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V I C E   C H I E F   O F   T H E   D E F E N C E   F O R C E
Australian Defence College 
Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies
Strategic Digest 
Summer 2016
V I C E   C H I E F   O F   T H E   D E F E N C E   F O R C E
Australian Defence College
Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies
twitter: @CDSS_
Strategic Digest Summer 2016

Strategic Digest
Summer 2016
Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies 

2  Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
This edition published in 2016
Copyright © Commonwealth of Australia
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contact the editor by email at <

The papers included in this Digest are the sole opinion of the individual 
authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centre for 
Defence and Strategic Studies or the Department of Defence. The 
Commonwealth of Australia will not be legally responsible in contract, 
tort or otherwise, for any statement made in this publication.
National Library of Australia 
ISSN 2204-2334
Published by the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies  
Australian Defence College 
PO Box 7917 

2  Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
Table of contents
The evolution of jihadist-Salafism in Indonesia, Malaysia and the 
Philippines, and its impact on security in Southeast Asia 
Superintendent Craig Riviere, Australian Border Force
Policy options for Australia to support stabilisation and resolution of 
maritime disputes in the South China Sea 
Group Captain Lindley (Jim) Ghee, OAM, Royal Australian Air Force
Australia and Japan security ties: An accelerating partnership 
Shane Flanagan, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 
Brexit and Anglo-Australian defence policy: Back to the future? 
Brigadier Andrew Harrison, DSO, MBE, British Army
Time for a whole-of-government China strategy to build trust  
between Australia and China 
Vanessa Wood, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Cold fleet: The Southern Ocean, Antarctica and the ADF 
Midshipman Izaak Gurney, Royal Australian Navy
France and Australia: Realising our potential as like-minded  
strategic partners 
Colonel Rupert Hoskin, Australian Army
The possibility of power sharing between China and the US: 
Implications for Japan’s national interests 
Koji Yoshino, Japan Ministry of Defense
To what extent should the UK’s Armed Forces once again be  
prepared to operate routinely east of Suez? 
Lieutenant Colonel Brendan Robinson, Australian Army
The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute: The likely impact of any 
constitutional change by Japan on its relations with China 
Colonel Mark Jennings, DSC, Australian Army
‘Nothing to do with Islam’: The historical origins, ideology and strategic 
threat of global Salafi-jihadism 
Andrew Wimhurst, Australian Attorney-General’s Department
The struggle for self-determination in Scotland and Bougainville 
Commodore Sarah Sharkey, CSC, Royal Australian Navy
Biographical details

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Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016

4  Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
Since the release of Australia’s latest Defence White Paper in February 2016 
the  pace  of  strategic  change  in  the  Indo-Pacific  continues  to  speed  up  with 
unpredictable consequences for regional security. The election of Donald Trump 
in the United States and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, as well as Britain’s 
surprise decision to exit the European Union, point to a mood of disenchantment 
with ‘establishment’ politics. Similar signs of popular unhappiness with 
Government can be seen in many Indo-Pacific states. In defence and security, 
we have seen a more assertive China continue to press its strategic agenda in 
the South China Sea; North Korea has accelerated its nuclear weapons and 
missile testing; Japan has adopted a less restrictive approach to use of military 
force and Taiwan has elected a pro-independence government.
In Southeast Asia, significant numbers of so-called ‘foreign fighters’ are returning 
to the region with combat experience from Iraq and Syria. Terrorism is a real 
and present danger in many countries in the Indo-Pacific. ASEAN struggles to 
present a unified response to many of the strategic challenges facing the region. 
Throughout the Indo-Pacific a riskier and harder edged strategic competition is 
demanding more attention and careful thought on the part of policy makers.
This collection of papers from students at the Centre for Defence and 
Strategic Studies of the Australian Defence College shows the gamut of 
troubling strategic issues facing today’s policy makers. But this book is no mere 
accumulation of graduate essays. The work here offers mature reflections from 
senior and experienced military, Border Force, diplomats and public servants 
already in key roles and likely to become even more senior in coming years. 
Apart from the sheer range of topics, what’s impressive about these papers 
is the forward-looking focus of many writers, who are looking for new policy 
solutions to emerging strategic problems. There is a strong emphasis on the 
need  to  adopt  multi-agency  approaches  to  find  better  policy  solutions.  It’s 
also refreshing to see these policy professionals thinking about Australia’s 
interests on a broad canvas. These papers don’t limit Australia’s options to a 
narrow geographic arc. Rather they show the importance of building deeper 
connections with friends and allies globally. 
If you are looking for original thinking about Australia’s role in the world, and wanting 
to build a deeper understanding of the strategic dilemmas facing the Indo-Pacific, 
then this collection of papers deserves a place on your desk, side by side with the 
Defence White Paper. I commend the authors for their work and the Australian 
Defence College for being an essential incubator of new strategic thinking.
Peter Jennings
Executive Director, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
21 November 2016

