Southeast Asia / SEA

  • Features

    Unified Resolve

    FORUM Staff With the practiced steps of a choreographer, Australian Army Col. Ben McLennan traversed northeast Queensland, careful not to crush the enemy at his heels. Striding across an 8-by-16-meter map dotted with red and blue plastic models of tanks, warships, aircraft and troops, McLennan outlined the unfolding maneuvers of Talisman Sabre to Warrant Officer Ken Robertson, the senior enlisted…

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  • Features

    Unifying efforts Against The Military Junta

    Lt. Col. (Ret.) Dr. Miemie Winn Byrd/Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Two years after seizing power in a coup, the Myanmar military is on the verge of collapse. Coup plotters have failed to gain control of the country since they overthrew its democratically elected government and detained its leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and other high-ranking…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIP

    PRC still dragging its feet on South China Sea code of conduct

    FORUM Staff A decadeslong effort to craft a South China Sea code of conduct (COC) between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) took an incremental step forward in July 2023. Observers, however, say the PRC remains intractable. The latest agreement sets guidelines to accelerate negotiations on a COC, ASEAN foreign ministers said,…

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  • Features

    Modern Militaries, Reinforced Alliances

    FORUM Staff Technology is strengthening militaries tasked with maintaining security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Rapidly modernizing nations are transforming arsenals with advancements from cutting-edge aircraft and game-changing submarines to unmanned vehicles, space awareness tools and cyber defense upgrades. Meanwhile, security partnerships are encouraging scientific cooperation among like-minded militaries, and leaders are relying on the power of regional alliances to…

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  • Features

    The Indo-Pacific Strategic Space and the Global Order

    Dr. Arnab Das/Cmdr. (Ret.) Indian Navy The center of global power has shifted toward the Indian and Pacific oceans. The Indo-Pacific strategic space is recognized as the main theater of geopolitical and geostrategic interactions in the 21st century. More nations globally are deploying assets in the region to ensure their strategic presence and interests. India, the People’s Republic of China…

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  • Climate

    Renewable Forces

    On the evening of November 21, 1918 — 10 days after the signing of the armistice that ended World War I — British War Cabinet member George Curzon presided at a dinner honoring the Inter-Allied Petroleum Conference. Toasting the delegates gathered in London, Curzon declared that the Allies had “floated to victory on a wave of oil” due to their…

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  • Conflicts - Tensions

    COTS Devices Pass Muster

    Once dismissed as inferior technology, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) devices such as aerial and maritime drones, secure mobile phones and GPS instruments are helping Ukraine counter Russia’s assault and drawing increased interest from militaries worldwide, including in the Indo-Pacific. A relatively small percentage of the equipment that Ukraine has used against Russian invaders is inexpensive, publicly available and quickly accessible. Aerial…

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  • Features

    Modern Movement

    Gusty Da Costa Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Muhammad Herindra has served as Indonesian deputy defense minister under President Joko Widodo since December 2020. As a senior Army officer, he served as chief of the General Staff of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, as well as commander of the Army Special Forces Kopassus in 2015 and commander of the Regional Military Command…

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  • Culture & Custom

    Laos trumpets return of Elephant Festival

    Radio Free Asia  Laos’ annual Elephant Festival returned in February 2023 after a three-year hiatus, with about 75 of the majestic animals taking part in a grand procession in an event that stressed the cultural ties between the mammals and communities and highlighted the elephants’ endangered status. The three-day festival in Xayaburi province, in northwestern Laos near the Thai border,…

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  • Global Commons

    Experts: Momentum building to condemn weaponization of hunger

    FORUM Staff More than two years after a military coup sparked a bloody conflict and sent Myanmar spiraling into a humanitarian crisis, 1 in 4 people in the Southeast Asian nation of 54 million struggle to feed themselves and their families. Food insecurity is particularly acute in conflict zones and projected to deteriorate in the coming months throughout the country,…

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