Threats Along the Sulu Sea: Exploring the Land-Sea Nexus

Sailors aboard three Armed Forces of the Philippines rigid hull inflatable boats perform a maritime interdiction operation exercise. Photo: Lt. Anthony Waters, US Navy.

The recent series of kidnappings along the Sulu Sea raises concerns for the security forces in the region. The Trilateral Cooperative Agreement (TCA), a mechanism that has facilitated joint patrols in the area between the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia since July 2016, does not yet appear to have deterred criminals and terrorists from conducting kidnappings, armed robberies, and other forms of maritime crime. This article analyzes the land-sea nexus of the maritime threat and proposes the adoption of new measures to enhance the TCA.

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