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Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
6  Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
The Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies is the senior professional 
development and educational institution of the Australian Defence College. 
It is responsible for providing students with the knowledge and skills required 
to operate at the strategic level in a modern security environment. It is also 
responsible for leading developments in Defence’s learning environment, 
manages Defence publications and research, and delivers courses on 
leadership and ethics.
The Defence and Strategic Studies Course is our marquee activity. This 
year-long  master’s-level  course  is  designed  for  senior  military  officers  and 
government  officials  engaged  in  national  security  matters.  The  course  is 
attended  by  Australian  and  international  officers  and  officials  who  focus 
their learning energies on defence and security issues in a complex strategic 
setting. This group of practitioners brings substantial intellectual weight to the 
national security debate and it is therefore appropriate that the best analyses 
are published in the Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest.
The  range  of  papers  in  this  fourth  edition  of  the  Digest  reflects  research 
submitted by students of the 2015 and 2016 Defence and Strategic Studies 
Courses,  together  with  two  papers  by  ADF  officers  from  other  courses.  The 
papers have been chosen for publication based on their scholarly attributes 
and strategic relevance. The topics relate to Australia’s area of primary and 
enduring  strategic  interest—the  Indo-Pacific  region—and  have  relevance  to 
Australia’s policy interests. International students have authored two of the 
papers in this edition. Their perspectives are important contributions to learning 
during the course and are now able to be shared with readers of this Digest, 
providing excellent balance to the Australian perspectives. I am pleased to 
offer both to you.
On behalf of all staff and students, I commend these readings to you.
For further information about the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies’ 
publications, please visit
Ian Errington, AM, CSC 
Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies
November 2016

6  Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
Superintendent Craig Riviere, Australian Border Force
Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
6  Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
The evolution of 
jihadist-Salafism in 
Indonesia, Malaysia 
and the Philippines, 
and its impact 
on security in 
Southeast Asia
Superintendent Craig Riviere
Australian Border Force

8  Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
The evolution of jihadist-Salafism in Indonesia, Malaysia and The Philippines, and its impact on 
security in Southeast Asia
Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
This paper examines the evolution of jihadist-Salafism, an extreme and 
violent variant of militant Sunni Islamism, in Indonesia, Malaysia and the 
Philippines. The paper contends that while these three countries have 
made  great  strides  against  jihadi-Salafists  since  the  September  2001 
attacks in the US, the continuing evolution of jihadist-Salafism presents 
a severe security challenge to the countries themselves, and the wider 
region including Australia.
The paper argues that Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines must 
build on their successes and do even more to combat jihadist-Salafism, 
warning that unless this challenge is met in a nuanced and coordinated 
fashion, the stability of Southeast Asia will be threatened. The paper 
concludes by noting that ongoing events in the Middle East, North Africa 
and South Asia provide a dire warning of the consequences of 
under-estimating the threat.

