The main purpose of the overview is to understand the threat of extremist-Muslim transnational terrorism, its drivers and origins and the direct threat it poses to Australia and its interests domestically and abroad.
It discusses strategies to counter the threat and actions Australia should take given the realization that this is not a threat that will dissipate or that can be effectively defeated with conventional means.
Australia’s national security is now facing more audacious and fundamental challenges, directly threatening to our security environment, in the form of extremist-Muslim transnational terrorism.
The key objective of the overview is to provide a strategic summary of how Australia can face the challenges of the changing threat that global transnational terrorism presents. The summary it provides is in-line with existing policy on the subject.
The effectiveness of regional bilateral relationships to combat transnational terrorism in South East Asia, many of which Australia is a key player in, have been recognized globally. South East Asia is another region where great progress has been made, with Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and the Abu Sayyaf groups severely undermined by international efforts.
The overview provides a range of evidence in support of the main statements that Australia is under threat from transnational terrorism and the on-going need to continually be adaptive and active participants in combating the threat.
Essentially the report espouses that Australia is a target because of its global presence and participation in peacekeeping and peacemaking efforts around the world, because of its social values and democratic free society and beliefs that run counter to the believes and ideology of extremist-Muslims, and because Australia is seen as being part of Western efforts to occupy Muslim lands and destroy Islam.
This is evident in the messages of Osama Bin Laden and those of Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, former spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, and of other Al Qaida and extremist leaders that have specifically mentioned Australia in their threatening rhetoric.
The main conclusions the report draws are that Australia must remain resolute and must show respect and tolerance for moderate Muslim societies and make it clear that the threat represented by extremist-Muslims is not one that Australia see’s as being representative of Islam as a faith.
Continued participation in international peace keeping and the engagement and provision of assistance to developing countries, particularly regional nations, to develop counters to poor governance and institutional weaknesses are key factors in Australia’s strategic planning. This is certainly an essential course that Australia should continue; indeed the good governance that had characterized the early years of Pacific independence has begun to crumble as new elites have acquired business interests, enriched themselves from corrupt deals with resource investors and allowed...