Brahmos in the Philippines and Quad Potential

In December 2021, Secretary of Defense Lorenzana announced that the Philippines would purchase $374 million in Brahmos anti-ship missiles from India. The missile has a range of 156 nautical miles, allowing it to range the Bashi Strait if deployed in northern Luzon and part of the Spratly Islands if deployed on Palawan. This may be […]

Foreign Policy under Marcos Jr.: More like Father than Outgoing Duterte

Throughout much of his adult life, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. lived in his father’s shadow. To many observers, he lacked both the fierce ambition as well as the intellectual credentials of former Filipino dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, who reigned longer than any president in the country’s history. His own father fretted over ending up with a […]

Scrutinizing Indonesia’s Naval Modernization Plans

Sometimes, quantity is quality in itself. Quantification may convincingly indicate progress, especially before the prying eyes of one’s political leaders and the taxpayers to whom defense and military establishments must be held accountable. Great is thus the temptation to reduce naval modernization plans to a mere bean-counting exercise. Otherwise methodical and programmatic arms procurement plans […]

The United Kingdom’s Conceptualization of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. The United Kingdom’s definition of “maritime security” The United Kingdom’s 2014 “National Strategy for Maritime Security” (NSMS) defines maritime security as “the advancement and protection of the […]

The European Union’s Conceptualization of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. The European Union’s definition of “maritime security” The European Union’s official definition for maritime security is included in the European Union Maritime Security Strategy (EUMSS), which the […]

South China Sea: Countering Hun Sen’s Cowboy Diplomacy

Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen kicked off his rotational chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with characteristic “cowboy diplomacy.” Just months after the regional organization disinvited Myanmar’s junta leaders from regional meetings due to the lack of progress on the implementation the “Five Point Consensus”, the Cambodia leader became the first head […]

Naval Engagements Will Brace the United Kingdom’s Indo-Pacific Tilt

In March 2021 the UK government published its “Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy: Global Britain in a Competitive Age,” commonly known as the “Integrated Review.” The two pages devoted to framing the United Kingdom’s “Indo-Pacific tilt” represent the clearest statement to date regarding the country’s official intent to expand and deepen […]

The Second Thomas Shoal Incident and the Reset in Philippine-U.S. Ties

China’s brazen interference in a routine resupply mission to a Philippine outpost reveals Beijing’s growing capability to act on developments that it thinks may impact its interests—expansively defined—in the contested South China Sea. On November 16, two Philippine civilian boats delivering provisions to the moored BRP Sierra Madre at Second Thomas Shoal (called Ayungin Shoal […]

Maritime Security Conceptualizations in Southeast Asia: The Implications of Convergence and Divergence

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. Former Senior Fellow in the RSIS Maritime Security Programme Commodore Sam Bateman (RAN, retd) observed over a decade ago that a fundamental issue that arises when considering […]

The United States’ Conceptualization of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in the United States’ national language English is the working language of the U.S. government. The term “maritime security” is a catch-all in U.S. policy […]

Philippines Enhances Ties with AUKUS

On September 15, 2021, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States announced the formation of a technology-sharing accord called AUKUS. The accord underscores the three countries’ commitment to deepen diplomatic, security, and defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. The agreement’s first announced goal is to create a […]

Japan’s Conceptualization of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” Japan’s national language. “海洋安全保障 (Kaiyo anzen hosho)” is the most commonly used phrase for maritime security in Japanese. The phrase consists of three words. The […]

India’s Conceptualization of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in India’s national language. While India does not have a national language, Hindi and English are designated “official” languages for use by the government. The […]

Australia’s Conceptualization of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in Australia’s national language English is the national language of Australia. Australia’s definition of “maritime security” A search of relevant government publications (see below) does […]

ASEAN Conceptualizations of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. ASEAN’s definition of “maritime security” ASEAN has no official definition for maritime security. This is not particularly surprising since ASEAN’s lexicon generally follows language developments in the […]

Thailand’s Conceptualizations of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in Thailand’s national language The word for “maritime security” in Thai is “ความมั่นคงทางทะเล” (kwarm-mun-kong-tarng-talay). The word “ความมั่นคง” (kwarm-mun-kong) generally means “stability” but when used in […]

Singapore’s Conceptualization of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in Singapore’s national language While Malay is Singapore’s national language, English is one of four “official” languages – along with Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. English […]

Indonesia’s Conceptualizations of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in Indonesia’s national language “Keamanan Maritim,” or “Keamanan Laut” are the words used in Indonesian to mean “maritime security.” When translated directly into English, “keamanan” […]

Malaysia’s Conceptualization of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in Malaysia’s national language Malaysia’s national language is Bahasa Malaysia. The word “maritime security” normally used in Bahasa Malaysia is “keselamatan maritim.” Maritim directly translates […]

Brunei Darussalam’s Conceptualizations of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in Brunei Darussalam’s national language Maritime security is oft mentioned in Brunei Darussalam’s national documents in its English form. This is primarily because these national […]

Vietnam’s Conceptualizations of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in Vietnam’s national language In the Vietnamese language, an ninh biển (direct translation: security of the sea) is the term currently used to refer to […]

The Philippines’ Conceptualization of Maritime Security

This article is part of Conceptualization of “Maritime Security” in Southeast Asia, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “Maritime security” in the Philippines’ national language The national language of the Philippines is officially Filipino, but this is a mixture of predominant Tagalog language with words […]

Strategic Catch Up: Biden’s Team Is Stepping Up in Southeast Asia

Vice-President Kamala Harris’s maiden visit to Southeast Asia this month couldn’t have come at a more critical juncture. The Biden administration’s “hard and messy” exit from Afghanistan has not only sapped the prestige of American power, at least for the moment, but also enabled rivals and their proxies to gloatingly question the United States’ commitment […]

Codifying Waters and Reshaping Orders: China’s Strategy for Dominating the South China Sea

While states remain focused on combating Covid-19, security challenges to the existing international order have not vanished. On September 1, China’s Maritime Traffic Safety Law (MTSL) came into force, requiring all foreign vessels entering Chinese territorial waters to notify maritime authorities, carry required permits, and submit to Chinese command and supervision. This comes after China’s […]