8  Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
Superintendent Craig Riviere, Australian Border Force
Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
Jihadist-Salafism,  an  extreme  and  violent  variant  of  militant  Sunni  Islamism, 
currently presents a serious security challenge to law and order in Indonesia, 
Malaysia and the Philippines.
 Global jihadi-Salafist events since the September 
2001 al Qa’ida attacks in New York and Washington DC, including terrorist 
attacks, separatist insurgencies and civil wars, suggest that these three 
governments, each with their own unique challenges, will need to invest 
considerable effort in tackling jihadist-Salafism in the next ten years and beyond. 
This paper will analyse the evolution of jihadist-Salafism in Indonesia, Malaysia 
and the Philippines and detail its implications for security. It will argue that 
jihadist-Salafism provides a theological justification for violence, whether or not 
there are other motivating factors, and that its adherents opportunistically prey 
on regions with poor governance. 
The focus for the paper will primarily be on events since the ‘war on terror’ after 
September 2001 and the more recent rise of Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham 
(ISIS) and this group’s effect on local jihadi-Salafists.
 Key groups in each of the 
three countries will be covered, as will the response by authorities to each of 
these groups and the respective responses to the ideology of jihadist-Salafism 
itself. These three countries have been chosen because of the strength of 
active jihadi-Salafist groups within their borders, their inter-connectedness and 
the threat they pose.  
The central theme of the paper is that the evolution of jihadist-Salafism in these 
countries presents a severe security challenge to the countries themselves, 
and the wider region including Australia, and that unless this challenge is met 
in a nuanced and coordinated fashion, the stability of Southeast Asia will 
be threatened—with events in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia 
showing just how badly things can turn out. After analysing the threats posed 
by jihadist-Salafism, Part 6 of the paper will introduce a range of policy and 
operational responses that may assist the three governments in addressing the 
security challenges posed by jihadi-Salafists.
What is jihadist-Salafism?
Jihadist-Salafism emphasises the importance of returning to a ‘pure’ form of 
Islam, that of the Salaf, the pious ancestors. Further, this ideology propagates 
the notion that violent jihad, or struggle, is a personal religious duty.
al-Zawahiri and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the respective leaders of al Qa’ida and 
ISIS, can be categorised as jihadi-Salafists.

10  Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
The evolution of jihadist-Salafism in Indonesia, Malaysia and The Philippines, and its impact on 
security in Southeast Asia
Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
Jihadi-Salafists from the Middle East typically denounce elections as placing 
man’s law above God’s; their main foes are the ‘near enemy’ (Arab rulers), 
the ‘far enemy’ (the West) and Shia Muslims.
 There are a number of groups 
in  Southeast  Asia  which  subscribe  to  the  jihadist-Salafism  ideology.  They 
include but are not limited to Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), which operates in 
Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines; Jemaah Anshurah Taihid, 
which operates in Indonesia; and Abu Sayyaf Group, which operates in the 
 The security challenges posed by these groups and others will be 
discussed later in this paper.
What is meant by an impact on security?
There is dense theoretical debate about what ‘security’ means in international 
relations  and  many  definitions  are  values  laden,  representing  one  political 
view or another.
 Indeed, it is a highly-contested concept among scholars 
and practitioners, with no agreed or universally-accepted definition.
 For the 
purposes of this paper, the context in which security will be used is the ability 
for a state to maintain control of its territorial borders, provide a decent level 
of services for its people (such as health and education), sustain a functioning 
economy, and maintain law and order.
 A key component of a secure state, 
therefore, is its ability to maintain law and order, which requires the state to 
effectively regulate the conduct of its citizens and, in return, provide the basic 
arrangements that allow it to protect the life and property of those citizens.
This  paper  argues  that  jihadi-Salafist  groups  in  Indonesia,  Malaysia  and  the 
Philippines have undermined security for several decades and that if they are 
left unchecked, they will continue to do so in the years ahead. The responses 
by the respective governments, individually and collectively, will determine 
the degree to which these groups undermine security for the next ten years, 
and possibly much longer.
What is Islamisation, Islamism, Wahhabism, 
a majority-Muslim nation and an Islamic state?
There are many terms and concepts used to describe the rise of jihadist-
Salafism  and  related  ideologies  and  events.  This  includes  ‘Islamisation’, 
‘Islamism’, ‘Wahhabism’, ‘majority-Muslim nation’ and ‘Islamic state’. Different 
authors sometimes use these terms synonymously and/or ambiguously.
the purpose of clarity, the following definitions will be used in this paper. 
Islamisation  refers  to  the  intensification  of  Islamic  belief  and  practice  in  a 
society among those who are already Muslim.
  Islamism is a commitment 
to comprehensively implement an ideological vision of Islam in the state and 

