Southeast Asia has been identified as the “second front” in the international war on terrorism, a title that took on new meaning after the horrific terrorist attacks in Bali on Oct. 12, 2002. Even before the Bali attacks, the nations of Southeast Asia had expressed growing concern about both regional and international terrorism, calling for “concerted efforts and concrete initiatives at all levels” to combat terrorism in the Joint Communiqué issued at the close of the 35th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Brunei. (Appendix A). Terrorism was high on the agenda of the broader ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting as well, with the ministers laying out specific “Measures Against Terrorist Financing” (Appendix B). In addition, an ASEAN-U.S. Joint Declaration was signed pledging cooperation in this field (Appendix C), a remarkable public alignment with Washington on a very high-profile security issue.
Issues & Insights Vol. 03 – No. 02
February 1, 2003