Southeast Asia's half-billion people reside in the most dynamic
area of the world. China, a rising economic and military power
with an economy of more than $2 trillion and a population of over 1
billion, sits on their northern doorstep. India, another
billion-person nation, is outside their western door. Japan,
which has the world's second largest economy, and South Korea, a
country with such energy that it maintains an economy the size of
India's with only 5 percent of India's population, are each a short
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-composed of
Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam-faces the challenge
of safeguarding its interests and prospering in this
hypercompetitive neighborhood. The United States has an
overarching interest in seeing that it succeeds while also
remaining independent and outward-looking.
Securing this strategic imperative relies on two mutually
reinforcing approaches to the region: bilateral and
U.S.-ASEAN. While bilateral approaches to the countries are
absolutely necessary, they are not sufficient. Without a coherent,
robust U.S. approach to the region as a whole, the grouping will
develop its common interests in association with alternative
benefactors-likely China. In such a scenario, the interests of
the U.S. and its partners in the region will drift apart. The U.S.
has too much at stake in the region to let this happen.
ASEAN can be much greater than the sum of its parts. It can grow
strong and remain independent, and it can be a reliable U.S.
partner far into the future. It is this long-term vision that
should be the basis of U.S. foreign policy aspirations.
The purpose of this paper is to lay out the stakes involved,
guidelines for securing them, and specific policy
America's Stake in Southeast Asia
The U.S. has major economic, political, and security
interests in Southeast Asia.
Economic. The U.S. exports $50 billion in goods to ASEAN
per year. Only Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the European Union (EU)
are bigger markets for U.S. goods. U.S. private-sector investment
in ASEAN exceeds $80 billion, surpassing U.S. investments in
each of China, Japan, and India.
These numbers, while clearly significant in themselves,
reflect U.S. interest in maximizing Southeast Asia's economic
performance. The better the performance, the greater the
opportunity the U.S. will have to expand its stake; the greater
that stake, the stronger will be the rationale for U.S.-ASEAN
If the 1997 Asian financial crisis proved anything, it
proved that global financial markets and convertible currencies
impose an inescapable interdependence among national economies.
Poor performance or financial crisis in one country can quickly
affect U.S. economic and political interests elsewhere.
Economic performance is closely correlated with economic
freedom. For 13 years, The Heritage Foundation has conducted an
annual analysis that proves this thesis. The Index of Economic
Freedom, published by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall
Street Journal, systematically and empirically evaluates
national economies on such things as ease of doing business, tariff
and non-tariff barriers, property rights, corruption, and
investment regimes. It uses data from internationally
authoritative sources-the International Monetary Fund, World
Bank, World Trade Organization, Transparency International,
and others-to calculate a percentage rating for each
The Index has consistently ranked Singapore as the
world's second freest economy, behind Hong Kong. Malaysia and
Thailand rank eighth and ninth out of the 30 countries in the
Asia-Pacific region. Others in ASEAN do not fare as well, but all
of them rank higher than China, except for Vietnam, Laos, and
Burma. As a region, ASEAN has a 55.2 percent rating on the economic
freedom index, compared to China's 54 percent rating.
The U.S. has an interest in ASEAN's improving its ratings, as
does ASEAN itself. This dynamic economic interest makes the
United States different from ASEAN's other economic partners. It is
not content with the status quo, working around difficult
environments to make or sell more widgets. It seeks positive
economic change by way of broader, deeper economic freedom.
Political Development. Democratic reform strengthens
ASEAN and facilitates its relationship with the U.S. The U.S. has
an abiding stake in how it develops.
The current state of democratic development in ASEAN is diverse,
complex, and fluid. Freedom House's annual index lists one ASEAN
member country as "free," three as "partly free," and six as "not
2006 coup in Thailand was a big blow to freedom. Although most the
countries in the region are listed as "not free," the number of
people living in either "free" or "partly free" countries
still outnumbers those in "not free" countries by 150 million.
Indonesia is the one "free" country in the region. Indeed, its
political development since President Suharto's departure in 1998
has been astounding. National parliamentary elections were held in
1999. In 2004, a total of 350 million votes were cast in three
national elections, including the two rounds of the 2004
presidential election-the first direct election of the president. The final round
involved 117 million voters-the "largest single day election in the
there is far more than just elections to Indonesian democracy,
as any perusal of its daily press will affirm.
