The implementation of Russian Federation’s coercive diplomacy towards Ukraine in the new great game context over gas pipeline dispute (2006-2009)


The concern about Energy Security has been always becoming the most important and heated discussion in international politics even until today. Although the issue that related to this aspect was always happening from time to time, flashing across our media electronic such as in television, internet and newspaper columns, it is still really difficult for some scholars to find and explain how the concept of energy security will be kept in line with the reality of our modern life. This considered as the evidence that energy security is categorized as one of the ambiguous, abstract and complex term in the world politics, which its characters always change overtime (Yergin 2011).

Barton defines energy security as “a condition in which nation and all, or most, of its citizens and businesses have access to sufficient energy resources at reasonable prices for the foreseeable future, free from risk of major disruption or service.”(Barton, 2004). There are some important elements that could be elaborated from this definition. The first one is related to the sufficiency of resources. It means that the availability of physical energy resources is not only coming from fossil fuels (e.g. oil, gas and coal), but also could be from non-fossil ones (e.g. renewable energy resources or nuclear energy). With plurality of resources, it is possible for every state to implement what it calls as the diversification of energy resources.

The second element is referring to the price that should have to be “reasonable”. It means that wiith the character of energy security that always dynamic, there will be a time where change of energy price and scarcity of energy supplies can happen in the future and eventually will bring negative impact towards the rate of society’s prosperity within certain countries that regularly always use lot of energy resources. The last element refers to the risk of major disruption in public services of a country if energy security of particular state is being threatened, where its society is considering energy itself as their primary needs due to the scarcity of energy resources. On the next section, there will be a further research of Russian government roles in energy security in Ukraine, which back then focused only in economic and business matters changed into a form Russia’s politicization of energy supply in Ukraine as part of its coercive diplomacy actions. After introducing this issue briefly, it will be elaborated more on case study section in order to apply independent variable  within the central issue in the next section.

Coercive Diplomacy and The New Great Game Theory

For analyzing and explaining further about the core problem within this case, it would be started with understanding a significant theory and certain concepts as interconnection of the theory itself. The most significant theory on explaining this case would be coming from Coercive Diplomacy and The New Great Game. However, before elaborating this theory, we should have to know first the basic term of securitization of energy issues which considers as a crucial point within the study of International Relations.

In terms of securitization of energy issues, the main problem of the securitization process itself is coming from finding the exact securitizing actor who represents the existential threat within energy issues. It implies hat the relevant securitizing actors in energy security are mostly depending on who is speaking about the related issues first (Roberts, 2004). As for existential threat that coming from energy security, it could be defined based on a perspective of Paul Roberts:

“A failure of energy security means that the momentum of industrialization and modernity grinds to a halt, and survival itself become far less certain. (Roberts 2004)

This means that when those of securitizing actors in energy security are facing certain challenges such as lacking of infrastructures on finding energy resources in certain areas or losing the capability on maintaining their energy supplies for public services, those challenges are considered as their threats. That is why they need to take out a decision on solving those threats.

Then there is an understanding of coercive diplomacy conception. Coercive diplomacy is a diplomatic strategy aiming to achieve political objectives within one state and fostering its national interest without waging a war. This is a strategy on using the threat of force instead of applying full – scale of military actions in order to make the state’s target complying with its demand. This political-diplomatic strategy is also being enforced for persuading its target to back down and stopping an action already conducted which considered could bring the conflict into a state of war. [1]

However, as the antithesis of Ilario Schettino statement above, in my opinion Coercive Diplomacy is obviously considered as part of diplomatic and defensive strategy. We can see on the application of the strategy itself that in diplomacy part, coercer state applies its demands towards particular state (that is considered as a target state) through conducting a meeting or making several contracts and agreements which containing about those demands as a form of both countries’ negotiation. And then, in defensive part, while taking out several demands towards the targeted state, coercer state on the same time employing threats (whether those threats are being limited or not) in the form of punishments or sanctions for making this target state to stopping its actions that totally against coercer state’s preferences or undo the action that already conducted by target state which already gave benefits on its coercer one without putting up any kind of non-compliance or resistance. That is why even though in one time the coercer state will arrange agreements or contracts as part of its negotiation with its targeted state, after that the coercer state will giving particular threats towards its target as part of its use of force (conducting violation but does not mean to apply a full scale of military actions) if its target giving countermeasures back until this target state comply with what coercer state prefers for.

There are two (2) types of extreme “variants” or methods on applying coercive diplomatic strategy: [1]

  1. Try-and-see approach
  2. Ultimatum approach (consists of 3 components, they are demand, threat and time pressure)

The use of these two variants could shift from one into another by policymakers depends on a state’s implementation to each step it has taken. As for the first approach, it will be used when a coercer state takes one threatening step in one moment, waiting for its target’s reaction before imposing additional threats without setting time limitation. However, for the second one, it consists of three processes, such as a demand, a threat and time pressure. [2]

Thus, even though the coercive diplomacy is categorized as a diplomatic strategy by using threat of force, the fact is that it also has the goal for preventing a war and to achieve a global peace.

In terms of The New Great Game context, it is considered by Duarter in 2012 as a competition on the importance of geopolitics of energy in some of Eurasia countries, whose the main players for this game have been added with the involvement of non-state actors and resulted in an establishment of new natural gas pipeline, LNG tanker route, oil consortium, and a new signed agreement (Duarte, 2012). Those states which competing each other within the new great game context are mostly coming from United States and its NATO allies against Russia along with its state monopoly companies for gaining a new political hegemony in Eurasia region, particularly in Commontwealth of Independent States’ (CIS) space.

Based on the hierarchical level of analysis in terms of main players within the new game as what Boris Rumer has stated, the major powers which are involving within the game could be considered as first level of analysis, while for secondary ones are coming from those Eurasian countries (mostly from Central Asia, Slavic Union and Caucasus region) since they are also having their own ambition and interest in a regional level. As from non-state actors, they are being considered as parts of the second level of analysis which then divided into the supra – State (e.g. NATO, UN, OSCE, etc) and the infra – State categories (e.g. NGOs, MNCs, terrorist groups, criminal organizations, etc) (Boris Rumer, 2005).

Russia’s Coercive Diplomacy Implementation towards Ukraine in Responding Orange Revolution

The cause of why gas conflict between Russia and Ukraine happened in the early 2006 can be seen chronologically based on the biggest event that happened 11 years ago in Ukraine which still coming into the mind of people in several states of post-Soviet space and the West countries. After mass protests happened between Ukrainian society who were supporting Yanukovych (pro-Russia government) and Yushchenko (pro-Western government), the third round of Ukraine’s presidential election in 2004 resulted with people elected Viktor Yushchenko as the country’s first president where they considered him could enlighten the dark age of Ukraine’s state system under authorization of Russia as the dominant country in post-Soviet space.

The Ukrainian people also considered this election as the first time where the real democratic system and transparency become visible in more than several years of Ukrainian history. The mass protests in Ukraine eventually had led into the existence of reformist coalition power under Yushchenko which called as Orange Revolution. Unfortunately, the result of choosing Yushchenko as the President of Ukraine at that time started to worry Russia, since it means that the opportunity to implement its political influence as a major power country in Eurasia region, particularly in post-Soviet space would be disappeared. [1]

The revolution in Ukraine bviously brought a threat for Russia’s national interests along with its national identity inside Ukrainian country. Not only that, the biggest threat that Russian government faced at that time was related to the effect of revolution itself, where eventually the change of political system under Russia’s government structure umbrella could trigger several countries in CIS space to conduct “color revolution” as well, such as like “Rose Revolution” that happened in Georgia in 2003 or “Tulip Revolution” in Kyrgyzstan in 2015. (Herd, 2011).

Later, on December 31 in 2005, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave statements on the national television that he would give the last chance for Ukraine until midnight to accept his offers by ordering Gazprom, as the biggest gas national company that controlled by Russian Government to keep selling its subsidized gas to the country until in the end of March, as long as Ukraine agreed to pay it in European market level prices started from April and beyond. However, Yushchenko refused the Russian offer by saying that Putin’s offer considered as “economic pressure”. Thus, started on January 1 in 2006, Russia conducted a total shutdown of its natural gas supplies for Ukraine and Western European countries by reducing the flow of its gas initially from 20% into 0% for the next four days (until 4 January 2006). [2] During the crisis, Gazprom accused Ukraine that the declining of gas supplies to its customers was coming from         the country’s gas siphoned off 100 million cubic meters that should have distributed for its EU costumers; while from Ukrainian side, the decline of gas volumes to EU was –no other than due to– Russia’s pressure towards Ukraine for still not agreeing to pay the supplies with high prices. Aside from that, in terms of Ukraine’s embezzle action towards Russian gas supplies, based on both countries’ annual contracts it was already stated that Ukraine has its rights for taking 15% of Russia’s gas which is crossing Ukraine’s territory for delivering it to European countries as barter transit payment from Russia for being allowed to use Ukraine’s GTS. (Jonathan, 2006). But Russia denied Ukraine’s statements and kept perceiving Ukraine as a gas “theft”. In order to solve the case, in January 2 Gazprom took its responsibility by pumping additional 95 million of cubic meters  everyday to EU countries as a part of compensation on the gas that Ukraine had taken (Jonathan, 2006).

Since the long – term gas dispute between both countries would be difficult to be solved, Ukraine then tried to diversify its gas stocks from another gas – producer country. Thus, during the year of the dispute, Ukraine would fulfill the country’s gas needs by importing 40bn cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan. that The gas was distributed throughout pipelines crossing Russia as what (it) had been dealt on with Turkmen president Saparmurat Niyazov on December 23 in 2005 at price around $50 – $60. However, with Russia’s gas policy which also wanted to increase its own purchases towards Turkmen’s gas by readying (willing) to pay in a higher price (around $65) based on signed agreement between both parties on December 29. It made the Turkmenistan government to announce Ukraine that the contract between both countries was no longer valid due to Turkmenistan’s distrust towards Ukraine which still could not pay its gas debts for the country (Simon, 2007). It was obvious that Russia during that time tried to improve its efforts on reducing and preventing –the gas supply deliveries from– other countries come to Ukraine, which make the possibility for Ukraine to gain large amount of gas volumes aside from Russia will be smaller than what it had expected.

However, even though the agreement that had been made by Gazprom, RosUkrEnergo and Naftogaz Ukrainy (as two biggest national gas companies controlled by Ukrainian Government) to solve gas dispute between these two countries stated that Ukraine would gain its gas demands from both Central Asian countries and Russia, in fact on two days after the deal has been agreed it was confirmed that in 2006 Ukraine would not receive any of gas imports from Russia. Consequently, (which means that 56 bcm of Ukraine’s gas imports were mostly coming from Central Asia only). It could be seen on October 2006 Ukraine had applying its remarks by announcing that the country had signed contracts with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to gain 58 bcm of gas from these countries, and with this reason, Ukraine would not purchase its gas supplies from Russia anymore started in 2007 (states by Yuriy Boiko, the Ukraine’s fuel and energy minister). But it could not be avoided that in the end the process of gas imports from Central Asia countries to Ukraine should have to involve Russian presence, which controlled by Gazprom. Thus, starting on December 4 in 2007, Gazprom chairman along with fuel and energy minister of Ukraine eventually had made an agreement to accept a new gas import price with a price around $179.5 which would be set up in 2008 in Russian and Ukrainian territorial boundaries.

Based on the case of Russia and Ukraine hostile bilateral relations during Gas Dispute in 2006 until 2009, Russia at that time used “Try and See” method by taking out several demands towards Ukraine such as asking for pay Ukrainian gas debts along with paying its gas imports in normal price (based on European gas market levels which was measured around US$260-US$230). Aside from that, Russia also asked for Ukraine to take responsibility over disappearance of gas supplies which supposed to be exported to Western European countries through applying limited threat which stating that Russia would reduce its gas supplies to Ukraine into 20%. However, after that Ukraine did a counterreaction towards Russia by giving statement that it would not responsible on the disappearance of Russia’s gas supply, rejected to sign the contract that containing about the change of the country’s payment on Russian gas exports with Gazprom and instead strengthening its ties with the West (particularly towards NATO and EU) as part of Ukraine’s resistance to comply with Russia’s demands. After that, Russia then took out a further step by applying Ultimatum method through taking out specific demands and put all of those demands from standard ones (e.g. paying debts) into intermediate level (controlling over part of target state’s territory) with time limitation for target state to reply on all of those demands. On this case, Russia then took out its specified demands from asking to pay Ukraine’s gas imports in normal level into a demand for handling over the control of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol Port and its city in Crimea to Russia, and Ukraine was having its chance to reply on the demands until around midnight on December 31, 2005. But still, Ukraine, particularly from Viktor Yushchenko, rejected the demands stated by Vladimir Putin by saying that Russia conducted “economic pressure” towards Ukraine, given economic downturn that still happened at that time inside Ukraine. On the day after tomorrow, Russia then started to apply its coercive measures which considered as the form of Russia’s punishments through cutting its gas supplies into 0% towards Ukraine and EU countries from January 1 until January 4th in 2006, making sure Russia always get involve on gas export activities that coming from Central Asia countries to Ukraine and conducting annexation over Crimea in order to protect and support its compatriots within the disputed areas due to the Ukrainian stance for keep rejecting its agreement for extending Russia’s BSF presence in Sevastopol and Crimea, where during this period also both countries still have major confrontation from social ethnic and political groups upon the sovereignty of Sevastopol city and Crimea.


