Asian-Pacific Security and the ASEAN Regional Forum: Lessons for the GCC

Author/s: K.S. Balakrishnan
1st Edition Year: 1998
Edition: First edition
Language: English
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Description

This study deals with two major issue-areas: the evolving context of Asian-Pacific security and the role of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) as a security dialogue mechanism. While the latter has been heralded as a forum that is pan-regional in scope, there is continuing concern that its mandate should extend beyond confidence-building measures to address substantive security issues affecting the region. A particular issue is whether ARF can mitigate or prevent conflict in a region in which there are still unresolved territorial disputes and military insecurity.

Consequently, the search for a viable, all-encompassing pan-regional security apparatus is a continuing theme and endeavor in Asia-Pacific since the end of the Cold War, although economically the region has enjoyed the fastest growth-rate in the world in the last decade. A prevailing notion of “uncertainty” exists and a major concern is the role of the US, which some fear exercises a unipolar presence not necessarily “healthy” in the long-run for the region. Nonetheless, the US is regarded as a key actor that will deter the rise of “new hegemons” and reduce the risk of militarism. The paper concludes by drawing comparisons from the Asian-Pacific experiences for the Gulf.

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