In 2006, the Philippines and Thailand were downgraded from
"free" to "partly free," but the Freedom House categorization of
the Philippines is debatable. In the Philippines, the political
debate, press coverage, and jockeying of politicians are
vigorous. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been under
constant, sometimes serious assault by opposition politicians. The
report is on firmer ground with Thailand. Since its 2006 downgrade,
which was concerned primarily with the excesses of Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra's democratically elected government,
Thailand has taken yet another step backward with the September
2006 coup. It remains to be seen whether the generals will keep
their commitment to return the country to constitutional democracy
and elections by the end of the year.
By far the largest, most important regional power in the "not
free" category is Vietnam. While this characterization is clearly
correct, economic reforms have transformed the Vietnamese economy
over the past 20 years. In short, Vietnam is opening to the
Burma presents the opposite case, with the situation
showing no basis for improvement. In his most recent report, U.N.
Special Rapporteur for Burma Paulo Pinheiro declared that the
regime's democratization effort is essentially null and
rapporteur was forced to compile his report from authoritative
sources outside Burma because he has been denied access to Burma
since November 2003. In January 2006, U.N. Special Envoy for Burma
Rizali Ismail, a distinguished career Malaysian diplomat and
energetic problem solver, resigned his post after being similarly
denied access for two years. Engaging the Burmese generals has
clearly not been effective.
Burma damages ASEAN's standing in the world, bogs down its
processes, and inhibits its global engagement, weakening ASEAN.
ASEAN has begun to recognize this. Criticism has surfaced in the
joint statements of its heads of states and foreign ministers.
In July 2006, Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid expressed
ASEAN's collective frustration: "ASEAN has now reached a stage
where it is not possible to defend its member when that member is
not making an attempt to cooperate or help itself."
There are no easy answers to the problem of Burma. The best the
U.S. can do is to keep it on the international agenda, build on
ASEAN's doubts, and bring pressure to bear where and when possible.
In the meantime, the U.S. needs to be creative in finding ways
around Burma to engage ASEAN fully. The U.S. cannot afford to allow
developments in Burma to drive the broader U.S.-ASEAN
Islamic Politics. Islam in ASEAN is overwhelmingly
mainstream. Significantly, Indonesia, the world's largest
Muslim-majority nation, is not an "Islamic state." An effort to
make it more Islamic failed in 2002, receiving so little support in
the freely elected Indonesian parliament that the proposal was
withdrawn from consideration. President Susilo Yudhoyono has
purposefully and explicitly projected Indonesia's model of
moderate, democratic Islam onto an increasingly active foreign
policy-a decidedly positive development.
In Malaysia, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has coined the term
Islam Hadhari (civilizational Islam) to encompass his views.
He described this philosophy to an audience in London in January
2007 by pointing out its compatibility with modernity, respect
for the rights of women, and protection for minorities and its
positive example for the Muslim world.
The U.S. is not in a position to commend this version of
Islamic politics to others in the global Islamic community, but it
can help moderate countries to succeed with the secular tasks
of economic and political reform that build their credibility at
home and abroad. Vigorous engagement with them is perhaps the best
way to demonstrate to the world that the current global conflict is
with militant Islamism, not with Islam itself.
Security. "Southeast Asia is the Front Line of the War on
Terror in PACOM [U.S. Pacific Command]" is how Admiral William
J. Fallon summed up his command's perspective on Southeast Asia.
Terrorism and insurgency are real, if manageable, threats in
Southeast Asia. Indonesia has faced major attacks including the
Bali bombings of October 2002 and 2005, the 2003 bombing of the
Jakarta Marriott Hotel, and the 2004 bombing of the Australian
embassy. The Philippines is fighting Jemaah Islamiyah, the Abu
Sayaf terrorist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Rajah
Sulaiman Movement, and an armed communist movement.
Thailand has struggled to find a solution to a persistent
insurgency in its far south.
The U.S. military is helping the region to fight terrorism by
"building and strengthening the ability of countries in the
region" to resist it. The Philippine armed forces' recent
success against Abu Sayaf in the southern islands is due in large
part to close cooperation with the U.S. military. All indicators
suggest that the deaths of Abu Sayaf leader Khaddaffy Janjalani in
September 2006 and his possible successor in January 2007 have
significantly degraded the group's strength.
The U.S. plays a critical role in helping the region combat
terrorism. Americans know well from experience that allowing
terrorists to operate in isolated circumstances halfway around the
world can lead to tragic consequences at home.
