When I think about terrorism, the Philippines doesn’t exactly leap to mind. But apparently, the Southern Philippines has been called Southeast Asia’s Afghanistan.
On Thursday, the Philippine military scored a major victory by killing Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorist and two other senior militants in a U.S. backed air strike. Zulkifli bin Hir was a top leader of the Al Qaeda linked Jemaah Islamiyah.
Also killed was the leader of the Philippines based Abu Sayaf militants, a group linked to several kidnappings of Westerners in the area. Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0202/Most-wanted-terror-leaders-killed-in-the-Philippines.
Asia is the battleground of the present and future. The ingredients exist for a lengthy battle within Asia. Globalization has proved a game changer within Asia.
You have the modernizing forces of democracy and the Western capitalist culture--in the form of multinational corporations butting up against traditional Asian cultures and the Islamic faith.
There will be great conflict between tradition and modernity that will occupy security analysts for the next lifetime. How this conflict is resolved will likely determine whether the next few decades are grounded in peace or scorched by war.