After explaining about the component of Russia’s implementation on its coercive diplomacy actions towards Ukraine, it can be explained that asymmetrical condition was happened between both countries during that time. It means that even though Ukraine made its “counteractions” to Russia by keep improving its relations with the West, in fact there was no balance of power between Russia and Ukraine on this case, particularly in gas resources that included as the vital value for both countries. Theoretically, if asymmetrical situation is happened between state A and state B as state A’s rival (when state A is conducting its coercive diplomacy actions towards state B as target state), it would be possible that bilateral relationship between state A and state B will be more complicated in the future, and even it will turn out into “the state of conflict/war” due to the failure of state A on stopping an action that already conducted by state B which against state A’s preferences to achieve global peace. Thus, it will be possible that Russia and Ukraine will face an intense conflict escalation which eventually will turn into the state of war in continuing both countries’ long-term dispute in gas sector.

References :

[1] Varol, Tugce. 2013. The Russian Foreign Energy Policy. Republic of Macedonia: EGALITE. p. 283,284,289.

[2] Stern, Jonathan(2006). The Russian – Ukrainian gas crisis of January 2006. Oxford Institute of Energy Studies. p. 8, 9

[1] From the page of “Essentials of Coercive Diplomacy” in Coercive Diplomacy-Integral Element of Diplomatic Negotiations, from Retrieved at September 23rd, 2015. Reprinted with permission

[2] Jakobsen. Western Use of Coercive Diplomacy after Cold War. p. 29

[1] Article of E-IR Page written by Ilario Schettino. Is Coercive Diplomacy a Viable Means to Achieve Political Objectives? Retrieved from on September 23rd, 2015


Eksistensi perusahaan nasional dalam proyek 35000 MW bak kaum marginal di dunia post-modernisme

一寸光阴一寸金, 寸金难买寸光阴 (yí cùn guāng yīn yí cùn jīn, cùn jīn nán mǎi cùn guāng yīn) Time is money, and it is difficult for one to use money to get time. Waktu adalah uang dan sangat sulit sekali bagi setiap orang untuk membeli waktu dari uang yang mereka miliki. Seperti inilah yang saat ini dihadapi oleh pemerintah Indonesia maupun perusahaan swasta nasional. Deadline untuk mencapai proyek 35000 MW yang dicanangkan oleh presiden Jokowi – JK sudah semakin dekat, sementara target pembangunan perkembangan listrik dari energi yang dimiliki Indonesia saat ini masih bernilai zero. Belum terselesaikannya permasalahan pendanaan dari PLN maupun pembagian terhadap pembangunan pembangkit listrik antara PLN dan perusahaan listrik swasta, baik dari pihak nasional maupun pihak asing (atau disebut juga sebagai Independent Power Producer atau IPP) yang notabene hanya mendapat 18.461 MW dengan 243 unit dari pihak PLN dan 24.507 MW dengan 265 unit dari IPP itu sendiri (adanya ketidakseimbangan terhadap pembangunan pembangkit listrik dari kedua pihak), masalah baru datang dari tubuh perusahaan listrik swasta atau IPP. Ironisnya, walaupun semua perusahaan listrik swasta telah memiliki wewenang penuh untuk meningkatkan pembangunan pembangkit listrik dengan kapasitas yang lebih tinggi dari PLN, kenyataannya setiap proyek tersebut lebih didominasi oleh perusahaan swasta pihak asing instead of perusahaan swasta dari dalam negeri sendiri. Walaupun berbagai macam halangan yang dihadapi oleh IPP dalam mengembangkan proyek ini telah ditangani oleh pemerintah seperti diberlakukannya sistem pelayanan terpadu satu pintu (PTSP) oleh Badan Koordinasi Penanaman Modal (BKPM) untuk mempercepat proses perizinan pengembangan pembangkit listrik tersebut agar dapat menghemat waktu dan biaya tender tanpa adanya proses negosiasi, seperti yang tersusun dalam Permen ESDM No 3 Tahun 2015 dan Kepmen ESDM No 0074 Tahun 2015. Namun mirisnya, seperti yang dialami oleh PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara, pemerintah hingga saat ini belum ada inisiatif untuk mendukung bahkan memunculkan peran IPP pihak nasional related kepada proyek ini. Hal ini dipaparkan oleh Ketua Umum Asosiasi Produsen Listrik Swasta Indonesia (APLSI) yang mengatakan bahwa pemerintah bahkan belum menunjuk anggota asosiasi untuk terlibat dalam program penambahan daya listrik tersebut dan sebagai konsekuensinya proyek tersebut dijalankan sepenuhnya oleh pihak asing. Tulisan ini menjelaskan mengenai alasan tidak difokuskannya peran pengusaha nasional serta solusi terbaik yang diberikan untuk meningkatkan peran perusahaan listrik tersebut. Inti permasalahan dari kurangnya peran pihak swasta nasional datang dari aspek bisnis dan perekonomian.

Pasalnya, pemberian pinjaman yang dilakukan oleh pihak bank negara hingga saat ini lebih ditujukan kepada perusahaan pihak asing dibandingkan oleh pihak swasta nasional itu sendiri karena mereka lebih memiliki pengalaman yang banyak dan lebih percaya sepenuhnya kepada mereka dibandingkan pihak swasta nasional. Selain itu, para pengamat mengatakan bahwa suku bunga pinjaman dan tingkat pengembalian modal dari nilai proyek atau internal rate of return (IRR) yang masih sekitar 12 persen sementara bunga bank yang mereka pinjam plus hedging menjadi kendala lain (bahkan sebagai kendala terbesar) yang dihadapi pihak nasional. Dengan adanya masalah ini, solusi sementara yang dikemukakan oleh Pengamat Ekonomi sekaligus Direktur Eksekutif Center of Reform on Economics (CORE) Hendri Saparini yaitu dengan memberikan insentif dalam masalah pendanaan bagi swasta nasional melalui perusahaan BUMN seperti PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (SMI), sebuah BUMN yang telah bergabung dengan Pusat Investasi Pemerintah (PIP) sekaligus agen pembangunan untuk menggerakkan swasta nasional dalam membangun infrastruktur listrik. Pasalnya, dengan bergantung pada pendanaan luar negeri dapat dikatakan sebagai pilihan lain untuk melibatkan pihak nasional dalam bersaing dengan pihak asing, namun Hendri mengatakan bahwa adanya peningkatan hutang swasta nasional di luar negeri akan mengganggu situasi makro ekonomi Indonesia dan pada akhirnya memiliki dampak yang besar terhadap nilai tukar rupiah. Solusi tambahan juga dapat diajukan dengan melibatkan peran Kejaksaan Agung dalam hal bantuan hukum, pertimbangan hukum dan tindakan hukum lainnya untuk pemulihan dan penyelamatan keuangan pihak swasta nasional seperti yang telah dilakukan oleh PLN. Sehingga dengan adanya keterlibatan Kejaksaan Agung, pihak swasta nasional dapat mengambil keputusan secara wise dan dapat terhindar dari resiko dan tuntutan hukum, terutama dalam masalah peminjaman dana.

Philippine territorial dispute (ASEAN projection)


Generally, the establishment of regional cooperation already started during Post-World War II era, since as we know that after there were so many bloody wars that already happened, almost all states around the world were beginning to recognize that it is really important for them to put specific components on their economic, political and security affairs inside their own regional and geographic context. That is why at that time (especially after the end of World War II), all regional agencies or regional arrangements started to become the biggest important player in International Relations which has major roles in order to maintain international peace and its stability in almost every aspects. And this statement had been agreed by United Nations through the UN Charter which said that all of its member states are being advised to solve all of their settle disputes through regional agencies or arrangements before they are going to bring the case into the Security Council and also to not taking any kinds of decision related to military enforcement actions without authorization of Security Council itself.[1] But, as we can see, based on the fact that already happened, during post-1945period (during Cold War era) the establishment of wide variety of regional corporations did not operate well based on the draft of UN Charter had been stated before. Instead, some of those regional arrangements mostly doing alliances with the Great Powers during this era, where those Great Powers were coming from the winner of World War II, which are from United States and Soviet Union or USSR (these regional arrangements at that time defined themselves as set of collective defense arrangements). And this kind of regional arrangement was being established because of the condition during Cold War where there was ideological confrontation between the United States and Soviet Union at that time that triggering almost some developing states around the world to do bandwagon system in order to balancing their power with their rival states because of the threats that they are receiving in order to maintain or stabilizing security conditions within their states. This associated defense and security policies obviously preventing UN’s ability itself to fulfill its potential mandate which had been stated on the Charter before.

We can take simple case in South East Asia during Cold War era within the establishment of ASEAN. In this case, we will take a look based on Constructivism school of thought in International Relations field. Constructively, the establishment of ASEAN started first from the emergence of SEATO (South East Asia Collective Defense Treaty Organization) which resulted Manila Pact in order to maintain stability of South East Asia region during Cold War era because of ideological confrontation between US which holding capitalism and democracy with USSR which holding communism. After that, there was The Bandung Conference in 1955 joined with African states as a form of Nonalignment with US or Soviet Union that resulted in Asia Africa Conference and Dasasila Bandung as a Non-Block Movement. After that, in 1967, ASEAN had been established by representatives of 5 member states from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Philippine which afterwards other 5 states following to join with ASEAN as well until today where ASEAN will integrate through AEC in 2015 later. Based on its historical process, it is obvious that in our opinion, before ASEAN had been established, when SEATO was taking place in South East Asia, the truth is that this regional organization was as a form of alliance with US especially in order to prevent communism spread into South East Asia region after China became communist country under Mao Zedong authority because of domino theory that US President stated before, even after the establishment of ASEAN. This is of course against what UN Charter had stated before about what is actually the role of regional organizations should have to be. The table below is showing historical process of ASEAN establishment constructively.

Year Historical Process of ASEAN
1954 US Containment / proxy power SEATO (South East Asia Collective Defense Treaty Organization) / Manila Pact
1955 The Bandung Conference and Nonalignment as alternative basis-cold war-friendly cooperation
1967 ASEAN establishment where Integration is as Shared Ideas
1972 ZOPFAN establishment as the first security organization about proliferation of the usage of nuclear weapon (WMD)
1976 TAC (Treaty of Amity Cooperation) establishment
1986 Brunei joined with ASEAN
1994 ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) establishment
1997 CLMV establishment about Great Mekong Cooperation
2002 Bali Concord
2008 ASEAN Charter was established
2011 GAC establishment
2015 ASEAN integrity through ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)

Based on what had been explained before, Constructivist thought that the culture of anarchy within international system is basically shaped by state itself through its social interactions with other states that eventually will lead these states inevitably to involve with soft-peaceful solution through cooperation which then there will be security dilemma that these states had been facing within certain cases and in the end the norms or values within the organization will be useless for them and instead beginning to form alliances with external powers in order to balancing their powers with the rival states. In this case, we explain about historical process within regional organization by using constructivism because most of regional arrangements after post-Cold War era, they are shifting the system into cooperative security where even though there are still so many intrastate conflicts within the region, they will put those cases aside or hiding it during the dialogue with its members and instead just focusing more on their economic interests based on the value of no intervention and dialogue as peace resolution. And based on what is happening nowadays, it will be a challenge for some of regional arrangements, especially for South East Asia members through ASEAN to shift its regional arrangements from cooperative security turn into collective defense because of the security dilemma that certain members had been experiencing from certain cases that related to territorial dispute as had been mentioned before. Eventually the condition or situation within the regional organization can be explained based on Neo-Realism school of thought, since some states will make alliances with external powers in order to balancing their power.

Theoretical Framework

Before explaining further about territorial dispute that Philippine faces against China over Second Thomas Shoal in Spratly Island of South China Sea as one simple case related to regional arrangements changing within ASEAN that will be explained later on the study case, we should have to know first on some concepts that related with the case itself. The first important concept is about geography (in terms of Philippine’s geographical potencies which will be explained on the next part) and geopolitics. Basically, geographical potencies that the state always has are region position, natural resources, industry and culture or religion (population). In terms of region position, we can take an example in Singapore, even though it does not have abundant natural resources or large population, it has business to rely on as its national power by using Malacca Strait which near with its position and through sea line, they can do transaction in business easily through their port, that is why Singapore ports are considered as the busiest port in the world. For natural resources also can be seen from Saudi Arabia and other middle east countries which has abundant oil and gas, and they can convert it as their national power. As for industry, it is focusing more into international political economy, when there is a condition from a state related to its export and import. If its import is bigger than its export, then it has problem with its economic condition (include as a weak state), but if it is otherwise, this state has its national power. And the last is from culture and religion (in terms of population), if one state has large population and the government can manage this condition by improving its human resources, then this state has its national power in terms of its large population that has good human resources (e.g. China).

