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  • Issue Brief posted November 16, 2012 by Walter Lohman The U.S.–Thailand Alliance and President Obama's Trip to Asia

    President Obama’s visit to Southeast Asia this week will take him to Cambodia, Burma, and Thailand. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders’ meetings in Phnom Penh is the occasion for the transpacific flight, and Burma will generate the most news. It is Thailand, however, that is the most strategically important part of the trip. The political…

  • Backgrounder posted September 24, 2012 by Renato Cruz De Castro, Walter Lohman Getting the Philippines Air Force Flying Again: The Role of the U.S.–Philippines Alliance

    Abstract: The recent standoff at Scarborough Shoal between the Philippines and China demonstrates how Beijing is targeting Manila in its strategy of maritime brinkmanship. Manila’s weakness stems from the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) lack of air-defense system and air-surveillance capabilities to patrol and protect Philippine airspace and maritime territory. The…

  • Testimony posted September 12, 2012 by Peter Brookes Beijing as an Emerging Power in the South China Sea

    Testimony before the Committee on Foreign Affairs United States House of Representatives September 12, 2012 My name is Peter Brookes. I am a Senior Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage…

  • White Paper posted July 17, 2012 by Walter Lohman, John Fleming, Robert Warshaw Key Asian Indicators: A Book of Charts

    America’s Enduring Leadership in Asia America has been engaged in Asia since a few decades after securing its independence. Its early interest is documented in the 1833 Treaty on Amity and Commerce between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Siam Thailand), and later in the market-opening 1854 Treaty of Kanagawa with Japan. The U.S. has, in fact, been a “resident…

  • Special Report posted April 6, 2012 by James M. Roberts Reducing Corruption Will Increase Economic Freedom in The Philippines

    Executive Summary In 2010, President Benigno S. (“Noynoy”) Aquino III made a pledge to voters: If elected, he would reduce long-standing and endemic corruption in the Philippines. While such reform is indeed underway, as the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom makes clear, there is still much work to be done. The Philippines is a diverse country. Its population…

  • Backgrounder posted September 28, 2011 by Walter Lohman Reinvigorating the U.S.–Thailand Alliance

    Abstract: The United States and Thailand have a long history of close relations. After 9/11, the U.S. renewed its attention to the relationship, identifying shared interests and values. The military coup in 2006 weakened the relationship, but the return of a newly elected civilian government may present an opening for the U.S. to reinvigorate economic, political, and…

  • Backgrounder posted August 8, 2011 by Renato Cruz De Castro, Walter Lohman U.S.–Philippines Partnership in the Cause of Maritime Defense

    Abstract: Events in the South China Sea this year illustrate once again the urgent need for the Philippines to shift its focus from internal security to maritime defense. The U.S.–Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement, deeply embedded consultation mechanisms, and a century of friendship, cooperation, and mutual sacrifice provide the framework…

  • WebMemo posted August 5, 2011 by Walter Lohman The U.S. Cannot Rely on ASEAN in the South China Sea

    For weeks now, commentary has been flying about the “progress” made on the South China Sea dispute at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) annual foreign minister consultations in Bali. Because America’s approach to Southeast Asia, and to some extent East Asia broadly, is increasingly carried out in the ASEAN context, it is important to look at exactly what…

  • WebMemo posted June 20, 2011 by Walter Lohman Sorting American Priorities in the South China Sea

    The security situation in the South China Sea is deteriorating in a way unseen since the mid-1990s. And given the growth in China’s military power and global influence since then, it is a much bigger problem for the United States. China’s challenge in the South China Sea—its expansive extralegal claims to maritime territory—demands a strong, clear, interest-based…

  • White Paper posted January 14, 2011 by Walter Lohman, John Fleming, Nicholas Hamisevicz Key Asian Indicators: A Book of Charts

    The global financial crisis has had a major impact on perceptions of American power and its relationships in Asia. Many of the perceptions are not founded on facts. Among the facts often overlooked: American companies invest far more abroad than does all of Asia combined. For every dollar the U.S. has invested in China it has invested two in Australia…

  • Backgrounder posted March 15, 2010 by Maneeza Hossain, Lisa Curtis Bangladesh: Checking Islamist Extremism in a Pivotal Democracy

    Abstract: Bangladesh , the world's third largest Muslim-majority nation, is facing challenges from violent Islamist groups. The government is cracking down on radical groups and emphasizing the democratic principles of the country's founding, but radical Islamism still threatens to undermine stability in Bangladesh. Radicalization and terrorism…

  • Testimony posted March 11, 2010 by Lisa Curtis Bad Company: Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and the Growing Ambition of Islamist Militancy in Pakistan

    Testimony before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs,Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia March 11, 2010 My name is Lisa Curtis. I am a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official position of The…

  • Backgrounder posted March 11, 2010 by Lisa Curtis Taliban Reconciliation: Obama Administration Must Be Clear and Firm

    Abstract: As 30,000 additional American soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan, the U.S. is also focusing on reintegrating Taliban insurgents into Afghan society. There has been speculation that this new focus is part of a quick-exit strategy for the U.S. While reintegrating as many local Taliban fighters as possible is a vital part of the counterinsurgency strategy,…

  • WebMemo posted March 11, 2010 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D. Is India's Economy Weakening?

    The conventional wisdom concerning the Indian economy has two tenets: (1) India has weathered the financial crisis exceptionally well; and (2) India is still undergoing liberalizing reform. Both of those tenets, though, can reasonably be questioned. Reported Indian GDP growth fell to 6.0 percent in the October-December quarter of 2009, lower than the 6.2 percent in the…

  • Backgrounder posted March 4, 2010 by Walter Lohman U.S.-Indonesia Relations: Build for Endurance, Not Speed

    Abstract: The relationship between America and Indonesia can and should expand far beyond its current level. There are critical interests around which the two countries can build a strong, mutually beneficial partnership, such as trade, counterterrorism, military-to-military cooperation, and democracy promotion. But a new and deep U.S.- Indonesian partnership must…