10  Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
Superintendent Craig Riviere, Australian Border Force
Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
society. Whether Islamisation necessarily leads to Islamism depends on a 
number of factors and is by no means a certainty. Islamisation can represent 
a legitimate expression of political aspiration in a democracy. However, this 
paper will argue that increasing Islamisation in Southeast Asia contributes to a 
conducive environment for jihadist-Salafism to take hold and prosper.
The term Wahhabism is often used synonymously with Salafism but is not the 
same thing. While adherents of both ideologies reject religious and political 
pluralism, as well as propagating an Islam that is allegedly a more perfect 
and unsullied version based on the early years of the faith, they differ in that 
Wahhabism  has  its  modern  origins  in  Saudi  Arabia,  whereas  Salafism  has  its 
modern origins across the Middle East but particularly in Egypt.
 Dennis Ignatius, 
a retired Malaysian diplomat, has a less flattering interpretation:
Wahhabism,  the  official  religion  of  Saudi  Arabia,  is  an  exceptionally  virulent, 
narrow and militant interpretation of Islam based on the teachings of an austere 
18th century preacher and scholar, Muhammad al-Wahhab (1703-92). Over time, 
it has morphed into an all-encompassing politico-religious theology that considers 
all other faith groups deviant, has no tolerance for other cultures, no respect for 
human rights, no love for democracy and an abiding distaste of Western values. 
It is harsh, puritanical, unforgiving and violent.
It is also important to distinguish two other terms. A majority-Muslim nation is 
one where the majority of people are Muslims; an Islamic state, on the other 
hand, is one that bases its political legitimacy on Islam.
Jihadist-Salafism’s theological justification for violence
Jihadist-Salafism promotes revolutionary violence to establish a caliphate, or 
an Islamic state.
 In other words, jihadi-Salafists believe they are authorised to 
commit violent acts in the name of Islam. Further, jihadist-Salafism challenges 
Western norms and liberal democratic values, and its followers reject religious 
and moral pluralism.
 To be clear, this paper does not assert that Islam and 
democracy are incompatible in Southeast Asia or elsewhere. Indonesia, 
Malaysia and the Philippines are all, to varying degrees, democracies. The first 
two are majority-Muslim nations and the third has an influential Muslim minority. 
They demonstrate that Islam and democracy are not mutually exclusive.  
However, this paper argues that jihadist-Salafism is a manifestation of Islamic 
practice—an extremely dangerous and pervasive manifestation—and one 
that poses challenges for any nation-state, democratic or otherwise. If coupled 
with tribal, ethnic, economic or geo-political divisions, as is often the case, it is 
even more dangerous.
The preceding paragraphs argue that jihadist-Salafism provides a theological 
justification for violence. However, as then British Prime Minister David Cameron 

12  Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
The evolution of jihadist-Salafism in Indonesia, Malaysia and The Philippines, and its impact on 
security in Southeast Asia
Indo-Pacific Strategic Digest 2016
stated in July 2015, ‘you don’t have to support violence to subscribe to certain 
intolerant  ideas  which  create  a  climate  in  which  extremists  can  flourish’.
He further asserted that:
The extremist world view is the gateway, and violence is the ultimate destination…. 
No-one becomes a terrorist from a standing start. It starts with a process of 
radicalization. When you look in detail at the backgrounds of those convicted of 
terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were first influenced by what some 
would call non-violent extremists.
There is a certain logic to Cameron’s assertions. If we apply this thinking to 
Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, it becomes apparent that not only 
do the violent jihadi-Salafists require ongoing attention from authorities but so 
do those who promote the ideology. Put another way, there is an ideological, 
theological and political struggle underway that cuts across cultures, nations 
and civilisations, between the vast majority of moderate and peaceful 
adherents of Islam and the jihadi-Salafists.
 This struggle is global, and Southeast 
Asia is a key battleground. 

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