This text argues that the growing AIDS pandemic not only has important health and development ramifications, but is rapidly evolving into an international security issue as well. To date, however, strategists and security analysts have not taken this strategic significance of the AIDS pandemic sufficiently into account. Consequently, this study explores in greater detail the long-term impact of the pandemic on the armed forces in countries where prevalence rates are high and the implications this has for international peacekeeping operations. The study also provides an overview of the impact of the social, economic and political ramifications of the AIDS pandemic for state stability in the worst affected countries. Drawing primarily on examples from Africa and Asia, the paper concludes that these examples only mark the beginning of a much more pervasive international security challenge that is likely to unfold unless greater international efforts to address the pandemic are undertaken. The security sector, the study concludes, can play an important role in such international efforts.