Open Access Library Journal
Vol.06 No.04(2019), Article ID:92234,7 pages

Non-Military Cooperation Plan for ASEAN Regional Disasters

Kim Han Su

Mokwon University (Public Policy Department), Daejeon, South Korea

Copyright © 2019 by author(s) and Open Access Library Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY 4.0).

Received: April 9, 2019; Accepted: April 27, 2019; Published: April 30, 2019


This study describes military cooperation on disasters in the ASEAN region. It is necessary to examine the disaster response issues in ASEAN through the cases after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. It also seeks to strengthen the response mechanism and to consider the contributions of military support and cooperation. In this study, ASEAN claims that military support for effective disaster response is the most rapid and efficient.

Subject Areas:



ASEAN, Non-Traditional Security, Military Support, International Cooperation

1. Introduction

Natural disasters are “disasters” caused by sudden natural phenomena, if you look at the pure etymology of a disaster, “disaster” means disaster. It is a combination of “bad”, “dis” and “astero”.

In terms of natural disasters, ASEAN is divided into non-traditional security issues, such as terrorism, democracy, transnational environment. Along with health problems, it has become a serious problem since the 1990s.

Due to geographical and environmental characteristics, disasters in Southeast Asia are unpredictable, and there are concerns about large-scale damages that are restricted to individual countries. Especially, the risk due to abnormal weather is continuously increasing [1] . At the present time when the economic blockade in Southeast Asia is being formed, the possibility of disaster countermeasures and slogans acting as another diplomatic friction factor is considered to be rich. There is a need to establish a disaster relief system for regional cooperation.

In particular, Southeast Asia, where so-called “disaster-vulnerable countries”, tourism, development investment, immigration, etc., have been actively promoted from neighboring countries of East Asia, which have good accessibility to the region [1] . However, considering the frequency and scale of disasters in Southeast Asia, the need for immediate relief and countermeasures of “disaster-vulnerable countries” is continuously required. However, systematic disaster crisis management system for regional cooperation is weak.

Therefore, in this report, I would like to draw some implications for non-military regional cooperation measures that can be applied immediately without additional personnel or organization.

2. Need to Operate Crisis Management System in Southeast Asia Region

The Southeast Asian region is closely related to developing countries. Over the past three decades, rapid industrialization, urbanization, and warming have caused the extreme weather damage. Recent examples include large-scale natural disasters in Southeast Asia, from super-typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines in 2013 to severe drought in Indonesia in early 2015, and astronomical funding from relief and recovery. Materials were supported from around the world [2] .

Recently, research on natural disasters has expanded from natural science to social science. Especially, efforts to effectively reduce enormous damage early are continuing. Southeast Asia is largely a developing country that can not actively and immediately cope with climate change, and when it comes to simulating a disaster of the same magnitude, the effort spent for its damage, relief, and recovery is more severe than that of developed countries, These disaster relief funds are allocated to the central government’s disaster relief funds by political considerations, not priority distributions. In addition, all natural disasters have political implications, which means that politics is not the root cause of natural disasters, but that any natural disaster can never be free from politics. Natural disasters are an area that cannot be controlled by humans, but the level of suffering is determined by the degree of government preparation and prompt response (relief, distribution of goods, etc.). Despite the political impact of natural disasters, existing disaster studies have focused primarily on economic and technical areas of physical damage and recovery. “How do you anticipate and prevent disasters?” And “How much will it cost to recover socially based capital if natural disasters occur?”.

However, it is encouraging that since 2009, the United Nations Natural Disaster Organization has been established in Songdo, Incheon. The Disaster Prevention Training Center is the first specialized disaster prevention education and training institution in the United Nations. It has conducted pilot training in South and East Asian countries including Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in 10 countries of ASEAN in September and November 2009. In this report, the crisis management system in the event of a disaster in the region examines the need for automatic organization/operation and acts as an opportunity for strengthening regional integration through relief activities. As well as the role of the “political security community” [1] (Table 1).