In addition to its focus on counterterrorism, the U.S. military
presence in the region is indispensable to hedging against a
burgeoning Chinese military capability.
Beyond geopolitics, what is most tangibly at stake is the
security of sea lines of communication and resources of the South
China Sea and who guarantees regional security. According to
the Energy Information Administration, "more than half of the
world's annual merchant fleet tonnage, with the majority continuing
on into the South China Sea," passes through the straits around
Indonesia. This includes "more than 80% of crude oil supplies for
Japan, South Korea and Taiwan." Estimates of oil reserves in the
South China Sea range from 28 billion barrels to as high as a
Chinese estimate of 213 billion barrels. If proved, the lower total
would rank it just after Nigeria; the higher total would rank it
just after Saudi Arabia.
U.S. security relations with Southeast Asia are centered around
two treaty allies: the Philippines and Thailand. The U.S. holds
major military exercises with both during the year. The
U.S.-Thai Cobra Gold exercise is the largest U.S. exercise in Asia.
"The May 2006 drill featured over 7,800 troops from the U.S. and
4,200 from Thailand." Japan, Singapore, and Indonesia also
participated. The 2006 Balikatan exercises with the Philippines
involved approximately 5,500 U.S. personnel and 2,800 Filipino
personnel. With these exercises and others in the region, the U.S.
improves the interoperability of its forces and those of its
partners, improves joint response to emergencies, and enhances
their military capacity. Joint military exercises are
essential to joint readiness.
The U.S. also has a very close security relationship with
Singapore. The U.S.-Singapore Strategic Framework Agreement covers
cooperation in "areas such as counterterrorism,
counter-proliferation, joint military exercises and training,
policy dialogues, and defense technology." Combined with Singapore's
first-class full accommodation of the U.S. Navy, the framework
provides a perfect example of the "places, not bases" approach
to aligning security cooperation.
The Field of Play
The nations of Southeast Asia have created a variety of
international institutions to address common political, economic,
and security issues.
ASEAN. The 10 heads of ASEAN governments convene once a
year to develop approaches to common interests, to expand
cooperation, and to address the issues of the day. On different
cycles, a variety of ASEAN government ministers hold their own
annual meetings on basically the same structure. The most
prominent and best-supported of these ministerial meetings is the
annual foreign ministers meeting (AMM).
In 1994, the foreign ministers initiated the ASEAN Regional
Forum (ARF) to "bring about a more predictable and
constructive pattern of relations in the Asia Pacific." The ARF was
founded explicitly to address political and security issues and to
expand the dialogue beyond Southeast Asia. Today, participants
include Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia,
Canada, China, the EU, India, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, South
Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New
Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor,
the United States, and Vietnam. The ARF is the principal security
forum in the Asia- Pacific region and is recognized as such.
Given that so much of the region's agenda is driven by economics
and the drive toward economic integration, the meeting of
ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the Finance Ministers
Meeting (AFMM) are also particularly important.
The AEM is the venue for regional trade issues and external
trade relations, including free trade agreements (FTAs). As
economic integration and FTAs have become defining agenda items for
ASEAN over the past 15 years, the AEM has emerged as a key forum.
Beyond meeting as a group, the ASEAN ministers hold consultations
with many of their trading partners. The 2006 schedule included
meetings with China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia, New
Zealand, and the EU. In 2006, U.S. Trade Representative Susan
Schwab also attended the AEM and held a consultation with her
ASEAN counterparts-the first such U.S.-AEM consultation in three
The AFMM is the other side of the region's economic
architecture. It has a somewhat lower profile than the AEM and has
not accomplished as much. However, its mission is critical to the
economic health of the region. The agenda includes deepening
capital markets, liberalizing the financial service sector,
establishing currency cooperation, and financing infrastructure.
Underlying virtually all of its work is an imperative to prevent
another financial crisis. China, South Korea, and Japan have a
venue for engagement with the AFMM through ASEAN+3. The Asian
Development Bank is also very involved in the process.
ASEAN+3, East Asia Summit, and U.S. Initiative. The
occasion of the annual ASEAN heads of state meeting is also the
venue for separate meetings with the leaders of China, Japan, and
South Korea (members of ASEAN+3) and India. Back-to-back with this
event for the past two years, ASEAN has also held an East Asia
Summit (EAS), which includes the leaders of these four countries
plus Australia and New Zealand. The United States is not a part of
any of these arrangements.
