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Asia Watch: State of play

A new decade has brought some familiar problems. Efforts to contain and eliminate Islamist terror in Southeast Asia face the perennial challenge of vast, porous borders and now the prospect of hardened fighters returning home from the Middle East. 

Asia Watch: Trigger Points

The bomb struck hours before President Rodrigo Duterte and other government officials gathered to witness the “decommissioning” of 1,060 ex-combatants from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who turned over hundreds of firearms.

Asia Watch: Tightening the net

The region’s thousands of islands and dense, mountainous jungles present acute security challenges. After beginning coordinated air and sea patrols in 2017 and agreeing to enhanced intelligence sharing last year, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines will launch joint ground exercises in August

Asia Watch: New beginnings, familiar threats

Despite the inauguration of a newly reformed autonomous Muslim region in the southern Philippines in late February, few were under any illusion that an era of peace and prosperity had suddenly swept in.

Asia Watch: A vote for peace

Regardless of the poll result, militant groups retain the power to create havoc with their attacks and potentially destabilise local governance structures. 

Asia Watch: Better a Friend than an Enemy?

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Israel was certain to make waves – if not for the fact that it was the first visit of a Philippines president to the Jewish state, then certainly due to the nature of the man himself

Asia Watch: Decapitation not always fatal

The death in Marawi of the top two leaders of the Islamic State-aligned forces in Southeast Asia was a significant achievement for the Philippines military. However, few believe it will end Islamist terrorism in the southern Philippines and neighbouring regions, as the remnants of the Marawi campaign scatter to remote areas to reconvene and reorganise.

Asia Watch: Enter the “Strongman”

There is no shortage of opinions about the Philippines' President-elect, 71-year-old Rodrigo Duterte. A brash, foul-mouthed, misogynistic, fascistic strongman; a courageous, uncompromising, vengeful practitioner of rough "justice" that brought law and order to a city beset by criminal and political violence.

Israeli field hospital in the Philippines receives high praise

To date, 12 babies have been born in the Israeli field hospital set up in the city of Bogo at the northern end of Cebu Island on November 14 to provide medical assistance to the Typhoon ravaged region. Typhoon Haiyan struck on November 8 and is estimated to have killed at least 4,000 people and left 600,000 homeless.