Topic A: Non-State Actors and Asymmetric Warfare in Africa
In asymmetric warfare, a small entity applies all of its strength in a focused manner against the weakest points of its larger adversary. This method of warfare not only allows smaller groups like non-state actors (NSAs) to wage war against states, but it also allows these smaller groups to strategically inflict “physical, political, economic, and mass psychological damage” against their adversaries. While violent NSAs are a prevalent concern across the globe, these groups have been most successful in countries that are still developing and thus lack the security capacity to subdue them, many of which are developing countries in Africa. The problems of asymmetric warfare involving NSAs have also been seen with militia-led civil unrest in the Central African Republic, Daesh in Libya, armed jihadist factions in Mali, and al-Shabaab in Somalia, among others. Despite the distinct values and agendas of the attackers, all affected countries share the same circumstance of developing states fighting to fend off a violent entity without an established security strategy to do so. To ensure peace and stability for people in the affected areas, DISEC must work to suppress the violence caused by NSAs.
Topic B: Combating Terrorism in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia hosts a multitude of militant groups that transcend national borders. Groups such as the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), United Liberation Organization (PULO), and Gerakan Mujahideen Islam Pattani (GMIP) have been known to cooperate, particularly when it comes to trading weapons. These groups are establishing a dangerous transnational network that threatens peace and security in the region. The threat, however, does not stop in Southeast Asia. During the 69th UN General Assembly, Singapore’s representative asserted that the threat of terrorism and radical ideology “affects the whole world. An estimated 15,000 foreigners from at least 80 countries, including from Southeast Asia, have traveled to fight in Syria and Iraq.” Seeing that the First Committee considers threats to peace that affect the international community, the global ripple effect of terrorism in Southeast Asia makes it a top priority for DISEC.