As for geopolitics, it has a linkage also with strategic environment itself and geo-strategic projection. Geopolitics, in general, can be defined as human perspective towards geographical feature of some places which have important values for them, while in the aspect of state as a main actor in international relations, can be defined as a decision or a policy of a state with another state to get over something (a place) which is really important for achieving what they think is important (can also included as national interests or ends of certain states). With this geopolitics policy, politics and military developments are being conducted and being influenced or influencing those states after they know about the important value of a place that they want to take over, which then defined as the strategy value of certain states and after that it will become a national security within those states. As for political development, for instance is like doing diplomacy and negotiation or another political decision towards this place, and then those states will put their military equipments in some spots that close to this place.

Next is the concept of regional arrangements itself. On the previous section we had explained briefly about the changing of regional arrangements within regional organizations or institutions during post-World War II until Global Politics today, especially in South East Asia region. As for regional arrangements itself, practically security arrangements within regional organization can be clustered into four categories, where each category is reflecting different form of mutually perceived security dilemma and eventually resulting into different forms of security practices and regional institutional arrangements. However, we will just take two concepts of regional arrangements within this case, they are collective defense and cooperative security. The first security arrangement is collective defense. Collective defense is created by states who want to emerge a regional organization because of security dilemma that they are experiencing, and this kind of arrangement basically coming from defense and military aspects. In order to solve this dilemma, they are starting to conduct formation of alliance, since it is really obvious that the threat that they are receiving is clear enough (defined perceived adversary). Regarding to Stephen Waltz statement, security dilemma itself is happening because of balance of threat that certain states are getting on, which means that when a state is giving threat to another country, this country will pass back the threat through its foreign policy as its reaction. And the last one is cooperative security, where this security arrangement is creating dialogue about security by establishing security community (as institutional mechanism). It can be improved through CBM (Confidence Building Measurement) with permanent infrastructure or office (e.g. ASEAN).[1]

Then, the next concept is about balance of threat (as continuation of security dilemma concept that had been mentioned briefly before on types of security arrangement within a regional organization). For balance of threat itself, like what had been mentioned before, is as the result coming from security dilemma that states are facing over certain cases that will threaten sovereignty of these states (pose threat to their national independence). As the continuation of this theory stated by Stephen Waltz, there are some factors that triggering the appearance of balance of threat within one state over another state within regional organization. The first is from aggregate power, which means that the bigger or the greater the capability of state’s total resources (e.g. military capability, population, social solidarity, industrial and technological development), the more the potential threat will occur that it can pose to other states. Second one is geographic proximity. It means that state which has big powers where the location is nearby obviously will pose big threats towards its neighbors rather than other big powers which are far away based on the location. Third is offensive power, which means that states which have big offensive capabilities of course will pose a greater threat rather than states which has defensive capabilities. And the last factor is from aggressive intentions. States, which are considering as aggressive states will pose threat either if they are on the same time likely to provoke other states to balance against their rivals.[2] To summarize, regarding to those factors, it will eventually affect the threat level within one state over another where eventually it will make other states to conduct some actions as reaction for balance of threat itself through balancing or bandwagon each other as balance of power where the concept will be explained below.

As for balance of power, it is as conditions of bipolarity that expecting an engagement between two powers in balancing that eventually will produce a balance itself where each is capable of defending its vital interests.[3] To make it simple, balance of power is as a reaction for states (both for great powers and developing states) from condition of balance of threat as had been explained before. This concept is as a suggestion for states to form Alliances in preventing stronger powers from dominating them and on the same time to protect themselves from states or coalitions whose superior resources pose the threat towards their sovereignty (balancing or bandwagon).[4] There are two of three conditions that will be taken when states will tend to conduct a balance or prefer to bandwagon based on the case. The first condition is from power and weaknesses. It explains that the stronger the state, the more it wants to balance rather than bandwagon, however it is different for weak states, if the threat is likely coming from great power, they will prefer to bandwagon instead to balance their powers. And the second is from the availability of allies. When states are threatened by great power, they will choose to bandwagon if they fail to find potential allies which are sharing mutual interests.[5]

The last is about dynamic of politics concept. In this concept, we can see that the nature of international system in International Relations’ field is really anarchy, which means that there is no higher or bigger authorities and powers beside state itself. and with the appearance of international system, it is always resulting polarity among states, especially when states conducting some kind of interactions each other (competition, conflict and cooperation) over certain places that they perceive as strategic place that has strategic value to achieve their national interests. Then, with this condition, there will be security dilemma because of threat that other state’s posing to another state, where in the end there will be formation of alliances with other state that considered as great power or those who have the same power with that state (bandwagon or balancing) and then power cycle will appear within this situation. As for power cycle theory, it explains about evolution of systemic structure via cyclical dynamic of state rise and decline.[6] To make it simple, principles of power cycle is explaining on how absolute power changes within the system can create the rise and decline of states based on their interactions and also could change the structure within international system itself. This concept encompasses both the state and the system in a single dynamic.

ASEAN STUDY CASE : Regional arrangement’s changes from vertical to horizontal over Second Thomas Shoal in ECDA

Based on the geographical context, The Philippines is considered as an archipelago comprising around 7,107 islands with a total land area of 300,000 km2 with its population is around 107 million peoples.[1] The Philippine also lies about 805 km off the southeast coast of Asia (its overall land area is comparable with Arizona, which only 7% of the islands are larger than one square mile and only one-third have names).[2] The 11 largest islands are containing 94% of the total land area, where there are about 1000 of its islands inhabited, and less than one-half of these islands are larger than 2,5 km2. The Philippine is located between Taiwan and Borneo, where the archipelago is being divided into three island groups. The first one is Luzon which containing Luzon island itself, Palawan, Mindoro, Marinduque, Masbate and Batanes islands. Second one is Visayas where the groups of its islands in central Philippines that containing Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte and Samar. The last one is Mindanao which containing Mindanao itself and the Sulu archipelago. As a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Philippine islands are mostly volcanic in origin and also mountainous, where those volcanoes within the country are active.[3]


In terms of its economy, Philippine is as the 4th largest economy in South East Asia and the 36th largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity based on the data from IMF in 2009. Most of its industries are located in urban areas around Metro Manila, while on the same time Metro Cebu also is considered as an attraction for both foreigner and local investors. Being a newly industrialized nation, even though its economy still focus more on agricultural sector, industrial sectors based on manufacturing of electronics and other high-tech components are also started to appear and dominating the country itself such as like Intel, Texas Instrument and Printer manufacturer Lexmark. Also, since the Philippine is rich in both mineral and geothermal energy resources, it is categorized as the second country for electricity production from geothermal sources after United States.[1] Based on the brief explanation of Philippine geographical context, it is obvious that the national power that Philippine has in order to conduct its geopolitics on Second Thomas Shoal will be possible in order to get its claims over the shoal. As we can see, since Philippine is categorized as an archipelago country (has same geographic condition on terms of its extensive land, has lots of mountain area and crowded in terms of its population), with big population and high level of education it will be possible for its decision maker to increase its human resources with the support from its economic growth in order to claim and protect the shoal from any kinds of interference, especially from outside of ASEAN territories like China. Therefore, the national power that Philippine has based on its geographical context are from its region condition, population and its industries (its economic growth in export and import).

Next is about geographical context of Second Thomas Shoal. Second Thomas Shoal, also known as Ayungin Shoal in Philippine, is as an inhabited shoal or atoll in the Spratly group of islands within South China Sea with low tide coral reef that located 105 nautical miles from the Philippine’s Palawan Islands. This shoal has 15 kilometers long and five kilometers wide which is as territorial claim and also military occupy for Philippine (Ayungin Shoal), Vietnam (Bãi Cỏ Mây) and China (Ren’ai Jiao).[2] It is on the same time as the gateway to Reed Bank (another disputed part in South China Sea) where it provides lots of oil and natural gas where until today Philippine stated it as part of its territorial claim to be within 200 mile exclusive economic zone.[3] Philippine already started considering Second Thomas Shoal as Philippine’s territorial claim since in 1999, where the Philippines navy ran aground the BRP Sierra Madre, a World War II era landing transport ship, on the shoal to make its presence towards the island with less than a dozen navy personnel on the 100 meters (330 feet) long as the response for China’s occupation on Mischief Reef after that time. Since then, The Philippine has started serving it as a Philippine base hosting approximately 10 marines. However, even though they already made its presence in the shoal, they still do not have intention to build further infrastructure within the shoal itself. Even the former World War II vessel has begun to ask for President Aquino to instruct the navy for repairing the ships so that the Philippine still can maintain its presence to counter China’s presence there.[4]



Based on the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs statement, they consider Second Thomas Shoal as an integral part of the Philippines and that China should have to go out from that area since under international law (based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), China does not have its right to maintain its presence there anymore (the Chinese still consider that also as part of its territorial claim until today based on its long historical claim on nine dash lines surrounding South China Sea boundaries).[1] As the reaction from Philippine’s statement, Chinese government argued that they have “indisputable sovereignty” over the shoal and that Philippine’s attempts to send supply ships more for intensifying its illegal presence there and occupation on the Ren’ai Reef considered as violation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DoC).[2] Because of some events related to territorial dispute between China and Philippine in some parts of shoal within South China Sea triggering the conflict over Thomas Shoal itself, especially after claim over a standoff at Scarborough Shoal, where resulted in the establishment of permanent structure from China towards the shoal after Beijing violated its oral agreement with Manila to withdraw their vessels from the shoal and preventing Philippine fisherman from returning to the disputed area back. With China’s successful strategy on Scarborough Shoal to counter Philippine’s presence, they started to call for application of successful strategy on Second Thomas Shoal. Chinese Air Force Major General Zhang Zhaozhong stated to propose a “cabbage” strategy to deal with Second Thomas Shoal, where the Chinese will surround the shoal in layers of Chinese ships, with fishing vessels inside the inner layers that would be surrounded by civilian maritime vessels and navy ships in the outer layers.[3] The purpose of this strategy obviously to force the Philippines marines that deployed on the shoal to abandon the grounded vessels for its lack of strategy. If the possibility for this strategy to fail is bigger, the Chinese government would take another approach by towing the BRP Sierra Madre away from the shoal and also blocked two attempts by Philippine ships to resupply the garrison.[4] With these approaches conducted by Chinese government, it would obviously carry potential for conflict considering the presence of armed Philippine marines. Even though other countries within ASEAN beside Philippine also involved on the dispute like Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia, this territorial dispute in fact is only contested by China and The Philippines.


Since there is no other ways to counter China’s presence on the shoal anymore and with China’s excellent capability on maintaining its presence in Second Thomas Shoal through its developed military forces there, Manila asked to start conducting a meeting with ASEAN members and China itself in ASEAN Foreign Minister Meetings for 46th times centered in Brunei in 2013 and followed by ARF that attended at that time also by the foreign ministers of many other ASEAN partner countries. During the meeting, they discussed about economic development of ASEAN countries which will be conducted in 2015, recalled the so-called ASEAN Way as had been enshrined in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia by focusing its point about mutual respect for sovereignty, and settlements of differences and disputes in a peaceful manner. Besides that, they also discussed about tension over Second Thomas Shoal dispute in South China Sea between China and Philippines which all of ASEAN foreign ministers stated to call for dialogues and trust-and confidence-building initiatives, also stressing about the importance of stability and security in the region itself. Even though during the meeting there was also escalated conflict between China and the Philippines over South China Sea at least diplomatically, both the governments were implicitly assuring their regional friends that conducting armed conflicts toward each other could be considered as the last thing on their respective minds. Thus, they were agreeing from China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s suggestion for maritime cooperation between China and ASEAN countries, including the good-use of the China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund. Also, he stated to call for the stepping up of Sino-ASEAN cooperation both in defense and security, which for common, both collective and cooperative security, since China is also considered as the major trading partner of ASEAN, including the Philippines, and vice versa (in one time China’s presence can be considered as ASEAN countries’ threat, while on the same time also can be as their mutual friend or as an opportunity for ASEAN to develop their economic growths).[1]

However, after the meeting, it seemed that even though China and the Philippine already agreed to do cooperation as peaceful way for solving the problem, as had been mentioned before, China still insisted to take over its claims on the shoal and on the same time also still blocking Philippine’s vessels for giving its supply there, which means that China already violated the agreement indirectly during the meeting that had been conducted before. Thus, Manila filed a case with the United Nations to bring its territorial dispute with China to a United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) arbitration tribunal, where its action has drawn support from United States, the European Parliament, Japan and Vietnam. However, the result was still the same during the meeting with ASEAN countries foreign minister in ARF, with China’s strong position as permanent member also in UNSC, China strongly opposes multilateral discussion with Philippine’s supporters over the territorial dispute.[2]

Seeing what happens with Philippine, United States then started to take action by helping its long time ally through implementing its defense cooperation in military and defense with the Philippines which called as Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). During the meeting at Camp Aguinaldo, Philippine military headquarters in suburban Quezon city in norther part of Manila, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg discussed with his Filipino partner Voltaire Gazmin regarding to US-Philippines relationship, by reaffirming the 1952-1954 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between these two nations through the establishment of Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) which had been signed by US and Philippine leaders in April 28th 2014.[3] The agreement itself is being made for facilitating the enhanced rotational presence of US forces, expand opportunities for training and supports the long-term modernization of the Philippine military, where the goal for US itself is to strengthen Philippine maritime security, enhancing maritime domain awareness and improving humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities.[4] The agreement had been established during US President Barrack Obama’s visit to Philippines, which based on the statement from Philippine’s President Aquino III saying that the US-Philippine security agreement in EDCA is as the implementation from security cooperation turn into a higher level of engagement by ensuring of both countries’ commitment to mutual defense and security. The table below shows about some key points in 10 years defense pact between the US and the Philippines.