ASEAN+3 is very well developed. It has a host of related and
preparatory meetings throughout the year. The EAS does not have a
comparable supportive structure, and it is not yet clear
whether or not it will develop such a structure. It may very well
remain a courtesy of a far more serious ASEAN+3. For this reason,
discussion of U.S. participation is misguided. The last thing the
U.S. should want is to go through the trouble of joining the
EAS-and signing a treaty for the privilege-only to end up outside an
inner summitry sanctum that includes China, Japan, and South
The EAS was originally a Chinese initiative. Although ASEAN
opened it to outside and U.S. participation, that was not the
spirit of the initial proposal. Presumably, some within
ASEAN+3 would still prefer to exclude the U.S.
Neither the development of the EAS nor the development of
ASEAN+3 is necessarily antithetical to U.S. interests. Many
regional institutions around the world do not formally include the
United States, and the U.S. does not have to be part of every ASEAN
summit. What is important to American interests is that ASEAN
continues to drive these forums; that efforts toward economic
integration and community remain open, inclusive, and
outward-looking; and that they remain supportive of economic
It is central to American interests in the region's architecture
that the U.S. be involved in its own affirmative way. The dilemma
posed by U.S. involvement in the EAS is essentially part and
parcel of leaving the initiative to others. Given the history of
U.S. involvement in the region, the current stakes, and the
magnitude of what the U.S. brings to the table, the U.S. should not
be in a position of having to choose between a Chinese initiative
on architecture and perceptions that the U.S. is opting out of
the region's development.
U.S. engagement with ASEAN reached a low mark in July 2005, when
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice skipped the ASEAN Regional
Forum- an opportunity for dialogue that the U.S. had not missed
since its inception in 1994.
Since this decision, however, the U.S. has become much more
deeply engaged with ASEAN as an organization. Secretary Rice
quickly promised her counterparts that she would attend the ARF in
2006 and stuck by that promise. U.S. Trade Representative
Susan Schwab attended the AEM, reversing a trend of forgoing a
U.S.-AEM dialogue that began in 2003. Ambassador Schwab's
attendance resulted in a trade and investment framework arrangement
(TIFA) agreement. The TIFA establishes a regular framework for
discussing trade issues with ASEAN as a whole. Initially, the trade
ministers are focusing on harmonizing select industry
standards and facilitating trade flows. As important as these
initiatives are, the TIFA is even more important as a statement of
official U.S. interest in the economic life of the region.
The U.S. elevated its engagement with ASEAN in 2005 and 2006,
when President Bush met with ASEAN leaders during sessions of the
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. The arrangement showed an
encouraging degree of imagination. APEC was the perfect venue
because it permitted the President to meet with only the seven
leaders of ASEAN countries that are also represented at APEC. This
avoided the sensitive issue of Burma, which is not a member of
In connection with the President's 2005 meeting, the parties
issued a joint comprehensive framework for their relationship
called the ASEAN-U.S. Enhanced Partnership. Among other things, the
- Pledges support for ASEAN integration, leading to an ASEAN
economic community by 2015;
- Acknowledges the spirit and principles of the Treaty of Amity
- Supports the ARF as the "premier regional political and
security forum in the Asia Pacific region with ASEAN as the driving
- Aims to strengthen the investment climate.
Equally encouraging, a joint plan of action to implement the
partnership was signed within eight months of the agreement.
The Administration's challenge is to develop and adapt its
approach to a region that is changing rapidly. Power is
shifting and sorting. What is a good tactic today is not
necessarily sufficient tomorrow.
Principles of Engagement
ASEAN is a complex entity. It is an organization of 10 very
different sovereign countries. On top of this is a layer of its
interaction with multiple partner countries. Developing U.S. policy
and reacting to developments in the region requires a framework for
weighing options. Policymakers should use the following principles
as a guide:
- Commitment to economic freedom. Economic freedom is
essential to development and prosperity. The U.S. should use all of
its bilateral and multilateral trade initiatives to
encourage ASEAN toward ever freer trade and investment
regimes. The U.S. should also seek new and bold ways to bring about
reform. Economic freedom is transformative. The vehicles that
drive the principle forward should be as large as the idea
- Prudent commitment to democratic reform. Political
reform in ASEAN is essential to its strength. This is not a
revelation to most ASEAN countries. They are partners essential to
achieving common objectives of democratic reform. American tactics
and rhetoric should reflect this reality. Heavy-handed tactics and
preachy rhetoric undermine the prospects for success. With the
notable exception of Burma-where engagement has failed-the U.S.
does the most good for democratic governance by candidly
discussing the need for reform and by providing assistance where
and when possible.
