Southern Philippines and the policy of the second front in the global war on terrorism
Choi, Jihoon P.
Malley, Michael S.
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This thesis analyzes the effects of the United States' policy of the second front in the global war on terrorism (GWOT) on the conflict in the southern Philippines. The policy's reliance on intervention measures that are both "preemptive" and "direct" by military means echoes Mearsheimer's argument that "simply put, great powers are primed for offense." The question may be asked: how effective is the second front policy in terms of resolving the conflict? The ongoing violence in the southern Philippines, since the policy's inception in early 2002, suggests its ineffectiveness in addressing the root causes of the conflict. This thesis investigates the history of the Moro and the Mindanao conflict to determine the root causes of the conflicts. On the foundation of the existing theory of conflict resolution, the thesis then performs an analysis of the past peace processes. Following the analysis are the recommendations for future policy and peace negotiations: A comprehensive peace policy that clearly distinguishes armed terrorists from Islamic separatists with legitimate political grievances and applies direct and indirect approaches accordingly. For future peace negotiations, the thesis recommends that both the GRP and the MILF to concentrate their efforts on building trust and consensus at all levels of society. The thesis concludes with recommendations on future studies.
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