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February 21, 2018

Asia
Trump_Vietnam_11.12.2017 The Trump Administration’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific”: A Solid Idea, but Difficult to Pull Off

After declaring the “rebalance” to Asia dead, the Trump administration’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” strategy appears to be pursing similar goals: containing China’s ability to dominate Asia and bol…

February 20, 2018

Southeast Asia
Pence_Widodo_4.20.2017 Shifting U.S.-Indonesia Relations to a Transactional Approach

The U.S.-Indonesia relationship has often disappointed. It’s time to rethink U.S.-Indonesia ties and try to achieve real security goals, rather than make bold plans for cooperation that never come to…

February 16, 2018

Asia
Berlusconi_1.11.2018 Populism May Have a Banner Year in 2018—and 2019 Too

By the middle of 2017, following Emmanuel Macron’s dominant victory in France’s elections, the relative underperformance of populist parties in elections in the Netherlands, and the backlash in the U…

February 12, 2018

Thailand
Prayuth_10.26.2017 Thailand’s Junta Faces Mounting Pressure

The ruling junta in Thailand, which seized power in May 2014, has repeatedly delayed holding elections. Most recently, after promising to hold an election in November of this year, junta leaders now …

February 5, 2018

Myanmar
Rohingya_1.10.2018 Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh Could Face Further Suffering

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh face serious risk during upcoming monsoon season, warns the UN Refugee Agency. 

January 29, 2018

Vietnam
Mattis-Vietnam-1.25.2018 Vietnam Shores Up Its Defenses in the Trump Years

Over the past five years, Vietnam has become the Southeast Asian state that has most assertively challenged China’s regional strategic ambitions. To push back against Beijing’s growing regional power…

January 26, 2018

Indonesia
Mattis-Indonesia-1.22.2018 Secretary of Defense Mattis’s Trip to Southeast Asia: A Few Thoughts

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis traveled to Southeast Asia this past week, and during his first stop in Indonesia signaled a desire to improve strategic aspects of the U.S.-Indonesia relationship inc…

January 19, 2018

Southeast Asia
Aung San Suu Kyi_12.1.2018 The Rakhine State Crisis—and Myanmar’s Other Severe Problems

The ongoing crisis in Rakhine State, where the Myanmar armed forces have credibly been accused of ethnic cleansing and where the Myanmar military recently admitted that the security forces were invol…

January 16, 2018

Southeast Asia
Prayuth cutout_1.9.2018 Southeast Asia’s Press Freedoms Collapse: 2018 Could Be Worse for Southeast Asian Democracy Than 2017

As I noted late last year, 2017 was a disastrous year for democracy in Southeast Asia. Democratic rights and freedoms already have been in decline in Southeast Asia for more than a decade, but 2017 w…

January 9, 2018

Southeast Asia
Buddhist monks_Myanmar_2.9.2017 Buddhist Nationalism and the Rakhine Crisis: A Review

There is plenty of blame to go around for the current humanitarian crisis in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State, the worst in East Asia. Both the United Nations’ human rights chief and U.S. Secretary of…