Water Wars and Humanitarian Crises in Asia

One half of the world’s population lives within Southeast Asia. The natural resources that allowed massive populations in past generations are now being stretched to their limit as those nations are industrializing. While regions such as the Middle East have struggled with water for decades, Southern Asia is facing a water crisis on a scale that cannot be matched in scope and impact to population. Current policy decisions and preparation will determine the way ahead; however, it remains likely that the next generation of Western militaries will spend their careers performing peacekeeping roles in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. Rather than anti-piracy operations like those in the Gulf of Aden, peacekeeping operations will deter state-sponsored threats and defend key lines of communication to secure life-sustaining resources, specifically water, for billions of citizens.

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