Key Points in 10 years Defense Pact between US and Philippine
Clear provision that the US would not establish its military presence and base in Philippines
US access to and use of designated areas in AFP owned and controlled facilities (“Agreed Locations”) will be at the invitation of the Philippine government
US access and use of Agreed Locations may be listed in an annex and further described in implementing arrangements
Philippine retention of primary responsibility for security of the Agreed Locations
Access of the AFP base commander to the entire area of the Agreed Locations
Philippine ownership of buildings and infrastructure once again constructed by US military
Value of prepositioned materiel in the enhancement of AFP defense capabilities and possible transfer of purchase of materiel determined to be excess
Prohibition of bringing out to the Philippines of nuclear weapons and reference to respective obligations of both Parties under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention
Strong commitment from both countries to protect the environment, human health and safety
Preference for Philippine supplier of goods, products and service in the US military procurement
Sharing and joint use of facilities in the Agreed Locations, including those of used by US military
Regular consultation of the implementation of the agreement

Analysis and Discussion

Based on the study case of Second Thomas Shoal territorial dispute between Philippine and China, it can be seen that this shoal is considered as strategic gateway from both countries in order to achieve their national interests, which means that the shoal has strategic value in its richness of both in oil and natural gas in order to achieve the national interest from both Philippines or China. And comparing the national power that both countries have, it can be seen that China is still being a powerful country to take over its claims over the disputed area because of its capability to convert its potential geography to become stronger than other countries, including Philippine itself. Even though Philippine also has its own potential in terms of its geography, as had been mentioned before that the management for improving its military capability (the main aspect in this case) still lower than China itself, where in China’s side, it already improving its military capability by training its navies (in terms of China’s population which categorized as one of crowded country after US and India that is beginning to increase over time with high level of education) and developing its military technology through the establishment of strong and bigger ships for taking care its claims over the shoal. The case had proven that there is a big gap or disparity in terms of China and Philippine’s strategy over the shoal, so it cannot be blamed that the Philippine is still weak for making the shoal as an integral part of its territory. Therefore, from geopolitical side, the Philippine still has no strong capability to convert its geographical potencies into its national power comparing with China which eventually bring security dilemma within the Philippine itself over Second Thomas Shoal that is considered as part of its sovereignty either.

As for the security dilemma that Philippine is facing, it appears because of no other than balance of threat that Philippine gets from China’s side (where as had been mentioned before that balance of threat is as condition where country A is giving threat for country B, the country B will do the same towards the country A or vice versa). We can see from what happen in recent years about the dispute area between China and Philippine in terms of giving supply for the navies of Philippine, where China is still considering the shoal as its part and it attempts to block Philippine navy ships for giving supplies because it violates its DoC. But in fact the Philippine also retaliate on what China had done by keep maintaining its presence there and keep giving supplies there. There are also some threats that Philippine has been giving for China in terms of its presence in the shoal, for instance if China blocks provisions from being delivered to Philippines forces on the shoal, Manila could seek to air drop supplies from a helicopter which eventually resulted in an exchange of fire and potential loss of life. Another threat that comes from the Philippine is if Philippines attempt to build structures there like what China had done in Scarborough shoal, the Chinese would take its opportunity to publicly accusing the Philippines of provocation and commence their “cabbage” strategy or the worst is by towing away the Philippine’s vessels which already stated by Chinese before. Thus, as one of ASEAN members, Philippine began to ask for discussion with the ASEAN foreign ministers in ARF meeting for solving the problem and supporting its presence in the shoal. However, because of its strong presence in ASEAN economically, the possibility for Philippines to get its territorial claims is getting smaller. The threat that Philippine got from China is increasing over time, which also affecting its security dilemma over its sovereignty. Thus, in order to balance its power with its rival, the Philippine agreed to conduct and even implement its defense cooperation with United States, as one of Great Powers in Southeast Asia region by establishing Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

The implementation of this agreement though can be seen as a sign for Philippines to counter China’s presence in military aspect (even though the key points that had been mentioned earlier stated to not doing military forces in Agreed Locations, the possibility for US to interference towards disputed area of Philippine and China is bigger for the next years), especially on the next ten years where both the leaders of US and Philippines stated that the further implementation of this agreement will be discussed more at that time. Thus, we argue that for next ten years the tension between China and Philippines over the shoal will get higher than before especially with the interference of US in Philippine through this defense agreement (which later on will be or may be as part of collective security cooperation between Philippine and its supporters that involving within the case with US to counter China, and it is really clear since it had been mentioned from Philippine leader that EDCA is as implementation from cooperation security arrangement (from the establishment of MDT) turn into new and high level of arrangement which later on may be as collective defense cooperation or arrangement. These events can be considered as the evidence of politics of dynamic with China and Philippine’s rights to conquer the Shoal because of their high authority as state actors and lead into competition and conflict for both states in order to achieve their national interest. Because of the threat that Philippine faces is coming from China as great power with high offensive capability (can be seen from its aggressive behavior through making naval presence towards the shoal to counter Philippine) and close neighbor in terms of its geographic proximity eventually lead into formation of allies with United States that categorized as big power also (conducting bandwagon system) by giving supplies in terms of arms or armies through the establishment of EDCA will pose big changes in the international systemic structure for the future. The international systemic structure will shift from just unipolar system from China into bipolar system between China and Philippines (declining of centralization). This kind of condition defines as form of power cycle of China and Philippines on the shoal. Overall, this case already reflecting the condition within ASEAN countries where there will be disintegration from ASEAN values that requires to not doing intervention and solving the problems through ASEAN Way (through peaceful way) and starting to balancing or bandwagon with external powers in order to solving the security dilemma that they are facing from rival states (later on will conduct collective defense arrangement with the external power).


To conclude, security dilemma can appear within the state related to the territorial dispute that it has been facing because of the existence of its rival that has strong power (can be considered as one of Great Powers), especially when this condition can bring threat for its own sovereignty. Thus, in order to solve this condition (since by bringing the case into its own regional cooperation that using cooperative or collective security arrangement, especially with the values of non intervention and democracy that reflecting vertical organization of authority and IGO as the main actors will not solve the security dilemma that state is facing itself) state started to balancing or bandwagon (in this case Philippine is conducting bandwagon with US) with another external powers in order to counter its rival that has the same power through the establishment of collective defense cooperation or arrangement. Therefore, there will be balance of power from both parties.

References :

[1]ASEAN plays positive role amid sea spats” in, accessed on October 22nd, 2014

[2] Ibid. paragraph 7.

[3]What is the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and what does it mean for PH?” in, accessed on October 22nd, 2014

[4]U.S. – Philippine Pact Expands Defense Cooperation” in, accessed on October 22nd, 2014

[1]Philippines and China in Dispute Over Reef” in, accessed on October 21st, 2014

[2] Ibid. paragraph 4.

[3] Ibid. paragraph 6.

[4]Philippine ship dodges China blockade to reach South China Sea outspot” in, accessed on October 21st, 2014

[1]Philippine Economy” in, accessed on October 20th, 2014

[2]Sailing Directions – South China Sea” in UK Hydrographic Office

[3]Second Thomas Shoal Likely the Next Flashpoint in the South China Sea” in[tt_news]=41054&tx_ttnews[backPid]=25&cHash=6580ce14cee5ac00501d5439f3ee3632#.VEfGthbolb1, accessed on October 21st, 2014. paragraph 1.

[4] Ibid. paragraph 2,3.

[1]Geography of the Philippines” in, accessed on October 20th, 2014

[2]Philippines” in, accessed on October 20th, 2014

[3]Philippine Islands” in, accessed on October 20th, 2014

[1] Ibid. pg 6,7.

[2] A. H. Abd Alaziz, Alaa. 2003. Balance of Threat Perception and the prospects of NATO Mediterranean Dialogue. University of Helsinki. pg 17,18.

[3]Power vs Threat : Explanations of US Balancing against the Soviet Union after 1976” in, accessed on October 18th, 2014

[4]Balance of Power vs Balance of Threat : The Case of China and Pakistan” in, accessed on October 18th, 2014

[5] Ibid. pg 18.

[6]What is power cycle theory? Introducing the main concepts” in, accessed on November 14th, 2014

[1] L. Job, Brian. ‘Alliances’ and Regional Security Developments : The Role of Regional Arrangements in the UN’s Promotion of Peace and Stability. pg 1.

The role of global media in international relations

Global media or international communication has and still brought great impacts more to the world politics nowadays, where the medias can be as the channel to show the international society about the speech or policy of some governments to the peripheries of the world, so their policies or everything that they said can affect what the people thinks about the governments. However, there are both negative and positive impacts for the advancement of global communication in the international environment today, especially in international relations. In positive side, by developing global communication networks and technologies, the inter dependency between one country with other countries will be stronger than before and those countries will create an international community as the Allies which have shared common interest, so it can pursue its goals, for instance is European Union.  Since as we have seen, a state needs to balance both its hard power and soft power in order to achieve its own national interests. We can see the prove of this explanation in USA. They try to improving the information processing and laser in order to emerge the new weapon system in its military forces and expand its telecommunication networks in order to make its TNCs or MNCs can decentralize their production and distribution networks while they are also trying to get a lot of profits in some regions of the world by conducting lower wages, rents, taxes and government regulation.

On the same time, US also tries to attrack the international world today by using the social media to spread its public diplomacy and its soft power. For instance, based on its history until during the early twentieth-century, the US government was still using traditional ways of diplomacy and even still used radio broadcasting to conduct its public diplomacy, however, due to the current events like Arab Springs, they tried to advance new form of social media in order to conducting its public diplomacy and also to promote its soft power (e.g.democracy and freedom as its main political values), and as an example is that they always post the video of both its soft power and public diplomacy through Youtube.[1] And for its culture, we can see it clearly the involvement of global communication to spread its culture to the world through film, which is the Hollywood movies as an example. Thus, with those actions, it will attrack some of industrial and developing countries which had developed or are still developing their technologies to do cooperation and even want to be alliances of US by changing their political or economy values into the same with US in order to service the new multimedia environment.

Another positive impact of its roles is that by using global media, some of forgotten groups can voice out their supports or protests about the international events. It had been seen in some of historical events in some countries where global media was involved within those events. In Mexico for instance, the Zapatista movement was trying to spread its message through Internet to protest against its government, and not only that,it also tried to get international support for changing Mexico into a democratic country by projecting its image to NAFTA during in 1994. Another example is in Myanmar or Burma, where both government and its opposition used Internet (used Email) during its political struggles by asking the government to move out Western companies from Myanmar as a form protest against government’s strict policies.

However, despite the global media can bring positive progress to some regions, its roles also have negative impacts within international environment itself. In politically, the development of global communication and information technology will decrease the national sovereignty and even can harm national borders of a country. Since with the rapid flows of informations and technological advances which are as forms of globalization, it is hard for a state to authorize its people without doing cooperation and involving technology influence to achieve its national interest nowadays, especially if the government within that country does not have strong power to influence its own national sovereignty to other countries. Also, it can break a national territory and identity by entering influence of foreign news, entertainment and educational programs without filtering those programs first. For instance is Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) which violates the national borders by broadcasting those foreign programs freely without being bound by the laws.

