Amin Abdul Aziz & Alawi Shahrin

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This paper discusses the dynamics of the current security and defence landscape (SDL), viewed from within the framework of the rules-based international order (RBIO), with particular focus given to the terrorism phenomenon. To better understand the undercurrents of the international SDL, demands consideration of the perspectives of other geopolitical actors, specifically, the Russian, the Islamic, and the Chinese. What is clear is that the dominance of the Western geopolitical polar is constantly challenged by the aforementioned geopolitical polars – who also understand that the legitimacy of any action is determined, rightly or wrongly, by the Western Order. The current SDL is thus animated by Russian, the Islamic and the Chinese challenges, even threats, against the a RBIO defined, institutionalised, and controlled by the West. What emerges is a multi-polar SDL, configured by multi-linear vectors between the West and other competing geopolitical polars; each seeking to divert power currents toward their direction. The tensors and trajectories between the competing power vectors are defined much by the ebbs and flows of the polars’ geopolitical capabilities (political, economic and military) relative to each other.