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Southeast Asia is home to one of the largest concentrations of Muslims in the world. In Indonesia alone, a nation of 240 million people, there are nearly as many Muslims as in the entire Middle East. In their new publication, Senator Christopher Bond (R-MO) and his co-author Lewis Simons, both leading experts on the region, identify the Muslims of Southeast Asia as the ideal place for the U.S. to stem the influence of Islamist extremism. Bond and Simons present a bold plan to accomplish this key goal by using soft power (civilians in sneakers and sandals) upfront with hard power (military force) as necessary. They examine a wide range of views from the region from Osama bin Laden-trained terrorists to radical clerics to western-trained officials who plead for Americans to come to their countries to teach, start small businesses, and improve health care. The Next Front offers a fresh approach for the United States to build its credibility and stem emerging conflicts.
More About the Speakers
The Honorable Christopher S. Bond (R-MO)
U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Director, Asian Studies Center