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  • Author: Brian Bertosa
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: I can recall a time, prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, when any attention paid to Southeast Asia by most observers in the West (outside of Australia and New Zealand, at least) was conditioned by that region's importance within the context of the Cold War. Books with titles such as Soviet Strategies in Southeast Asia, or the preposterous assertion on the dust jacket of a volume on the Konfrontasi campaign that Britain's victory in Borneo was of "immense" importance in "stemming the spread of Communism," attest to the fact that political and military writers of that era —or at any rate their publishers—were mainly concerned with which Southeast Asian country would be the next "domino" to fall in what appeared to many to be communism's inexorable march through the region. Today, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, another simplistic, binary opposition between the West and "someone else" has been ushered in, the so-called "War on Terror," and so, like a soldier replacing the red lens of a military-issue angle flashlight with a green one, interest in Southeast Asia is now often structured around its character as an important centre of political Islam.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Britain, Australia, Southeast Asia