Peer-reviewed (refereed)

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 12.29.54 PM.png

2018. "Why is Southeast Asia Rearming? An Empirical Assessment", in U.S. Policy in Asia -- Perspectives for the Future, eds. Rafiq Dossani and Scott W. Harold (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2018), pp. 106-137

Why have Southeast Asian states seemed to be rearming over the past decade? Are they improving their defense capabilities to confront a rising China, or are the activities driven by other considerations, such as the need to replace aging equipment? This paper addresses these questions by providing a regional, rather than country-specific, overview of Southeast Asia's defense capability development. Specifically, it presents empirical regional patterns of defense spending, weapons import, and force structure. It examines three existing explanations for Southeast Asia's arms drive: (1) External threat: China’s rising military threat and aggressive behavior, (2)Market economics: the structural dependence on the global defense market, and (3) Technological requirement: Individual armed forces need to replace their aging Cold War–era equipment.

A shortened and summarized version of this chapter appears as "Is Southeast Asia’s Military Modernization Driven by China?" Global Asia, Vol. 13, No. 1 (2018): 42-47


2012. “Regional Order by Other Means? Assessing the Rise of Defense Diplomacy in Southeast Asia”, Asian Security 8 (3): pp. 251–270

This article seeks to address why and how defense diplomacy in Southeast Asia has risen in the past decade. By examining multilateral defense diplomacy under the auspices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), as well as Indonesia’s bilateral defense diplomacy, this article makes three arguments. First,bilateral and multilateral defense diplomacy in Southeast Asia complement one another. Second, the focus of multilateral defense diplomacy has evolved and now reflects the blurring distinction between nontraditional and traditional security issues. Third, the rise of ARF’s multilateral defense diplomacy can be attributed to the concern over China’s rise, while ASEAN, considers it as among the key mechanisms to recover from the fallout of the 1996 Asian financial crisis and the recent regional arms development.

2011. “Double Jeopardy: Climate Insecurities and Their Implications for Asian Armed Forces,” Defence Studies 11 (2): pp. 271 – 296

This paper seeks to explore and assess the implications of climate insecurities for armed forces in the Asia-Pacific region, and in particular Southeast Asia. It identifies key issues and trends related to climate insecurities – in the areas of mass migration, diseases, natural disasters and the scarcity of water, food and other resources. It then details the implications for regional armed forces in the strategic, institutional and operational realms, and contends that climate change will become both a burden multiplier and a threat multiplier in the decades to come

Working papers

2009. Evan A. Laksmana, “The Preponderance of Geography: Revisiting American Grand Strategy in Asia,” Working Paper No. 1 (Bangkok: American Studies Program, Institute of Security and International Studies, Chulalongkorn University)