- Bilateral relationships as part of a strategic focus on the
region. The strategic objective of U.S. policy should be
securing a strong, confident, reliable ASEAN that is capable
of holding its own in the region. This involves tradeoffs and
calculating the impact of bilateral policies on the broader
objectives of the U.S.- ASEAN relationship.
- Appreciation of the momentum of economic integration.
Formal regional integration has been underway since the 1992 launch
of the ASEAN Free Trade Area. It has only accelerated and broadened
geographically in the 15 years since then. It cannot be held back,
and the participants in it will not be decided in
Washington. ASEAN's stake in some fashion of economic
community is a matter of survival, and its outreach to
neighbors-China and India-is a natural consequence of the
- Support for regional allies and partners and expansion of
the security network. Treaty allies and security partners are
bedrock relationships. The U.S. cannot take these
relationships for granted. It has an interest in expanding the U.S.
security network and finding new synergies in it.
- Commitment to regular interaction of principals.
Personal relationships are East Asia's common currency. They
combine with a concern for protocol and respect for rank that makes
involvement of the President and Cabinet secretaries
absolutely vital to an effective U.S. foreign policy.
- Appreciation of the "ASEAN way." ASEAN and the processes
it has engendered are unique. The proliferation of meetings,
indirect nature of problem solving, and drive for consensus can be
frustrating to Americans, but dismissing ASEAN as a "talk shop" is
a dangerous misperception. It obscures ASEAN's successes and
devalues the processes at the heart of current events in East
What the U.S. Should Do
Based on the foregoing principles, the U.S. should:
- Establish an annual U.S.-ASEAN summit for heads of
state. President Bush's 2005 and 2006 meetings with the ASEAN-7
were a very positive development. Going forward, however, an
informal meeting on the edges of APEC will not be enough.
Relationships and perceptions are developing too rapidly. The
ASEAN-7 meetings changed the tone of the relationship. Now is the
time to seize the initiative. This year, the 30-year anniversary of
U.S.-ASEAN relations, is a perfect opportunity to formalize an
annual U.S.-ASEAN leaders summit.
- Reinvigorate APEC with an FTA of the Asia- Pacific. The
U.S. is part of a broader bit of economic architecture-the
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. In fact, the U.S.
initiated the annual APEC Leaders meeting in 1993 and has declared
it the leading multilateral organization in the
Asia-Pacific. The U.S. should champion a Free Trade
Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) to reinvigorate it. Regrettably,
APEC has fallen behind the times in recent years. The wave of free
trade agreements has eclipsed its more modest accomplishments- so
much so, in fact, that its relevance is in jeopardy. As APEC
approaches its deadlines for achieving free trade among developed
countries by 2010 and among the less developed by 2020, the
debate over its relevance will become pointed. Without a bold
vision, APEC will fail. By default, this will lead to the more
narrowly defined regionalism championed by some advocates of the
- Continue participation in the ASEAN Regional Forum.
ARF's central security role should no longer be in any doubt. It is
enshrined in the U.S.-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership as "the
premier regional political and security forum in the Asia-Pacific
It is a forum for principals at the secretary-of-state level.
Participation cannot be delegated.
- Continue the U.S.-AEM dialogue. The diplomatic
payoff from Ambassador Schwab's resumption of the dialogue was
significant. She laid the groundwork for future progress with the
TIFA, but real benefits will depend on consistency of
commitment. Like the ARF, the dialogue with the AEM is a forum
for trade principals. It, too, cannot be delegated.
- Seek a dialogue with the AFMM. The mission of the AFMM
is too important to the stability of the global market for the U.S.
not to be involved. The U.S. should consult with ASEAN about an
appropriate role for the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury with an eye
to securing the secretary's participation in the annual
- Support ASEAN integration. Congress and the
Administration should fully fund ADVANCE (ASEAN Development Vision
to Advance Nation-al Cooperation and Economic Integration). ADVANCE
is a five-year, $150 million project to strengthen ASEAN and
support its integration.
- Appoint a U.S. ambassador to ASEAN. The U.S. should
appoint an ambassador to ASEAN based in Jakarta. The ambassador
would use Jakarta as a base, traveling around the region as
necessary to participate in ASEAN forums. This would demonstrate
the priority that the U.S. puts on ASEAN and enable consistent
advocacy of U.S. policy objectives. It would also improve the
quality of information available to Washington policymakers.
