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March 13, 2018

Authoritarianism
Strongmen Are Weaker Than They Look

Authoritarians are on the rise around the world, but history shows they’re mostly helpless.

Cars pass by a poster of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for the upcoming presidential election, in Cairo, Egypt, February 19, 2018. The writing on the poster reads: "Long live Egypt". REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

January 26, 2018

Indonesia
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…

Mattis-Indonesia-1.22.2018

January 16, 2018

Southeast Asia
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…

Prayuth cutout_1.9.2018

December 28, 2017

Southeast Asia
Events in Southeast Asia to Watch in 2018

Part One Southeast Asia, like many parts of the world, had a turbulent 2017, with many of the biggest challenges related to a rollback in rights and democracy, and the strength of populism in the …

Hun Sen_12.3.2017

December 19, 2017

Donald Trump
Trump’s National Security Strategy: Sovereignty on Steroids

Considering how destabilizing Donald J. Trump’s foreign policy has been over the past year, the National Security Strategy (NSS) the White House released on Monday is surprisingly moderate. Written u…

Trump delivers remarks regarding his NSS

November 13, 2017

Philippines
Trump's Visit to the Philippines: A Budding Bromance but Few Positive Outcomes

Part Two Read Part One here.  So, the bilateral meeting between U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte appears to have gone well, at least on the surface. Earli…

Trump-Duterte_11.13.2017

November 13, 2017

Philippines
Trump's Visit to the Philippines: A Budding Bromance but Few Positive Outcomes

Part One The meeting between U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was highly anticipated, and—for theater—the two leaders did not disappoint. The two leaders hav…

Trump-Duterte_11.12.2017

November 2, 2017

United States
Trump and Asia: Resources from CFR and Foreign Affairs

On Friday, President Donald J. Trump will start a two week trip that includes visits to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Recent resources from the Council on Foreign Relations…

October 19, 2017

Philippines
Duterte in 2018

As Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte moves into 2018, the third calendar year of his time in office, the tough-guy leader’s policies on many critical issues remain unclear. Sure, Duterte is known …

Duterte_Marawi_10.17.2017

October 27, 2017

Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia’s Democratic Decline in the America First Era

President Trump appears little troubled by the sharp democratic decline in Southeast Asia, but the rise of authoritarianism could hurt U.S. interests in the region.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha shakes hands with U.S. President Donald J. Trump in Washington, D.C., October 2, 2017.