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The next front in the war on terror is in Southeast Asia. U.S. policies in dealing with the Islamic world may be falling short. As Fundamentalist Islam gains traction in Southeast Asia the U.S. must act swiftly to re-establish its credibility there and help defuse global terrorism. Perhaps it is time to substitute smart power (aimed at civilians in sneakers and sandals) for force (soldiers in boots) in Indonesia and the other nations of Southeast Asia, home to the world's greatest concentration of Muslims.
Pulitzer Prize winner Lewis M. Simons began his career as a foreign correspondent in 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War. He saw the war through to the end, covering the fall in quick succession of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
Since then, Simons has reported on war, civil unrest, politics and economics from throughout Southeast Asia; India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh; Iraq and Iran; China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea, as well as the former Soviet Union. He was a staff correspondent for The Associated Press, the Washington Post and Knight-Ridder Newspapers.
Simons won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for exposing the billions that the Marcos family looted from the Philippines. He has received numerous other journalism awards.
Simons is a regular contributor to National Geographic. His op-ed and analytical articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Atlantic and Smithsonian magazines.
He is the author of Worth Dying For, co-author with Senator Christopher S. Bond of The Next Front, and a contributing author of half a dozen books on war and international affairs.
A graduate of New York University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he is married to fellow journalist Carol Simons.
Mr. Lewis M. Simons' presentation, "The Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam," was the 2010-11 academic year's Contemporary Civilization Lecture. This Contemporary Civilization Lecture was sponsored by the Naval War College Foundation in memory of Captain Robert N. Miller III, a Naval War College graduate and former faculty member, through the generosity of Captain Miller's family.