Another one is that global media can manipulate the datas that will be expanded to the world in order to hide the truth behind those information, which is as an order from the government of a state. It can be seen that international media is under the authorities of the powerful state. For instance is in the case of Syria, during Houla tragedy on May 25th 2012,BBC, US mass media, posted on the Internet the picture of victims from that tragedy on May 27th, 2012. However, Marco Di Lauro, the fotografer of that picture,stated that that picture is the victims of mass murdering in Iraq in 2003.[2] After that it took back that picture without apologize, while that picture already sent to the whole world, so it is hard for some people to argue that Assad is not the leader of mass killing in Houla. Another example is when during McCharty era in US, which was happened after World War II in 1950, US tried to suggest its media for influencing the public that the influence of communis will threatening political ideology of US.[3]

As in international relations theory, global media can be as a channel for integrating those theories (i.e. realism, liberalism, marxism, communitarianism and post-modernism) and also empowering the involvement of power to engage within those theories as the aim and method of international system. Even though Liberalism, Marxism, Communitarianism and Postmodernism are challenging each other theories for influencing their ideologies to the world, they cannot be separated from the geopolitical Realist view, doctrines and focus in political order about colonial orders and international proletarian solidarity.

To conclude, in International Relations sphere, global media is as an instrument for the establishment of new actors of International Relations (Global Media is not the actor of International Relations), which is the NGOs that as form of the emergence of global civil society, which nowadays, media has expanded the traditional public diplomacy not only to the state actors, but also to the non-state actors as well. Also, by involving media in international events, it will be easy for the public to criticise what is the real fact behind those issues, which means that the media should not have to take one side or even being neutral. It has to be more general, which means that the media should have to do more research and have clear evidence about some issues, especially if they are international issues. Thus, global communication or global media has great effect in International Relations sphere.

References :

[1] Colona, William T. “Social Media and The Advancement of America’s Soft Power by Public Diplomacy.” Georgetown University, 2012.

[2] Sulaeman, Dina Y. “Prahara Suriah : Membongkar Persekongkolan Multinasional.” Pustaka IIMaN, 41.

[3] “McCarthy Era : Era of Political Conformity and Loyalty” in, accessed on December 8th, 2013

The effectiveness of soft power as the tool in achieving a country’s national interests in international relations as what happens in the United States

Soft power can be as the effective tools in order to achieve the national interest of a country in the context of international relations, because as we know, the sources of soft power itself not just based on the culture of a country that can attract some people in order to achieve its national interests, but it can be with other ways, such as by enhancing its political values and its foreign policies.

And then, we can also see that by using soft power, it will be easier to achieve the country’s national interests rather than using hard power. Using hard power can be used to, but not as effective as using soft power itself. Where by using hard power, it can be achieved by using force or threats, which it has an obligation to consider the country’s interests which use this power in the terms that mainly calculable costs and benefits. [1]

While by using soft power, it can be achieved through doing cooperation with other peoples by attracting them without using “carrot” and “stick”. And this power has persuasive potency to attract both people inside and outside their countries (foreigners).

Then, the concept about this power has been risen recent years, especially in public debates on foreign affairs. Also, this concept has attracted the attention of some leaders to make decisions, especially in the US to put out their foreign policies. Even, the treatment of this concept is being developed, which this concept refers as a “soft theory”.

By paying attention more to the concept of soft power, it already has changed the frame of international relations itself, where there are some worldviews or ideologies which embrace this concept, for instance are Constructivism and Neo-liberalism theories, which are the ideologies that can be considered as the most important for changing the nature of world politics in this international age. We can also see that some of international events, which is as part of the concept about soft power, already influenced some theories. The history of our world also has proven that the use of soft power is really important source for national influence, and it still as much important as now. Where the changing of our international system today assume that soft power is as the most vital element for solving international problems, since it is really hard to enforce both the people in a nation and some of non-state actors in international relations by using threats and force as their punishments (hard power), because the world today has developed more into a “softer world”, where the international society much prefer to obey what their leaders want by attracting them in a gentle manner instead by forcing them to do so.[2]

So, if the people who has exercised their authorities and can influence other people by using their power through attracting international society, whether in their cultures, political values or even from their foreign policies, the possibility to achieve the national interests of their countries might be happened, instead of using hard power.

There are some examples that can prove these arguments before. We can see them about what happens in America today. Where regarding to its history, the spread of their soft power resources has great impact or great influence around the word, from their cultures, its political values and even from its foreign policies. On their culture, we can see that almost all the people around the world has followed their life style, such as in arts, foods and even from their clothing. And also there is one term that until now still exist around the world, which is the McDonaldization, the term that is created by George Ritzer, which defines a sociological phenomenon that is happening right now in our society.[3] As for its political values, freedom and democracy are the most powerful influence in our world now, where some countries which initially can be categorized as authoritarian regime, have change their political values or political system into democracy, because they see that by using such values, the society will be much prosperous than before, like what happens in US, whether in politics or in their economy. The last is from its foreign policies. This part is the most crucial, and in this part also as the source that where US can achieve their national interests.

Regarding to the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting that was held before, US government is doing cooperation with the 11 ASEAN countries by establishing E3 (Economic Expanded Engagement) in economics and ASEAN Fulbright Program in education, in order to strengthen its bilateral relations among those ASEAN countries. They also involve in doing cooperation for stabilize ASEAN maritime security in order to achieve one of their goals or their national security, which is maintaining its peace and security.[4] We also can take look for another example in the case of US, where its government keeps doing some aid programs for some countries, especially in those countries financial. It can be concluded that the US does assistance towards poor countries in order to get supports for achieving its national interests, since US always use its substantial soft power, since it has “an ability to fulfill the dream and desire of others”.[5]

However, beside those positive reactions, there are negative impacts or consequences if the influence of a country’s soft power is too broad towards others, like what happens in US today. For the past few years, US is facing some scandals that affect their condition right now, started when Justice Department was caught for monitoring the calls of the Associated Press, there was also the vast National Security Agency apparatus for monitoring online activities which was revealed by Edward Snowden.[6] And the most scandalous case about US is when they tried to invade Iraq for killing Saddam Hussein under “humanitarian intervention” context, the same that will happen in Syria also in order to impose Assad regime. While they promoted their political values about human rights and justice, they also the one who did some illegitimate actions by doing violence towards people who oppose them. With these scandals, it will affect the image and soft power of United States until next time, if they still put out some irrational decisions. The maps below show United States’ soft power influence to some countries, especially in Latin America and Africa, and its comparison with China’s influence of soft power through those countries.



References :

[1] Gray, Colin S. 2011. Hard Power and Soft Power : The Utility of Military Force as an Instrument of Policy in The 21st Century. SSI Monograph.

[2] Gallarotti, Giulio M., 2011. Soft Power : What It Is, Why It’s Important, and the Conditions Under Which it Can Be Effectively Used. Division II Faculty Publications. Paper 57.

[3]What Is McDonaldization?” in, accessed on November 3rd, 2013

[4]Remarks at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting” in, accessed on November 3rd, 2013

[5]Book Review : Soft Power by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.” in, accessed on November 3rd, 2013

[6]Scandals Harm U.S. Soft Power” in, accessed on November 3rd, 2013

Environmental rights : Intersection of human rights and environmental protection concepts on natural disaster and water security problem in Pakistan

If we take a closer look on the development between how both environmental agencies (whether they are including as the government organizations  or not for profit organizations) and international human rights bodies already made the significant process especially in every country’s public policy, the recognition for improving the correlation between these two different areas of movements into one still being too difficult to be achieved on. However, over time, most of the scholars, activists and even the governments already tried to get involve with both the human rights and environmental agencies in terms of their awareness that had been intensified for considering about the intersection between these two areas should have to be developed more (specifically in terms of the protection of environmental rights that will give the impact on the international society).

The evolution for developing the protection of environmental rights itself could be seen since in 1972, where it was started from the establishment of The Stockholm Declaration (considered as a part of non –binding declarations) which stating that everyone have their own rights on getting equality and freedom in their life in a good quality of environmental condition, while on the same time they also should have to keep maintain their responsibility on protecting instead of destructing it for their future generations (this statement basically was coming from the Principle 1 of the declaration itself). The reason why this principle was being taken out could be considered as a warning and even as the proof that concern towards the people who already harmed the environmental condition at that time, especially with the development of industrialization era that put attention more to exploit the natural resources as much as possible without considering the fact about the impacts (specifically in environmental dimension) that might happen on the next five or ten years. These type of harms on the earth itself can be included in pollution of water, air, earth and living beings, great disturbances in terms of ecological balance of the biosphere, exploitation and even destruction of resources that could not be recycle anymore (as had been mentioned before), then the last one is about decencies harmful towards the physical, mental and social health of man in the man – made environment. That is why in order to achieve the goal which had been stated on the first principle, states, as the most high authority in International Relations’ sphere should have to take any possible steps on preventing these type of environmental harms on the earth, especially about water health condition (whether they are coming from the river, sea or the ocean) from the chemical substances or other dangerous products which usually coming from the companies and wastes that will create hazards to human health itself, so the fulfillment of human rights on the use of health condition of environment can be achieved in the future.

After the establishment of Stockholm Declaration, in 1981 there was The African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, where the main issue that had been brought on this charter was the same on the Stockholm Declaration on its first principle, by stating in Article 24 that everyone have their rights on getting the natural resources within the earth in terms of their development (economic, societal, health and other aspects of life).[1] Next is on the Declaration on the Right to Development that being held in 1986 which was established on the Vienna Declaration. Still considered as the improvement of the previous charter and declaration, the Vienna Declaration in Article 1 stated that the rights of people to develop by using the resources wisely could be considered as a part of universal rights and even included as an integral part of fundamental human rights. And to put it in more specific related to the first Article, Declaration on the Right to Development in Article 8 stated that in order to achieve the rights to develop, in the national level states should have to take any kind of actions for the realization of this right and on the same should have to make sure there will be the involvement of equality in terms of opportunity for man on getting access to their basic living needs such as the resources, education, health services, food, housing, employment, fair distribution of income in terms of their basic economic needs and others.

In 1987, the Legal Principles for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development has been made in order to address the challenge towards those who involved within the intersection of environmental and human rights protections in terms of its recognition under international law. Thus, this legal principle was being established from The Experts Group on Environmental Law of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) which resulting on Brundtland Report as the solution on answering the challenges that they were facing at that time, not only in terms of its recognition, but also about global lack of social and economic development because of global environmental issues that still happened at that time which obviously will bring impact towards the future generations. However, despite the success for this report on giving solution for answering the challenges that had been stated above, there was still a lack about the contain of the report itself which stating about the definition of sustainable development. On the report, it was described as development that meets the needs of the present without making a deal that the possibility for its future generations on getting the exact same basic needs as what happen on the present will be higher than what they will expect on. In 1992, Rio Conference on Environment and Development was being conducted that resulting on the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development where in the Principle number 1 stating more about both environmental condition, development within a state and the human health by saying that it is an obligation for all of human beings to create a healthy and productive life in harmony with the nature on the earth and states should have to work together in order to prevent the relocation and transfer to other states related to any activities that will be considered as a harmful action towards human health.

After that, in 1994 there was a Draft Declaration of Principles on Human Rights and the Environment which considered as the most first comprehensive and direct international statement about the intersection between environmental and human rights aspects (on protecting environmental rights). The United Nations Sub – commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities already brought the issues that related on the human rights and environmental aspects that had been reported by Special Rappporteur Fatma Zohra Ksentini and later on the report was being brought on to the table along with the Draft Declaration of Principles where the content is about claims on interdependence in human rights aspect, an ecologically health environmental condition and sustainable development and peace within a country (in the state level). And the report on environmental issues that were brought by the rapporteur towards the UN Human Rights mostly were related with the use of toxic and dangerous products that usually coming from industrialized nations which contain with large measures of chemical companies (e.g from mining companies), and also the wastes that are commonly being thrown up into the river (usually happen on developing nations). These issues obviously will bring the negative impact not only in terms of the environmental condition which is in terms of water security issue, but also can be considered as part of violation of human rights in terms of the use of water itself from the rights of the society for getting an access of healthy condition of environment on fulfilling their basic needs within the environment itself, and there is no exception towards their access on getting health water condition. As the continuation of protecting environmental rights, in 1999 UNEP (UN Environmental Programme) made a report about human rights and environment related to people’s rights on getting a clean and healthy environment by stating that environmental standards in environmental management are being considered as the most important tool that ensuring the rights for a clean and healthy environment towards all of the people that living on the earth. Then continued again in 2000 on Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development as the result of The 2000 World Summit on Sustainable Development talking about the improvement of sustainable development pillars (they are from economic development, social development and environmental protection) not only in state level, but also on regional and global levels.

