chapter  1
Transnational Violence in the Asia-Pacific: An Overview of Current Trends
Pages 16

The devastating terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in September 2001 underlines the growing power of nonstate actors to challenge the traditional monopoly over organized violence held by the state. Terrorism of this order belongs to a new class of threats that is stretching the boundaries of conventional thinking about security. Some of these threats are economic; others relate to the earth's physical environment; many are contemporary manifestations of age-old afflictions. They stem from demographic pressures, resource depletion, global warming, unregulated population movements (UPMs), transnational crime, virulent new strains of infectious diseases, and a host of other issues not previously associated with international security. Complex, interconnected, and multidimensional, these nonmilitary, transnational issues are moving from the periphery to the center of security concerns for both states and people. Collectively they represent a new security agenda that will increasingly demand the attention of policy makers and military planners everywhere. Asia and the Pacific are particularly at risk because of their large populations, ethnic and religious diversity, and history of sectarian conflicts. It is also a region overwhelmingly comprised of developing states, precisely the kind of state that is most vulnerable to transnational threats.