Security deficit in Asia: Menon

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) Underlining a "securitydeficit" in Asia, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menontoday said there is an increasing threat of terrorismspreading from Pakistan and Afghanistan, describing them ascountries which are not part of the region''s growth story.

"There is a growing security deficit or divide inAsia. There is increasing danger of terrorism spreading fromthose parts of Asia like Pakistan and Afghanistan, which havenot been part of the Asian economic movement," Menon said atthe 13th Asian Security Conference here.

"The security of nuclear materials and weapons inthose same parts of Asia is another example of the sort ofproblems that we face," he added.

On the security divide in the region, the NSA said,"There are parts of Asia which are falling behind, not just ineconomic terms but in terms of the normal security attributesof sovereignty that we take for granted. And the consequencesfor Asian security should concern all of us in Asia."

Addressing the conference on the topic ''Towards a NewAsian Order'', Menon said the continent was facing securitychallenges that were in the connectivity domain thatincludes cyber and outer space, maritime security. The secondis the security divide within Asia and thirdly, theinstitutionalisation of security cooperation in Asia."

On the desired new security order in Asia, he said itshould be an "inclusive" arrangement including "all relevantpowers, including those geographically external but intrinsicto Asia�s security in practice and presence."

"It should be extensive, from Suez to the Pacific andincluding the entire Eurasian landmass. If not, it will not beable to address the security consequences of the growingsecurity divide within Asia," the NSA added.

Noting that Asia''s geopolitics is complicated by thepresence of several global and extra-regional powers, Menonsaid these players are now integral to Asian security in thisage of globalisation of economics, security and technology.

"Powers such as the USA, Russia and Japan are presentand have long established interests of their own in Asia. AnAsian order which ignores their interests is unlikely to bestable," he added.

Noting that a number of powers are simultaneouslyrising in Asia, the NSA said China is not the only risingAsian power and other countries like South Korea, Vietnam,Indonesia and India are also developing rapidly.

"We already see in Asia classical responses to therapid rise of new powers in terms of internal and externalbalancing. We see increasing defence budgets throughout theregion over the last two decades," he added.

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