The last is the report that was coming from UN Secretary – General on Relationship Between Human Rights and the Environment that was conducted in February 2005, by still focusing more on the sustainable development goals in terms of the intersection between the environment and human rights considered as part of the goals itself by observing about the developments that states had taken on (in terms of national, regional and international levels) recognizing the relations between the protection of the natural environment and the enjoyment of human rights. And so far until that year, the actions towards this recognition from states around the world has been increasing significantly and getting positive response or feedbacks about the interrelations between those two aspects itself.[2]

However, even though until today there is a significant development of the awareness on the protection of environmental rights itself based on its evolution as had been explained above, in fact there are still no binding international agreements that focus more on environmental rights which categorized as part of achieving sustainable development goals. What makes it worse, the environmental issues that occur over time is getting more dangerous towards the condition of the people itself, this is still happened due to both the state and non – state actors’ efforts on maintaining the environmental rights’ failure for fitting the concept itself into an agenda of either towards the human rights movement or the environmental movement. And the case of heavy monsoon rain as the impact of climate change that was happened in Pakistan will be as one of the issues that can be brought to explain the failure of the world on combining both the conception human rights within its policy in terms of people’s rights on having freedom and equality on getting access of health condition of water resources and health services from the environmental degradation impact along with the responsibility of the society on protecting and preserving a healthy environmental condition (mainly in terms of health water condition) as part of public participation on the decision – making process towards the issue based on the conception and the goals coming from environmental movements.

The Floods in Pakistan was happened in Pakistan in the late July 2010, which resulted from the heavy monsoon floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan. It also affected Indus River basin at that time. The monsoon rainfall that was happened within that country in 2010 was the highest compared to what happened during in 1994, and the second highest during 50 years. Even this monsoon rainfall has drowned Indus river basin, which has total area of 1.12 million km2 that crosses around Pakistan itself (47 percent), India (39 percent), China (8 percent) and Afghanistan (6 percent). Since this heavy monsoon floods is as the highest natural disaster than what happened before, there are some scientists that observed the causes or the factors why it happened at that time. Some scientists said that the main factor why the flood is still happened in Pakistan is no other than because of the unusual climate change, which affects the seasonal cycle of land temperature within Pakistan itself. Thus it has raised the monsoon rainfall and produced the hugest volume of water, especially in the northern mountainous region of that country itself.[3] Beside the monsoon patterns, along with heavy rainfall and unusual climate change which are the factors that responsible for the flood within that country itself, dams and deforestation are also as the trigger for the appearance of flash floods in Pakistan. However, these factors in fact are just as the general causes of why floods in Pakistan still happens until now, where the main factors or the main causes that make this disaster is hard to be solved is because of the existing timber mafia. Based on the report from the provincial head of the National Disaster Management Authority, defoliation is as one of the main reasons for exacerbating the floods, and it can be seen from the condition in Pakistan today, where it is just 5,2 per cent of land in Pakistan that is covered by forests only, also intensity of floods is increased mostly happened in areas where timber mafia is active. The reports that timbers had been found in Tarbela dam reservoir is as the tangible evidence that those mafias cut down the timber in purpose for smuggling them. In northern part of Sindh, the timber mafia actions mostly happened there and never being checked because they have links with political leaderships in North Sindh itself, thus it affects the balance of its economic system. And there is also a report that in parts of Malakand Agency, Khyber – Pakhtunkhwa, 70 percents of forests had been cut down illegally in 2007 and 2009, where Pakistani Talibani authorized that country at that time.[4] Aside from these factors, there are still many causes that make the floods in Pakistan is getting worst, started from low awareness of its society, then from its low education for using the floods water into proper way (especially for the farmer), until from the government itself, where they should have to play an important role in order to reduce the volume of floods water instead of abandoning their people.

Floods that have happened over past three years (until 2013) affected the people who live there, and the worst is during in 2010. At that time, the floods has affected millions of people there, which killed around more than 2000 people (around 1600 people to be exact), which is almost a tenth population there. Around 11 million people were becoming homeless because of this disaster. And this disaster also has swept Indus river basin (as had mentioned before), washing away the most important infrastructures there such as homes, roads, bridges, plants and livestock. It destroyed those infrastructures in Pakistan from northern part to the south with almost one-fifth of that country. However, in south part of Punjab and Sindh provinces, the big impacts from this disaster are the worst than any other areas, since the majority people who live in Pakistan mostly are coming from these areas. In agricultural sector, it gave negative impacts mostly to the farmers, where it mostly destroyed hundreds of thousands hectares of processed soil and crops in the traditional food-basket regions of Sindh and Punjab. Around 1.2 million of livestock died because of the disaster, thus it made poor families who live there to get food and draught power, since they always depend on the livestock there in order to fulfill their primary needs, and this kind of condition threatening their food security.[5] it is obvious that the case of floods in Pakistan can be categorized as a threat for Pakistan security in environmental dimension. Where as we have seen, the environment condition in Pakistan because of the floods made it becomes worse than what had happened during in 1994 before. All of primary infrastructures there have been destroyed because of the floods, such as the bridge, schools, dams and especially processed soil for farmers there. Since as we know, the majority of Pakistani society’s livelihood is coming from the farmer. Thus, this disaster also gave impacts on health towards its people there, where thousands of children there really vulnerable water-borne diseases that was caused by pollution, poor sanitation and climate change which is really extreme until now.[6]

Based on this case, there are two important things that considered as the main problem regarding to the violation of environmental rights which should have to be discussed more. The first one is coming from the intersection of the concept and its implementation between human rights and environmental protection. Where based on this case, in terms of the cause of monsoon rain in Pakistan was because of the timber mafia that conducting illegal logging and stealing the woods for smuggling. And that is correlating to the statement on the Principles 13th on the Draft Declaration of Principles on Human Rights and the Environment in 1994 and which saying that everyone has their rights of freedom on getting benefits from the use of natural resources for certain purposes without considering on preserving the resources for the future generation. This statement is getting negative response in terms of the ambiguity about the meaning behind the principle itself, especially from pro – environmental protection in terms of conducting any kind of actions in order to preserve a health environmental condition for preventing global environmental issues such as global warming and climate change which monsoon rain in Pakistan was as one of the effect from climate change itself.

And the second problem in terms of the case is coming from the Principle 11th along with its implication on Principle 15th and 16th related to freedom of expression from the society to take out their ideas and opinions related to the environmental issue itself and participating on environmental decision making process in order to get better accommodation and access in terms of health and economic services, especially after they got the impact from environmental issue itself like what happened in Pakistan before.

As for the first problem that should have to be paid attention more, it reflects on the implementation of the conception between human rights itself with environmental protection related on the flood from monsoon rain in Pakistan. Even though in the declaration on the principle number 13 already explained about how conception between the achievement of human rights and environmental protection will work based on the use of natural resources in in order to get benefits for achieving people’s cultural, educational, livelihood, spiritual or even purposes, this principle itself did not explain about the limits on the people on exploiting and using natural resources (in terms of the way they can manage on the access on exploiting the resources). In terms of implementation on human rights principles, it is indeed really important for the people to get freedom for utilizing the natural resources in order to fulfill their basic needs, however there will be a big problem if they could not sustain or maintain on their exploitation on the use of the natural resources itself and even they could not preserve them for their future generations, and with this lack of action especially from the government, the appearance of communities or groups who want to exploit the resources as much as they want without considering about the impact that might happen on the future will be getting higher, and in the end it will make the condition of our ecology in the earth getting worse than before like what had happened in Pakistan at that time. That is why the management on preserving natural resources in our earth in order to get the better access on these resources for our future generations in order to achieve the implementation about conception between human rights and environmental principles and to achieve the sustainable development goals should have to be paid attention more on this principle.

And the last one is coming from the problem about the freedom for the people on expressing their ideas and opinions related to the environmental human rights issue, not forgetting also on getting appropriate accommodation for instance like access in health service that reflected on the principles number 11, 15 and 16. These principles stated that every person has their rights on expressing their ideas, getting information and even proper accommodation that related on the environmental human rights issue where the information that they need should include information on the actions and courses of conduct that might getting impacts toward environmental condition on the earth in order to make it easier for the society involves on public participation in environmental decision – making.[7] And on this case, the roles of judiciary bodies are really important for allowing the society on getting wider access for them to participate in the public interest in order to achieve sustainable and effective environmental decisions. Based on the case in Pakistan, the reflection for its society on getting involves for environmental human rights issue which happened at that time could not be seen at all, as we can see that even those who get suffered from the disaster felt that it was very difficult on getting proper treatment that they should have to get for from the government, especially an access on health service.

Even though the formal legislation within the country already mentioned about the rights of the society on involving in public participation and public access in environmental decision – making process, the fact that coming from a legislation that related on environmental impact assessment (EIA) regarding to the complaints from the public itself about how its government still just involving several group interests for participating on the decision – making process without conducting transparency towards his people. This problem showing that the government is still lack from his efforts on implementing this action. Though generally, its people’s rights to life in a safe and healthy environment especially from the water pollution (which in this case it was impossible for them to get access on health water condition due to the flood that affecting their doubt on the cleanness of the Indus river at that time) actually should have to be guaranteed based on the Article 9 of Pakistani’s Supreme Court.[8] Therefore, it is very important for Pakistani’s government on improving its public participation in the issue and also providing more the society those kinds of accommodation by cooperating with other states in terms of its actions beside from its active roles for applying in every internationally recognized environmental human rights principles that reflected on the draft of declaration which had been mentioned above.

[1]The human right to a healthy environment : Evolution” in, accessed on March 9th, 2015

[2]Non – binding Declarations and Reports” in, accessed on March 10th, 2015

[3]Causes of the flooding in Pakistan” at, accessed on Sunday, February 2nd 2014

[4]IDSA Comment, Pakistan Floods : Causes and Consequences” at, accessed on Monday, February 3rd 2014

[5]Pakistan Floods” at, accessed on Monday, February 3rd 2014

[6]Flood Relief under Control, Pakistan Government Say” at, accessed on Wednesday, February 5th 2014

[7] Project DIANA. 1994. Draft Declaration of Principles on Human Rights and the Environment. Online human rights archive at Yale Law 4.

[8] Human Rights and the Environment: Proceedings of a Geneva Environment Network roundtable. 2004. GE : United Nations Environment 30.

Malaysia’s defense policy in the case of maritime piracy in Malacca Strait


In International Relations field, security is as one of the ambiguous and complex term within IR itself. It is impossible to make sense of international politics without being reference into security. Because as we know, there are so many people somewhere around the world who are being killed, raped, tortured, imprisoned, or even denied education in the name of security itself. Also, it cannot be avoided that all of the images about security or insecurity which always happening in the world politics always flash across some medias such as in television, internet, and newspaper columns almost every time. This is as a proof that security itself is as the most important thing or topic in today’s world.

Some scholars, especially from International Relations scholars are trying to find an exact or concrete definition about security itself. Ian Bellany stated that security is as freedom from a war, which means that if there is no war in some places, it means that we feel secure. And this kind of definition can be categorized into a traditional understanding. Compare with Walter Lippman, he stated that if we tried to sacrifice our core values in order to avoid conflicts (wars), it means that we feel secure and there will be no threats. As for core values themselves, they can be included as national interests or sovereignties within a state or nation. Thus, it will be possible that those core values of a nation or state will be different from time to time based on the situation within a state or nation.

And this is as a proof on the possibility for state’s or nation’s core values to change from the old ones will be happened where we can see on the shifting of the condition on our global politics in the international system nowadays that based on our international trade, which most of the International Relations’ actors (both states and non-states actors) conducted are over 90 percent travelling through the ocean. And because of this condition, it brings both the positive and negative impacts from the use of ocean as important tool for doing international trade. On the positive impact, in order to increase state’s power projection, the government from certain states started to implement their good governance on the sea by increasing more both domestic and international maritime trade itself along with its maritime traffic, for instance is through establishing sea toll like what Indonesia’s government under Jokowi plans on. However, with the increasing of using sea for doing the trade, the rise of non-state and transnational threats to the national and international security through the ocean cannot be avoided as well, where one of those threats that were reflected in our international sea today is the acts of piracy or stowaway on the ocean.

Thus, for preventing the threats that coming on the sea, maritime security indeed is really needed to be implemented. Before describing and explaining further about the principles on maritime security, we should have to know first on the development of the concept for maritime security itself as the continuation for the concept of security as what had been mentioned before. Related to the basic principle of post-structuralism school of thought, there will be different perceptions on describing concrete definition on what actually maritime security is. And this is what International Relation’s scholars are trying to explain about maritime security itself. A. T Mahan defines that maritime security is as the ability for all states around the world on the use and control of the sea in order to achieve or even protecting their national interests that is considered also as their core values on the sea itself. And this is as a great factor for those states to make great history in the world in order to make the people inside their countries to become more prosperous because of the achievement of these core values. This condition can be learned based on the history of the rise of British Empire’s Naval Power during European colonialism era, where at that time it was considered as the Great Power country in European countries after attacking Spain and France by using preemptive strike strategy which mostly happened at that time on the ocean because of its conduct on controlling the sea itself. This is as a proof that maritime security indeed already used since in the European colonialization era with its primary concern was on military confrontation and conflict that is coming on European countries. Next is the concept of maritime security from Ed Tummers, where his definition on maritime security is the same with what Mahan had stated before, but specifying more about state’s control on the sea itself. Ed stated that maritime security is considered as a process of maintaining stability in international system that is on, over, under and from the sea, where what he means with his statement that the country should have to improve its ability to maintain stability and controlling the surface of the ocean (sending out more naval ships to protect the surface), over the surface of the sea (joint military operations with state’s military air forces), under and from the sea (by providing more the submarines for maintaining security inside the ocean). And then, as the summary for these two scholar’s perception about maritime security, this concept had been implemented more by United Nations by stating that maritime security is considered as the process on protecting and maintaining stability on the sea as a medium for trade and communication from those threats and intentional unlawful acts by combining both preventive and responsive measures based on the regulations and policies focusing more on the maritime transportation system like IMO, UKMTO, Port Facility Security and so on.

