Sunday 22 Jul 2018 | 12:41 | SYDNEY
Sunday 22 Jul 2018 | 12:41 | SYDNEY

Guns versus gold in Southeast Asia


Malcolm Cook

31 October 2008 14:07

Earlier this week, the assembled minds of the Institute got together to discuss the geo-political consequences of the ongoing global financial turmoil. One of the suggestions was that it might crimp regional arms spending and related fears of arms races (or as Graeme Dobell nicely calls them, arms strolls). In line with this, Malaysia, citing the financial crisis, recently announced it would shelve an order for 12 military helicopters.

Alas, recent border tensions between Thailand and Cambodia have led Cambodia to announce plans to double its military budget next year. The most recent collapse in the southern Philippines peace process has also led the chronically under-funded armed forces to call for more money (gold) and guns. Looks like new global troubles are bad for the regional arms trade while long-running local ones are good for it.