ASEAN defence reorientation 1975-1992 : the dynamics of modernisation and structural change

Author/s (editor/s):

J.N. Mak

Publication year:


Publication type:

Policy paper

Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 103

This monograph examines the reorientation of ASEAN defence strategies and doctrines, after the mid-1970s, from the requirements of counter-insurgency warfare to the development of conventional warfare capabilities, with the emphasis on the maritime sphere since the late 1980s.

The first part of the monograph provides an overview of ASEAN defence planning and a strategic backdrop to the region. Topics covered include: the concept of comprehensive security; the development of defence doctrines and strategies; the political influence of the military; ASEAN and conventional defence; technological trends; and the post-Cold War regional balance. 

The second part of the monograph consists of more detailed country studies of Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia, tracing the internal dynamics of defence modernisation in each country. 

The third part of the monograph assesses the effects of the ongoing ASEAN arms build-up and modernisation programmes - are they destabilising for the region and is an arms race taking place? It also assesses ASEAN conventional warfare capabilities not only to terms of hardware holdings but also in the context of force readiness, and sustainability.

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