9/11 and Asia: Two Decades Later

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9/11 and Asia: Two Decades Later

A virtual conference announcing the launch of Diplomat Risk Intelligence probes how 9/11 changed the Asia-Pacific.

9/11 and Asia: Two Decades Later

Waterfall at North Tower with reflection of Freedom Tower, 9/11 Memorial, New York City

Credit: Flickr/Graduate Baruchian

Twenty years since al-Qaida attacked New York and Washington, D.C., setting in motion tectonic shifts in U.S. foreign policy, the events of September 11 – and how countries around the world responded to them – continue to reverberate across the Asia-Pacific.

The attacks forced many countries in the region to adopt much tougher counterterrorism postures; others saw them as political and geopolitical openings to reshape domestic security policy as well as realign themselves vis-à-vis the United States and its allies. Yet others viewed the attacks opportunistically in order to increase repression of minorities, Muslims predominantly. At the same time, the fall of Kabul on August 15 this year, marking an ignominious defeat in the global war on terror that began 20 years ago, once again demonstrates the sharp limits of military power in face of deep ethnic divisions and inequity. What lessons countries across the Asia-Pacific draw from this remain an open question.

“9/11 and Asia: Two Decades Later” – a virtual, pre-recorded conference hosted by The Diplomat to mark the launch of the magazine’s research and consulting division, Diplomat Risk Intelligence –looks at how 9/11 shaped regional counterterror postures and foreign policies. With three panels and eight leading experts as speakers, the conference focuses on how the region is viewing the return of the Taliban as Afghanistan’s ruling regime, and its impact on how regional powers assess the United States’ security commitments across the Indo-Pacific.



9/11 and Asia: Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan


Dr. Nilofar Sakhi is a Professorial Lecturer, Elliot School, George Washington University and Non-resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council.

Elizabeth Threlkeld is Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Stimson Center’s South Asia Program.

Moderator: Abhijnan Rej



9/11 and Asia: Southeast Asia


Dr. Zachary Abuza is a professor at the National War College, in Washington, DC, where he focuses on Southeast Asian politics and security issues.

Dr. Bilveer Singh is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.

Dr. Joelene Jerard is the executive director at Centinel and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at RSIS, where she specializes in terrorist and extremist groups in Asia.

Moderator: Sebastian Strangio



9/11 and Asia: China


Sheena Chestnut Greitens is an associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin.

Yun Sun is a Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the East Asia Program and Director of the China Program at the Stimson Center.

Dr. Wang Zhen, research professor of international studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), is currently director of the International Security Studies Program at the SASS Institute of China Studies.

Moderator: Shannon Tiezzi