Redefining domestic counterinsurgency post-2001: Sulu Province, Republic of Philippines

PhD Thesis


East, Bob. 2010. Redefining domestic counterinsurgency post-2001: Sulu Province, Republic of Philippines. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

Redefining domestic counterinsurgency post-2001: Sulu Province, Republic of Philippines

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorEast, Bob
SupervisorMcMillen, Donald
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages299
Year2010
Abstract

The closure of the U.S. Military Bases in the Philippines in 2001 created a vacuum in regional defence both for the Philippines and the U.S. The U.S. lost its only South-East Asian military base, and the Philippine National Administration lost substantial foreign military aid which had been vital in helping it contain domestic insurgency, which for the most part was Muslim in nature.

After the terrorist events in the U.S. in September 2001, the Philippine National Administration of President Gloria Arroyo established closer military cooperation with the George W. Bush Administration. However, to receive increased U.S. military aid President Arroyo had to be 'seen' to be containing or confronting Muslim insurgency/terrorism in her country. In other words, domestic counterinsurgency had to be redefined and readdressed.

This thesis examines the methods, and rationale, the Arroyo Administration has been using to confront insurgency in the Philippines, particularly in the province of Sulu in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao. It also questions whether the political and military measures taken by President Arroyo are necessary for national security or are an attempt to be seen as supporting the U.S. in their 'Global War on Terror', with the consequence receiving increased U.S. foreign military aid.

The methodologies adopted for obtaining data for this study have been archival research, and primary evidence gathering in the form of survey questioning from 306 residents of Sulu Province, as well as the questioning of 30 Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) paramilitary operatives.

This study demonstrates that the Arroyo Administration has used the questionable existence of a small terrorist cell, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) as an excuse to deploy thousands of Philippine military personnel to Sulu Province, as well introducing contentious parliamentary legislation. This, the dissertation argues has been an attempt to discourage any MNLF self-determination aspirations in Sulu Province.

Keywordsdomestic counterinsurgency; Abu Sayyaf Group; terrorism; Sulu Province; Philippines
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440299. Criminology not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Arts
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