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Southeast Asia After Sept. 11: Containing Terror, Hindering Democratization

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011

In February 2002, U.S. Special Forces arrived in southern Philippines, hot on the trail of various Islamic organizations that had taken sanctuary in Mindanao -- including some that had allegedly relocated there from Afghanistan after the 2001 U.S. invasion. The 2002 deployment marked the opening of the so-called Second Front in the Global War on Terror, which would go on to include Indonesia. A decade later, assessing the results of America's post-Sept. 11 involvement in the region depends on which perspective one examines it through.

The U.S. response, though multifaceted, has been largely characterized by its support for the Philippine and Indonesian security apparatuses. And through a military prism, Washington can claim moderate success in having helped contain the terrorist threat. ...

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