Conceptual Framework and Settings

As had been mentioned before, by maintaining stability on the sea from the intentional unlawful acts is indeed really important for all states around the world because of its function as a medium for trade and communication. However, aside from that, there are other three important functions on the use of the sea that also considered as the principles of maritime security itself. And these principles are categorized based on some threats that the world is facing today with the primary concern for the maritime security is coming from non-traditional or non-military threats instead on the military ones (the complexity of maritime security). The first principle is the use of the sea as source of wealth, where the threats that related with this principle is coming from people’s smuggling and illegal fishing from other countries because with the appearance of these threats, that will disturb economic development of certain countries in order to get their blue economy plan who have bigger roles on the sea (since those people usually conducting these crimes by exploiting important natural resources within the sea without following the international regulation on the use of sea’s resources). Next is the function of the sea as life support system which means that the most important resource on the sea is coming from the function on the use of the water in the sea itself (water security), and some issues that considered will threatening this function are the case of water pollution, climate change, accidents and even from the use of ships or vessels which sometimes bring cargos that containing oil and another mining that will affect important resources on the sea (relates on the marine environment’s safety). The third one is as a medium for peace and security on the sea, with issues that usually relate on this principle are the case of human trafficking, arms proliferation and inter – state disputes (threatening states’ national security on the sea). And the last principle is as the medium for trade and communication where piracy and terrorist acts are considered as the most dangerous trade that will affect this principle on the sea. Based on those principles that had been mentioned above, we can put it into a summary that with the appearance of threats related on the principle of maritime security itself will affect the national interests, security and even strategy of certain countries who have major roles on certain places on the sea, where eventually it will influence the use of defense policy within those states. However, before explaining further about a systematic change of certain state’s implementation of its defense policy that is influenced by maritime security on the sea along with a specific case study, we should have to know first the main concept of defense, policy, implementation and policy implementation which then the explanation about conceptual framework of defense policy itself.

The first concept is the defense concept. Generally, the definition of defense can be described as the action that conducted by someone as a form of resistance against attack that obviously will threat the security within himself or herself.[1] However, to put it specifically in International Relations’ field, the definition of defense itself can be described as an action that conducted by state, as the highest authority in international system (based on Realism school of thought) and as a representative of people’s needs, on resisting the attacks and threats that are coming from both outside and inside of its territorial integrity which will give impact on the state’s national values and its national security.[2] To understand the concept of defense deeper on the state level, states are usually practicing the concept of defense as a form of coordinating use of multiple security countermeasures in order to reach their goals on improving and maintaining the security from those kinds of threats and on the same time protecting the integrity of national assets and resources within the country itself. Military measures is considered as the main strategy from those multiple security countermeasures that usually used by state, so it will be hard for the enemy to defeat a complex and multi-layered defense system than to penetrate a single barrier.[3] [4] Second concept that will be described is the concept of policy. Like what had been explained before about concept of defense, the general concept of policy can be defined as the principles for guiding decisions and achieving the rational outcomes that usually stated by senior executive of governance body that including the government, ruler, or political parties and then being implemented through the adoption of procedures or protocols that conducted by the executive officers.[5] In understanding the concept of policy deeper, it can be described as sets of decision that generally should have to be passed on through three main phase, they are decision-making process that contains on government’s decision towards an ultimate course of action, implementation process as continuation of decision-making process that would be put into practice and evaluation process as an assessment on the =effectiveness of the policy that had been practiced earlier             based on the responses that receive from society, whether the impact on the outcomes and results of this policy is a success or a failure. However, different from the decision, the use of policy is usually oriented towards a long-term purpose in the particular problem and being applied to certain states as a whole rather than to certain parts within those countries.[6]

Based on the explanation about the concept of defense and policy, it can be seen the application of defense policy in the conceptual framework based on the definition of those concepts that already explained earlier, where defense policy is described as a guideline or course of state’s action and behavior that defined by senior executive leadership such as the government or the ruler who intends to influence and determine decisions, actions and other matters relating to the conduct of military enforcement as had been stated before the policy itself is taken into account that consistent with the analysis of the security environment, national values and security objectives, defense objectives and defense mission or levels of ambition. The implementation of state’s defense policy that is influenced by the appearance of maritime security as a specific analysis of the security environment can be seen on the implication of development of Malaysia’s defense policy on facing the case of maritime piracy in Malacca Strait, which will be explained on the next part.

Development of Malaysia’s Defense Policy in the case of Maritime Piracy in Malacca Strait

Before explaining further about the process of the development of Malaysia’s defense policy in facing maritime piracy in Malacca Strait, we should have to know first about the basic geographical potentials of Malaysia itself that considered as Malaysia’s national power for developing and implementing its national defense policy based on its national interests towards the strategic values on Malacca Strait geographically that will be explained also later on. As for basic geographical knowledge of Malaysia, it is located in Southeastern part of Asia continent which divided into two distinct parts such as Peninsular of Malaysia that stretched to the west and Eastern part of Malaysia that stretched to the east. As for Peninsular of Malaysia, it is bordered with southern part of Thailand, northern part of Singapore, and eastern part of Indonesian island of Sumatera, while for East Malaysia it is located on the island of Borneo (Kalimantan) and shares borders with Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia. The total of the land of Malaysia is measured around 2,669 kilometers with its coastline is 4,675 kilometers (Peninsular Malaysia is around 2,068 kilometers and East Malaysia around 2,607 kilometers).[1] As for Malaysia’s maritime territorial sea, it is stretched around 12 nm with Economic Exclusive Zone is around 200 nm with its continental shelf is 200 meters to the depth of exploitation that specified its boundary in the South China Sea. With total population around 30.073.353 that has 1.47% growth rate, Constitutional Monarchy as its government type with the capital ci ty is in Kuala Lumpur, middle income country with $229.3 billion as the GDP growth of Malaysia in purchasing power parity (2004 estimation), 2.03% of GDP on its military expenditures which was around $1.69 billion with military branches are Malaysian Army (Tentara Darat Malaysia), Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentara Laut Diraja Malaysia or TLDM) and Royal Malaysian Air Force (Tentara Udara Diraja Malaysia or TUDM), Malaysia is considered as one of strategic location in Southeast Asia that located along the Strait of Malacca and southern part of South China Sea.[2] In terms of its natural resources, Malaysia has abundant natural resources in minerals and petroleum that categorized as the next exporter (especially in petroleum) such as tin, timber, copper, iron, ore, natural gas and bauxite. Another resource also coming from the forestry, since Malaysia geographically is covered by the forest with a mountain range running to the length of the peninsula by providing ebony, sandalwood, teak and other stuffs that produced from the wood of its forest along with timber (timber products amounted around MYR 23.4 billion in 2007).[3]


Next is the geographical location of Strait Malacca. Geopolitically, Malacca Strait falls on a number of different territorial and maritime jurisdictions where in generally it is located between Peninsular of Malaysia (with small portion of Thailand) that has an area around 65,000 square kilometers with 800 kilometers long an d is funnel-shaped and a width only 65 kilometers in the southern part that broadens northward into some 250 kilometers between We island of Sumatera island in Indonesia and the Isthmus of Kra on the mainland that because of this position, it limits bordering Singaporean and Indian territorial waters.[4] Based on the International Hydrographic Organization, it defines maritime location of Malacca Strait in the west, east, north and southern parts into different borders. In western part, it stretches from the northernmost point of Sumatera (Pedropunt) and Lem Voalan on the southern extremity of Phuket Island, Thailand, while on the east it is located from the Tanjong Piai on the Malaysian Peninsula and Klein Karimoen, Indonesia. In northern part, Malacca Strait is bordered with The Southwestern coast of the Malay Peninsula and in southern part it is located on the northwestern coast of Sumatera to the eastward city of Tanjung Kedabu to Klein Karimoen, Indonesia.[5]  The name of Malacca from Strait of Malacca is derived from trading port of Melaka that located on the Malay coast, which is as a place for exporting rubber and copra and was considered as a strategic port for trade center and base for Muslim missionaries during in 16th and 17th centuries.[6]


Malacca Strait is considered as the most critical global trade artillery, with some of the heaviest traffic of any maritime chokepoint worldwide since until now there are around more than 60,000 to 94,000 shipping vessels that passed through the strait annually, which carrying about a third of global trade (considered the strait has three times more general traffic than the Panama Canal and twice as much as the Suez Canal.[7] Because of the strategic location of Malacca Strait as major trading place for almost all developed countries around the world, it is becoming an obligation for Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia to secure and maintain the safety on the strait from some threats and challenges that coming towards the strait itself. That is why the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore have attempted and implemented numerous measures for creating a more secure atmosphere in the Malacca Strait, especially on the case of maritime piracy and armed robbery.

The case of maritime piracy in Malacca Strait already complicated the sovereignty conditions of these three littoral states because most of them putting the  lives of hundreds of crewmembers and sailors at risk by conducting violent assault or bloodless incidences of robbery. By seeing this crime over open water, it stated that there are still some practical limitations on the international law and exposing the lack of capacity of these three countries within the Southeast Asia region. The case of maritime piracy on Malacca Strait already cost these three states an estimated around US$30 to US$50 billion in 2003, with Indonesia and Malaysia are suffering more from the act of piracy towards the crewmembers of the ship while Singapore as the most adversely affected sinc e it is as a major hub for shipping and cargo exchange and an important oil refinery location.[8] However, with the increased trilateral efforts by Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia on securing the strait through sea patrols, the piracy case already reduced from 2003 up to until in 2008. But, started from 2011 until 2014, the case of maritime piracy is getting increased again, even becoming the most dangerous place for ships to pass on for doing the trade rather than in South Chin a Sea. It can be seen on the report from ReCAAP that so far there are almost 129 sea attacks that happened in 2014 on the strait in some places, especially in Malacca Strait (with 117 actual attacks and 12 others considered as an attempted attacks) with common crime is ship robbery by attacking small speed boats or fishing vessels and then rob them directly on that place.[9] Because of this increasing on crime of piracy acts, it makes these three littoral states to develop their military strategies through implementing their defense policies for solving the problem in order to secure their national interests and objectives on the Malacca Strait, mainly for Malaysia.


By taking a look on the situation that is happening today, Malaysia started to put major concern to tackle non-military or asymmetric threats in order to undermine regional security and stability as a challenge for the Malaysian government itself, including threat on maritime piracy in Malacca Strait. That is why the defense on its national interest is indeed very important as a fundamental towards its sovereignty and independence which is in line with the principal objective of Malaysia’s National Defense Policy on protecting and defending Malaysia’s interests and territories from domestic and external threats. Basically, there are three geographical interests of Malaysia, such as the core areas, offshore economic interests and strategic waterways and airspace. As for the core areas encompass Malaysia’s landmass of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Serawak along with the territorial waters and airspace above them that should have to be protected from external threats. Then, as for the offshore economic areas, they are on the nation’s EEZ and continental shelf such as in South China Sea that abundant with fisheries and hydrocarbon resources that contributed significantly on its national economic growth. The last is Malaysia’s strategic maritime and airspace lines of communication such as the maritime and airspace lines of communication connecting to Peninsular Malaysia with Sabah and Serawak, Malacca Strait and its approaches and Strait of Singapore and its approaches. For Malacca Strait, it is considered as one of the main international maritime routes and services on almost the entire East-West maritime transportation which also as a host of Malaysia’s major ports and business centers and is the transportation route for 80% of Malaysia’s exports and imports.[10] That is why Malaysia considered any kind of encroachment into the strait as a threat for its national interests, defense and sovereignty. Also, with the appearance of developed states to pass through the strait on doing the trade lead them for controlling the place and eventually will become a conflicted area between major powers in order to increase their national economic growth on the strait that affecting the security and defense of Malaysia there. That is why Malaysia stated to protect the Malacca Strait from external powers’ involvement also by developing Malaysia’s defense policy that based on three main principles, they are the ability to be independent (self-reliance strategy), regional cooperation and external help. However, up until now the focus on the development of Malaysia’s defense policies that relates on the maritime piracy in Malacca Strait are on self-reliance and external help. As for self-reliance strategy, as a free and sovereign nation, Malaysia realizes that in order to secure its national interests, it should have to develop its independent ability or self-reliance in terms of its armed forces on national scale that involves not only the battle ready troops buit also a suporting logistic force which can be induced through military industry which goes in line with the national development program. However, the term of self-reliance for Malaysia is based on the specific condition, which is self-reliance on having the ability to act alone in defending the sovereignty of its territory from external and internal threats from immediate territories whether at medium level of threat or low level threats through the external help from nations outside the region, which the aids include moral and physical support, training facilities, division of technology and utilities support as the continuation of external aids strategy. Even though the nation is responsible towards Zon of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality, this does not mean the nation should set aside the need to  request for help in the form of resources from outside of the region when needed especially when the level of threats that mostly coming from outside (e.g. Malacca Strait on maritime piracy) exceeding the ability of Malaysia’s local forces.[11]