3. A Blueprint for the Realization of the ASEAN Community

In 2009, ASEAN announced a blueprint for the realization of a political and security community and a socio-cultural community including economic communities. The main features of the blueprint are based on the principles of succession, shared values and norms presented in the ASEAN Charter. Control, and the creation of a common dynamic and outward-looking region for comprehensive security. The main components of the political and security community are interdependent and stipulated to maintain balance in implementation (ASEAN 2009).

Currently, ASEAN has limited the scope of non-traditional security issues and limited access to transnational crime such as terrorism. However, as shown in the movement toward comprehensive security has been continued. It includes disaster management, mission sharing, and functional cooperation. ASEAN has been devalued as a group of weak countries in 10 countries so far in the international community [3] . In fact, ASEAN is the closest economic partner with Korea and the most visited region because of tourism as mentioned in the introduction [2] . Particularly internationally, when the ASEAN Economic Community is launched at the end of this year, a large-scale economic block with a population of 630 million people (third in the world) and GDP 2.5 trillion dollars (seventh in the world) It is born. At this point, ASEAN has the right to form a mutual understanding and mutual interest based on building confidence.

Table 1. UNISDR ONEA GETI (Unlted Nations office for Disaster Risk Reduction).

4. Cooperation Plan for Disaster Relief in Southeast Asia Based on Constructivist Theory

We will try to think based on the constructor’s theory about the “confidence building” which is an institutional preemptive condition that can be applied immediately at the local community level in case of natural disaster of ASEAN. “The constructivist theory emphasizes identity, culture, ideology, socialization, and presupposes that the international system is socially constructed”. Constructivism emphasizes norms and explains regional integration through an inter-subjective approach, which is particularly useful for studying the ASEAN Way, which emphasizes norms [4] . These theoretical perspectives emphasize the historical and cultural factors and social normative factors before the foundation of ASEAN, and focus on continuous development on a wide range of issues.

The concept of comprehensive security based on the theory of constructivists is trying to cooperate with various security threats coming from a new era such as natural disasters including traditional security threats [4] . In fact, it has been shifting from a short-term, accidental, and irresponsible threat such as terrorism, natural disasters, to a comprehensive security concept against an enemy that is not seen in the long-term and conventional security threats like war. In recent years, the damage to Southeast Asian countries due to natural disasters, which cannot be an exception to the United States, has been increasing year by year, and the risk has been announced. However, In the situation where vicious circle is repeated such as increase of physical damage, and huge amount of money needed for relief, a regional cooperation system should be established as soon as possible. In the Southeast Asia region, mutual immigrants and tourists are active and active. Indirectly, the regional characteristics of the interaction of economic, economic and cultural influences of each country should be considered. Now, the occurrence of natural disasters by individual countries in Southeast Asia continues to the local countries. It is a potential threat, and there are concerns about the effects of butterflies over time, space, and diversity in neighboring countries.

Therefore, the impact of Southeast Asian disasters is not limited to those of the Contracting Parties but also to the economic ripple (trade, tourism) and regional instability, reduction of investment in the region due to delayed recovery, and development of relief activities. Delays in decision-making, misappropriation of humanitarian cooperation, and public opinion. Therefore, it is deemed urgent that the establishment of a regional cooperation organization and system that can act as a control tower from the disaster in the region is imminent. This system is a separate human. It is not necessary to secure new material resources, and it is best to use “special humanitarian forces” in each country to develop “humanitarian assistance” activities.

If the transnational crime-related measures, including terrorism, as in today’s Islamic country IS where national-centered security approaches, then the comprehensive security concept adopted by ASEAN will be divided into two sections (B.5, B.6) on disaster management and emergency response I have to spend. As the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the 2008 Nigis Storm Hurricane, and the Hai Yen 2013, the ASEAN region has emerged as an important security threat to overcome disasters at regional cooperation levels, it emphasizes cooperation for joint management and response. The AADMER Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER), signed in 2005, entered into force in December 2009 after approval by the Member States. It aims to reduce disaster losses and strengthen emergency response in joint disasters. In March 2010, AADMER Business Program (2010-15) was adopted and 14 main projects were selected (ASEAN 2013e) (Table 2).

