular problem.  For example, a country faced with the challenge of sustaining a certain level of economic growth might not consider pollution to be as important an issue, compared to its neighbors.  Illegal migration may be more harmful to a receiving state, but in some respects, it can be helpful to a sending state because of the remittances sent by migrants back to their families.


            One key thought that emerged was the need for international cooperation, not only at the top levels, but also at the working level (or operational level), between agencies of different countries.  Countries must establish enough mutual trust in order to be willing to share sensitive operational intelligence.  Moreover, a common agenda to confront transnational security issues must emerge.  This conference was a good beginning, but the challenge of managing transnational security threats will require persistent inquiry into the problem and its potential solutions.


[This report was prepared by Paul J. Smith and Don Berlin]


The Asia-Pacific Center (APC) is a research, conference, and study center funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Center’s mission is to foster understanding, cooperation, and study of security-related issues among civilian and military representatives of the United States and other Asia-Pacific nations. The Center provides a focal point where national officials, decision makers, and policy experts can gather to exchange ideas, explore pressing issues and achieve a greater understanding of the challenges that that shape the security environment of the Asia-Pacific region. APC occasionally publishes articles on Asia policy issues written by APC research, staff, and fellows. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Asia-Pacific Center, the Department of Defense, or the United States government.