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Effectiveness of Counter-Terrorism Strategies in Indonesia, The Philippines and Thailand
This project, jointly funded by the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the US Department of Homeland Security, establishes a partnership between US and Australian researchers to improve understanding of terrorist activity in three important Southeast Asian countries critical to regional security (Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand).
In 2010, the project team:
- Examined the dynamic trends and patterns of terrorist incidents, groups and networks across the three countries in the study.
- Completed the technological development of a Counter Terrorism i-Library (CTiL).
- Created a counter-terrorism intervention database.
- Used the CTiL generated interventions database in statistical models to measure the relative impact of the counter-terrorism interventions across Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.
- Previewed research findings to the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and agency stakeholders in Canberra, and to the Department of Homeland Security in Washington.
The final report, submitted in 2011, brings together, for the first time, a systematic and scholarly examination of the dynamic and complex array of security threats in three countries: Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. It also builds a better understanding of the effectiveness of counter-terrorism approaches across these three countries with a view to inform policy makers on the relative effectiveness of interventions from 1970 to the present in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, domestically, and interventions supported by third parties such as Australia and the United States.
Using a range of sophisticated statistical models, we developed a way of measuring the effectiveness of counter-terrorism measures across the three target countries.
Table 1 below summarizes our research results:
Table 1 - Comparative description of interventions in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.
Maximum effectiveness indicates the number of days after an intervention that the intervention exhibits its maximum inhibitory effect on risk of subsequent terrorist attacks. Both Indonesia and the Philippines have similar times to maximum effectiveness, while Thailand’s results seem to indicate that the maximum effect of an intervention in Thailand occurs on the day it is implemented.
The 95% total effectiveness measure represents the number of days an intervention remains effective; specifically, the number of days until 95% of the intervention effect has disappeared. Indonesia has an impressive result: an intervention in Indonesia inhibits the risk of subsequent terrorist attacks for 17 days following the intervention. The Philippines shows a slightly lower period of effectiveness with 13 days, while Thailand’s result suggests that the intervention effect has all but disappeared the day after the intervention.
Overall, our results suggest that Indonesia’s intervention efforts to counter-terrorism activity are more effective when compared to the efforts undertaken in the Philippines and Thailand.
Professor Lorraine Mazerolle (Chief Investigator)
Professor Gary LaFree (Partner Investigator)
Dr Gentry White (Research Fellow)