From the pre-disaster stage to the effective disaster preparedness and response concept, in 2011, the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Center (AHA) was established as an intergovernmental organization with the participation of all the member countries. In order to establish an effective response system, And training, system development and construction are underway [2] .

Some scholars argue that international cooperation is more important than self-reliance for effective disaster recovery. Every year, earthquakes, hurricanes, storms and tornadoes, forest fires, snowstorms, volcanoes, and the like are fighting natural disasters every season and each week. This is a natural disaster that we cannot distinguish between weak countries and great powers. However, cooperation is expected to provide a lot of benefits in a multifaceted way, considering cooperation in the compensation for unpredictable future. In particular, ASEAN countries, which can be classified as disaster-vulnerable countries, need regional cooperation at the security community level.

In the case of Korea, in case of a major disaster in Korea, the Ministry of National Defense (after the Seowall incident, there was no large-scale disaster after the establishment of November 19, 2014), the Ministry of National Defense. It is not a special operation unit for disaster relief, It is the power that can be immediately operated in case of a crisis with special operations force in Pyeongyang.

As mentioned above, disaster relief units are dispatched in response to requests in the event of a disaster and can be used at all times. They have accumulated experience and ability in civil operations in overseas regions through stabilization operations and relief activities in East Timor, Iraq and Lebanon. Gradually, the system is being strengthened. We believe that a crisis management system should be operated in such a way that AHA and other non-standing organizations will be established in case of major disasters with the aid of special operations power of each country. In addition, for practical operation, each country’s preparatory period should be minimized, and the burden should be minimized so that the current power can be operated at all times. In order to improve the ability of disaster relief units to carry out their duties, regular material management and training are necessary from day to day [4] . In addition, the government’s decision-making system should be concise for the promptness of relief activities, and in case of dispatch to the disaster station in Korea, institutional devices should be provided to minimize and simplify the consent process. In addition, non-military support activities may be the mainstay, but the support system of government, non-governmental organizations and relief organizations should also be institutionalized. It is imperative that discussions are held urgently

Table 2. Examples of natural disasters in the past three years.

for the expansion of social overhead capital to enable relief workers, equipment, and goods to be deployed rapidly through ASEAN summit and working meetings. The social overhead capital constructed here is not merely for disaster relief but can be used for economic activities such as trade. The effect can also be expected.

5. Conclusions

There is a risk that disasters will continue to occur in the future, and it is necessary to construct a system that can cope with disasters in an unpredictable way by natural providence [1] . Of course, building hardware such as equipment and supplies may be important, but building software such as building personnel/support systems should be preceded. Recognizing this importance, I think that it is necessary to organize and discuss the role of relief support that is realistic and risky in constructing ASEAN community. This research should be continued on a long-term and macroscopic rather than short-term basis.

In order to back up these things, the national preparations should be kept to a minimum and the role should simply be planned so that they can be dispatched at any time. Also, government decision-making should be brief, and military support should be discussed. This can be complemented through the ASEAN Summit and Working Conference. Through various channels, the original purpose can be achieved if the system is not created.

The limits of this research are not directly experienced at the site of the disaster, but are statistically close to each other. Therefore, in future research, it is necessary to supplement the disability through updating the statistics of the participants in the actual disaster site, which is necessary to.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Cite this paper

Su, K.H. (2019) Non-Military Cooperation Plan for ASEAN Regional Disasters. Open Access Library Journal, 6: e5380.


  1. 1. Annex, I. (2011) Para. 3 of Guiding Principle, General Assembly Resolution 46/182 1991. Humanitarian Assistance Should Be Provided with the Consent of the Affected Country and in Principle on the Basis of an Appeal by the Affected Coun-try.

  2. 2. INTER Guidelines on the Use of Military and Civil Defense Assets to Support United Nations Humanitarian Activities in Complex Emergencies.

  3. 3. Hofmann, C. and Hudson, L. (2009) Military Reponses to Natural Disasters: Last Resort or Ineritable Trend? Humanitarian Exchange, 44, 78-191.

  4. 4. Lassa, J. (2014) Disasrer Management in ASEAN: An Overview. ASEAN Insights, 7, 38-98.