This is the second year of the first Asia Pacific regional security outlook to be produced by a multinational team of contributors from the region. The outlook contains an overview and chapters on security issues as seen from the perspective of the major countries involved in the intergovernmental ASEAN Regional Forum security consultations. The country chapters deal with three basic issues: changing perceptions of threat, defense doctrines and issues, and national contributions to regional and global security. This year’s volume focuses on the developments in these areas during 1997 and projects their implications for the future.
Michael Armacost, president of the Brookings Institution, says, “The Asia Pacific Security Outlook gives the reader a genuine taste of the many different security perspectives in the region.” Tan Sri Dr. Noordin Sopiee of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies of Malaysia has called the book “essential reading for all those interested in Asia Pacific international relations: diplomats, businessmen, students, scholars, and the media.”
The regional overview aggregates and compares the country perspectives, pointing out differences of emphasis that affect the region’s international relations. Last year’s Security Outlook placed four broad issues on a “watchlist”: the Korean peninsula, territorial disputes, changing large power roles and relations, and arms modernization programs.