What have been the effects of the "War on Terror" on Australia's relations with South-East Asia?.
The "War on Terror" has generally improved Australia's relations with South-East Asia. The "war on terror" has brought about greater co-operation with Southeast Asian nations including Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand over counter-terrorism. However, there are still disagreements between Australia and other nations such as Malaysia has criticised Australia's involvement in the War on Terror and thus has damaged Australia's relationships in the region. Other Southeast Asian nations including Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam have been less active in the war on terrorism and thus there has been little effect on Australia's relations with these nations. Thus, Australia's support for the "war on terrorism" has generally seen an improvement in its relations with South-East Asia.
Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, President Bush sought wide support for what was declared the "war against terrorism". Australia initiated the ANZUS pact and consequently committed itself to fight alongside US forces, which had identified Osama Bin Laden as the chief suspect responsible for the September 11 attacks. The US and its allies consequently launched a military campaign against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which was believed to be the place Bin Laden was hiding. The "war on terror" saw many South East Asian nations including Brunei, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia (Kampuchea), Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam condemn terrorist activity and consequently have introduced measures to combat terrorism. Australia which has been a vocal supporter on the War on Terror has thus has had a strengthening in the relationship between Southeast Asian nations. However, this support has not been unanimous as there were fears that could Muslim extremist groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf would retaliate.