ASEAN's current consideration of an expert recommendation that
member states establish full-time permanent Jakarta-based
representatives to ASEAN makes this position even more
- Protect and expand regional military cooperation.
Cobra Gold should continue as the backbone of U.S. military
cooperation with the region. The U.S. should encourage Thailand to
expand the Cobra Gold exercises beyond the 2006 participants
of Indonesia, Singapore, and Japan. In addition, the U.S. should
explore areas of operational synergy between Cobra Gold and
other joint U.S. military exercises and their participants,
including the Philippines and Australia.
- Take action on priority bilateral issues. As viewed
through the strategic prism outlined in this paper, the following
bilateral current issues deserve priority: support for an expedited
return to democracy in Thailand, passage of a U.S.-Malaysia FTA,
and stabilizing U.S.-Philippines relations. In the longer
term, the U.S. should quietly support Indonesia's bid for reform
and international leadership, build on Singapore's role as security
partner, and help Vietnam along the road to economic freedom.
Southeast Asia is vital to U.S. political, economic, and
security interests. Ensuring that the region remains strong,
independent, and outward-looking is therefore in the best interests
of both the United States and the nations of Southeast Asia. U.S.
foreign policy should reflect the importance of the U.S.-ASEAN
relationship and be continually adjusted to meet these
-Walter Lohman is
Senior Research Fellow for Southeast Asia and Acting Director of
the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation.
Tim Kane, Kim
R. Holmes, and Mary Anastasia O'Grady, 2007 Index of Economic
Freedom (Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation and Dow
Jones & Company, Inc., 2007). The ASEAN ranking is an average
weighted by the population of each of nine ASEAN countries included
in the report. The report does not cover Brunei.
House, "Freedom in the World 2007: Selected Data from Freedom
House's Annual Global Survey of Political Rights and Civil
(February 8, 2007).
Bambang Yudhoyono, address at United States-Indonesia Society
dinner, Washington, D.C., May 25, 2005, at
(March 7, 2007).
Department of State, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs,
"Background Note: Indonesia," January 2007, at (February 8,
Pinheiro, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in
Myanmar, statement before the Third Committee, U.N. General
Assembly, October 20, 2006, at
(February 12, 2007).
Albar, speech at ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus, Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, July 2006, at
(February 12, 2007).
Cleveland, testimony before the Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate, September 15, 2005, at
(February 8, 2007).
Anwar, "Foreign Policy, Islam and Democracy in Indonesia," keynote
paper presented at Understanding Indonesia 2006 Seminar,
Wellington, New Zealand, May 1, 2006.
Ahmad Badawi, speech at the International Institute for Strategic
Studies, London, January 23, 2007, at
(February 8, 2007).
William J. Fallon, testimony before the Committee on Armed
Services, U.S. Senate, March 7, 2006, at
(February 8, 2007).
discussion of China's defense buildup and its strategic
implications, see John J. Tkacik, Jr., "Hedging Against China,"
Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 1925, April 17, 2006,
Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, "South
China Sea," Country Analysis Brief, updated March 2006, at
(March 14, 2007).
"Worldwide Look at Reserves and Production,"
Oil and Gas Journal, Vol. 103, Issue 47 (December 19, 2005),
Chanlett-Avery, "Thailand: Background and U.S. Relations,"
Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, updated
October 2, 2006, p. 10, at (March 7,
House, "Joint Statement Between President Bush and Prime Minister
Lee of Singapore," July 12, 2005, at
(February 5, 2007).
Regional Forum, "About Us," at
(February 8, 2007).
members must sign ASEAN's Treaty on Amity and Cooperation (TAC).
Among other things, the treaty renounces the use of force and
commits signatories not to interfere in one another's internal
affairs. The U.S. cannot rule out all contingencies regarding
use of force. Historically, the U.S. has always reserved the right
to comment on domestic political matters of nations in the region.
Both provisions-and the fact that Taiwan is virtually assured of
never becoming an EAS member- make U.S. Senate ratification of U.S.
accession to the TAC highly problematic.
House, "Joint Vision Statement on the ASEAN-U.S. Enhanced
Partnership," November 17, 2005, at
(February 12, 2007).
Condoleezza Rice, "Remarks at the APEC CEO
Summit," Hanoi, Vietnam, November 18, 2006, at (February
House, "Joint Vision Statement on the ASEAN-U.S. Enhanced