Press Coverage

Terror Challenges In Asia: The Trillion Dollar Market

May 30, 2012 Publisher: Lahore Times

Global spending on Homeland Security now stands at about $200 billion annually. But with budgets in Asia now set to increase by 30 percent in its trillion dollar plus market, where China, India, Japan and Saudi Arabia are closely followed by the South East Asia tigers, the message is clear: Asia is already almost as big a market as the United States, which accounts for one third of the world’s Homeland Security expenditure. But unlike the US, it’ll be a mistake to look at the security situation in Asia as one constant. Asia has many geostrategic regions, each with its own peculiarities, presenting challenges that are either indigenous or insurgencies that survive on cross border support.

The indigenous insurgencies and sometimes conflicts with communal divides have their roots in poor governance and corruption, ethnic inequalities and sense of persecution by the State. In India, these can be seen in the Maoist movement across Central India and the tribal insurgency in Northeast India, whereas in Pakistan it is the Shia–Sunni divide, the Balooch insurgency and the Pashtun disaffection in the NWFP (Af-Pak region). Russia’s Chechen problem and China’s battle against discontent in Xinjiang, as well as the Kurdish problem across Iran, Iraq and Turkey all fall in these categories. These require a combination of police cum military operations while adhering to the minimum force dictum to contain the problem, backed with imaginatively delivered packages that address the core grievances of the locals, employment, education, housing and roads.

The second challenge is posed by Proxy wars and Trans-national threats. This is sometimes even used as an instrument of policy by certain countries, such as, Pakistan’s support for cross border groups that operate in Kashmir that has added momentum to the failures of New Delhi policies

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