Piracy and Armed Robbery as an Evolving Threat to Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security

This article is part of Evolving Threats to Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. How has piracy/sea robbery evolved over the last 20 years? Piracy has existed since ancient times, wherein pirates looted vessels carrying commodities. Today, piracy and armed robbery […]

Gamechanger: Marcos Jr. Transforms the Philippine-U.S. Alliance

Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s emphatic election victory earlier this year—securing more votes than all his rivals combined—caught many observers by surprise, including the victor himself. Many critics feared that the return of the controversial political dynasty to the Malacañang presidential Palace would spell doom for the Philippines’ besieged democracy following six years of authoritarian populism under […]

Occupational Health and Safety as an Evolving Threat to Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security

This article is part of Evolving Threats to Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. How have threats related to maritime occupational health and safety evolved over the last 20 years? Maritime occupational health and safety (OHS) has been a longstanding problem […]

Environmental Crimes as an Evolving Threat to Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security

This article is part of Evolving Threats to Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. How have environmental crimes evolved over the last 20 years? Environmental crime has received less attention than other forms of transnational maritime crimes. Whereas IUU fishing and […]

Climate-induced Disasters as an Evolving Threat to Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security

This article is part of Evolving Threats to Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. How has the threat of climate-induced disasters evolved over the last 20 years? Natural hazards originating from the oceans such as tropical storms and tsunamis that are […]

The Sense and Sensibility of Malaysia’s Approach to its Maritime Boundary Disputes

When it comes to maritime boundary disputes, Malaysia is willing to select from a wide range of policy instruments at its disposal: from legal to political negotiation, and from restraint to combative skirmishes at sea. Malaysia can be accommodating, as it was with Indonesia when the two delimited their continental shelves in 1969 based on […]

Interstate Disputes as an Evolving Threat to Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security

This article is part of Evolving Threats to Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. How have the threats associated with interstate disputes evolved over the last 20 years? Most territorial and maritime disputes between Southeast Asian states seem to have stabilized […]

The Evolving Nature of Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security Threats

This article is part of Evolving Threats to Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security, a series of analyses produced by experts convened by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. Southeast Asia’s maritime security landscape is steadily evolving. Earlier in 2022, an RSIS study showed that the region’s maritime stakeholders are increasingly aware of their interconnectivity and […]

Marcos Jr. and ASEAN: Minilateralism in the South China Sea

Shortly after Ferdinand Marcos Jr. assumed the reins of power in the Philippines, an observer forecasted a major foreign policy reboot, which would defy both his populist and liberal predecessors. The working consensus at the time, however, was that the new Filipino president would largely continue former President Rodrigo Duterte’s Beijing-friendly foreign policy. After all, […]

The East China Sea: Ten Years After the Senkaku Nationalization Crisis

This month marks the tenth anniversary of Japan’s nationalization of the Senkaku Islands, when the Japanese government purchased them from a private landowner in an effort to reinforce administrative control and to prevent private groups from visiting. The Chinese response to Japan’s action—which was controversial at the time—sparked a crisis in bilateral relations; although there […]

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 […]