The implication of its main strategies on Malaysia’s Defense Policy is being renewed again in 2010, where its national defense policy is covering four main tasks such as to educate all-citizen national defense concept that combines the power of government, NGOs, private sector, and people in order to defense the country, to enhance the capacity of Malaysia’s Armed Forces while on the same time increasing a sense of patriotism, to cooperate with regional countries and major powers by establishing close military diplomacy through bilateral and multilateral defense cooperation and to set up a defense policy committee to oversee the task of defense policy formu lation progress.[12] These tasks on its national defense policy should have to be conducted in order to achieve its modernization of the Armed Forces and to improve armed forces’ combat capability in terms of challenges from non-traditional security, especially on tackling Somali pirates that operated mostly in Malacca Strait. Due to Malaysia’s primary concern on protecting its coastal water and expanded economic zones like in Malacca Strait, the major beneficiaries on the military modernization program obviously will come towards the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the Royal Malaysian Navy with the establishment of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, a Coast Guard-type organization to provide sea-going maritime constabulary services to ensure on the safety of any type of vessels that passing through Malaysian waters along with establishment of Eyes in the Sky (EIS) initiative which stated by Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia on the Shangri-la Dialogue on July 2005 that providing a maritime air operation for surveillance over the Straits of Malacca and Singapore by other two littoral states and Thailand, they are Singapore and Indonesia.[13] The implementation of this policy can be seen on the procurement of submarines from external powers like from France by purchasing two Scorpene-class submarines and a refitted French submarine for training purchases that commissioned in 2002 worth RM7 billion, 2 patrol boats to whip up 298 complaints that worth RM943 million, 18 Sukhoi jet fighters worth RM3.5 billion and the 12 Euro-copters EC275 helicopters in 2008 worth RM2.3 billion.[14] [15] This is a proof that Malaysia’s military spending increased by 3.1 percent started from 2002 until in 2013, with 13 percent higher than in 2004, even though there is still a big gap between the plan for maximizing this modernization program with the actualization for developing them, mainly on Malaysia’s armies (especially for Malaysia’s naval forces and air forces) along with its lack of transparency on defense contracts about its financial spending and arms procurement.[16]

Country Finance Personnel Operations Arms Procurement
Malaysia The percentage of the budget allocated to secret items is still unknown and they are not believed to be audited with no official information regarding the extent of off-budget spending A Code of Conduct is not publicly identifiable and nor is anti-corruption training or outcomes of the prosecutions of personnel Still lack of anti-corruption military doctrine, training, and monitoring that had been assessed with no information to indicate that corruption risks in contracting on operations are guided through guidelines or training The procurement cycle is not disclosed and parliamentary scrutiny is lacking, with defense purchases are only being made on public ex post facto


For the implication of Malaysia’s procurement on military equipment from external powers and military spending of the weapon system, they are being reflected from the capability of Malaysia’s defense budget to take out the defense policies and along with on how to implement them. Even though Malaysia’s defense budget sets the limits within which defense planning has to take place like other ASEAN countries, its defense budget is considered as the modest comparing with those countries since it is based mostly on a percentage of annual government expenditure and not pegged more on its GDP. However, the allocation of its defense budget should have to depend on the affordability of the government himself. On the process of managing the defense funds, the actors that involve within the process are being given towards Ministry of Defense that entrusted with task on managing defense funds, Secretary General of the Ministry as the Controlling Officer, the Federal Treasury who controls the purse and the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Ministers’ Department then will make the final decision on major defense development programs. Every single cent spend on defence is subject to parliament’s approval and examined by the Federal Auditor. Occasionally, the Public Accounts Committee summons senior defence officials to appear before it to explain on alleged improprieties in defence spending based on Federal Auditor’s Annual Report.[1] The data below shows about the process of the budgeting on Malaysia’s defense development program and the actors within the country based on formal five-year planning structure on its budgeting system.



Based on the case of piracy and armed robbery in the Malacca Strait, it can be seen that the security and stability on the strait itself is obviously influencing Malaysia’s National Defense Policy even until today. The process of the development on Malaysia’s Defense Policy because of this piracy acts on Malacca Strait can be structured systematically. As we can see, the analysis from every state on seeing the condition of our international environment today is indeed really important, where as we know that different with what happened in 1980s and 1990s, the political condition in our international system at that time was coming from the expansion of imperialism and communism values which considered as the biggest threat and risk for all states around the world, since those threats will obviously influencing the peaceful and security of their sovereignty and territorial integrity, while compare with the political condition in 21st century that is affected by globalization, the threats and risks that are giving impacts on each state mostly coming from Non-Traditional Security (NTS) instead from the traditional ones where most of those threats are coming towards the sea. That is why nowadays each country around the world started to put their concern more on the maritime security for stabilizing the ocean in order to protect their national interests on the place that obviously will influence the national security within their countries, including Malaysia on securing geographical location of Malacca Strait.

On what already explained before, one of threats and risks that considered the maritime security of Malacca Strait is the acts of pirates on the sea. With strategic location of Malacca Strait as Sea Lines of Communication for not only these three littoral states (Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) but also for major power states, the act of piracy and armed robbery on the sea will affecting the functions of Malacca Strait itself, which is also based on the principles of maritime security in general. In terms of Malacca Strait’s function as a source of wealth, by conducting piracy in the Malacca Strait that is considered as one of major trade route in the world will be categorized as their source of wealth itself since the act of piracy and armed robbery towards some cargo ships (especially from Singapore) can make them getting important resources and even the money from the crew members of the ship. And it will influence the security of certain vessels (mainly for the cargo ships) even for fisherman from these three littoral states including other Southeast Asia nations that considered Malacca Strait as their life support system, since basically most of these states depend their economic growth mostly on the fishing industry (e.g. Indonesia and Malaysia). Thus, by the appearance of pirates on the strait, it will influence their goals to achieve blue economy on using the strait as their life support system. After that, the act of pirates on the strait will disturb the activities of certain states on doing international trade and communication through the strait, since Malacca Strait also considered as International Sea that being regulated based on some security regulation and policies such as like IMO (this is as the main principle that is mostly being threatened from the piracy acts), while eventually it will influence the peace and security principle of maritime security in Malacca Strait because it will influence the world’s trade system from almost every countries around the world who passed on this strait.

By taking the threat into an important issue, Malaysia then began to perceive that the act of piracy in Malacca Strait will influence one of its national geographical interests, which is about its strategic maritime and airspace lines of communication on the Malacca Strait and its approaches. Because as we know, Malaysia as a member of littoral states is considered as one of the major host for protecting the security of Malacca Strait from those non-traditional threats in terms of its main way for exporting and importing goods and services on the Melaka port. Then, with the appearance of piracy on part of its sovereignty in Malacca Strait, it will be affected on Malaysia’s National Security in terms of military and non-military aspects (externally and internally). As for military aspect internally, with the appearance of piracy on the strait will influence the capacity of Malaysia’s Naval and Air forces along with some of its military equipment on the maritime and airspace areas, since until today Malaysia just focusing on increasing its armies due to high tension of its internal conflicts without taking into consideration about threats that also can come from the outside of the country. As for the non-military aspect, internally it would affect mostly on its economic growth related to Malaysia’s trading activities (doing export and import) which always passing on the strait from its main port in Melaka as what had been mentioned before. Then, on the external one, in military aspect the threat will affect mainly the capability of Malaysia’s Navies and Air forces along with the military equipment that used by them for securing the place because of its government lack on taking out decision for improving the capacity of its navies and air forces and increasing more new military weapon system by replacing the old ones (as continuation of its internal military effect) along with the disturbance on conducting military and defense diplomacy with other countries through joint training on the sea. As on the non-military aspect, the act of piracy will affect economic growth of Malaysia from its international trade with major powers in terms of its import from the strait itself. To put it into summary, the act of piracy in Malacca Strait can be considered as an Azymuthal Threat for Malaysia’s national security.

That is why Malaysia then started to implement its national strategy as a continuation of its national objectives and security, Malaysia began to take out three main principles of its national strategy which refers to national’s strategic importance, the principles of defense and the concept of defense through the development of its self-reliance (depending on its own resources and capabilities to secure its sovereignty and territorial integrity by possessing the ability of Malaysia’s Armed Forces on responding to any enemy military hostility), total defense or HANRUH (involving many government agencies, private sector, NGOs and the civilian in all circumstance on defending Malaysia’s national security to assist the MAF) and defense diplomacy (conducting confidence building measures, transparency, construction of positive norms and establishment of channels of communication through joint exercises, information sharing, senior officers’ visits, exchange of officers and the provision of military education and training facilities on its bilateral and multilateral cooperation (with ASEAN and major power countries) for maintaining stability and security of South East Asia Region.[2] The strategy itself are being improved through Malaysia’s military modernization program as its national security system, where there are some actors (they are MAF, Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Ministry of Defense, Secretary General of the Ministry and Ministry of Finance), legislation (the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Ministers’ Department , Parliament that consist of the Senate or Dewan Negara and House of Representative or Dewan Rakyat and Prime Minister’s Department that consists of The National Security Council, The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Affairs Division and The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency) and institution (Malaysia’s military companies Boustead Naval Shipyard and Sapura along with French defense company DCNS) that involve on the program, along with the improvement of the military budget on achieving this program.[3] [4] The realization of this security system leads into the formation of Malaysia’s Defense Policy that has four main tasks which had been mentioned on the previous part. Eventually, the policy will be taken into account through the deployment of its force structure in terms of Malaysia’s weapon acquisition with its manpower on navies and air forces along with its military strategy.

Sources of Wealth

(Conducting acts of piracy on Malacca Strait towards cargo vessels considered as thei sources of wealth)

Life Support System

(Acts of Piracy and Armed Robbery will threatening fisherman from Malaysia who use small boats as its Life Support System in Malacca Strait)

Medium for Trade and Communication

(The appearance of Pirates on the strait will disturbing international trade and communication activities for certain countries that considered as part of International Sea)

Peace and Security

(Influencing the peace and security principle of maritime security in Malacca Strait by distracting its World’s Trade System because of piracy acts)

References :

[1] Pal Singh, Ravinder. 2000. Arms Procurement Decision Making Volume II : Chile, Greece, Malaysia, Poland, South Africa and Taiwan. New York : Oxford University Press (SIPRI). pg 81,82,83,84,85.

[2] Malaysia’s National Defense Policy. Paper. pg 15,17.

[3] Jazlan Mohamad, Nur. Malaysia’s Defence Policy and the Defence Budgeting. Malaysia : Member of Parliament for Pulai Datuk (UMNO). pg 2,3.

[4] Liew, Chin – Tong. The Role of Parliament and National Security Policy Formulation : Country Study Malaysia. Malaysia : Member of Parliament. pg 3,6.

[1]Geography of Malaysia” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[2]Malaysia’s Geography” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[3]Malaysia” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[4]Strait of Malacca” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[5] Umana, Felipe. 2012. Threat Convergence : Transnational Security Threats in the Straits of Malacca. Washington, DC : The Fund for Peace (FFP). pg 4.

[6]Geography of Malacca” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[7] Ibid. pg 5.

[8] Ibid. pg 7.

[9]Malacca Strait rampant with Pirates” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[10] Malaysia’s National Defense Policy. Paper. pg 3,4.

[11] Faisol Keling, Mohamad cs. 2011. The Malaysian Government’s Efforts in Managing Military and Defence Development. pg 185.

[12]Malaysia’s New National Defense Policy” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[13]Security in the Straits of Malacca” in, accessed on February 3rd, 2015

[14]The Submarine Race in the Malaccan Strait” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[15]Corruption : Bane of Malaysian National Security” in, accessed on February 3rd, 2015

[16] Perlo, Sam. 2014. Military spending and regional security in the Asia – Pacific. Oxford University : SIPRI. pg 16.

[1]Defense” in, accessed on February 1st, 2015

[2]Defense” in, accessed on February 1st, 2015

[3]Defence” in, accessed on February 1st, 2015

[4]Defense in depth definition” in, accessed on February 1st, 2015

[5]What is Legal Policy” in, accessed on February 1st, 2015

[6]Definition of Policy” in, accessed on February 1st, 2015