The Obama Administration and US Policy in Asia
Sutter, Robert, Contemporary Southeast Asia
President Barack Obama came to power facing daunting domestic and foreign crises. The United States led world economies into steep decline in 2008 and has continued falling in 2009. Active efforts by the US and other governments to deal with the causes and effects of the global financial crisis have showed little signs of substantially reversing economic fortunes. A prolonged recession--more serious than any experienced since the depression of the 1930s--seems likely. (1)
Economic calamity overshadowed what had been expected to be the new US government's most salient preoccupation--the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the violence and instability in the broader Middle East-Southwest Asian region. In 2009, continued progress in stabilizing security in Iraq and transitioning responsibilities to the Iraqi government opened the way to anticipated withdrawals of US combat forces from the country within the next two years. However, the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan meant that US combat forces would be significantly increased in order to counter the resurgence of Taliban attacks and their expanding administrative control that has threatened to reverse gains following the overthrow of the oppressive Taliban regime by US-led forces in 2001. (2)
Pakistan's weakness compounded US difficulties in shoring up security in Afghanistan. Pakistan's ungoverned border region with Afghanistan harboured al Qaeda and Taliban militants working to overthrow the US-backed administration in Kabul. Pakistani terrorists also threatened India: one such group was implicated in the dramatic November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Without stronger Pakistani government efforts to suppress such groups and stop blatant attacks on India, New Delhi's retaliation with military and other actions would raise the spectre of a major confrontation between the two nuclear armed rivals. Meanwhile, developments in the Middle East stalled prospects for advancing peace amid deep regional and global concerns over Iran's apparently active pursuit of nuclear weapons. (3)
Against this background, US relations with the rest of the Asia-Pacific region seemed likely to be of generally secondary importance for US policy-makers. The global economic crisis put a premium on close US collaboration with major international economies, notably Asian economies like China and Japan, in promoting domestic stimulus plans, supporting international interventions to rescue failing economies and avoiding egregiously self-serving economic and trade practices that could prompt protectionist measures seen to encumber any early revival of world economic growth.
Apart from the deeply troubled Middle East-Southwest Asian region, the other major area of US security concern in Asia is North Korea. Pyongyang climbed to the top of the Obama government's policy agenda through a string of provocative actions in 2009 culminating in North Korea's withdrawal from the Six Party Talks and its second nuclear weapons test in May. North Korea's first nuclear weapons test of 2006 represented a failure of the Bush administration's hard line approach in dealing with North Korea's nuclear weapons programme. In response, that US administration reversed policy, adopting a much more flexible approach, including frequent bilateral talks with North Korean negotiators, within the broad framework of the Six-Party Talks seeking the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Important agreements were reached but North Korea did not fulfill obligations to disable and dismantle plutonium-based nuclear facilities.
The Obama government had seemed poised to use the Six Party Talks and bilateral discussion with North Korea in seeking progress in getting Pyongyang to fulfill its obligations. The escalating North Korean provocations in 2009 and the Pyongyang regime's strident defiance of UN Security Council resolutions and international condemnation compelled a US policy review. Obama government leaders from the President on down also consulted closely with concerned powers, notably key allies Japan and South Korea, and China, in assuring a firm response from the UN Security Council in June that imposed sanctions in addition to those imposed after North Korea's first nuclear test and called for inspections of suspected weapons shipments to and from North Korea. The United States also planned its own unilateral sanctions in order to pressure Pyongyang to halt the provocations and return to negotiations. Available evidence in mid-2009 showed considerable skepticism that negative and positive incentives from the United States and other concerned powers would lead to improvement in North Korea's behaviour. Few were optimistic that the crisis atmosphere would subside soon. (4)
Meanwhile, beginning in 2008, longstanding US concerns with the security situation in the Taiwan Straits declined as the newly installed government of President Ma Ying-jeou reversed the pro-independence agenda of his predecessor in favour of reassuring China and building closer cross-strait exchanges. The Obama administration indicated little change from Bush administration efforts to support the more forthcoming Taiwan approach and avoid US actions that would be unwelcome in Taipei and Beijing as they sought to ease tensions and facilitate communication. (5)
The Obama administration and the strong Democratic majorities in both Houses of the Congress also gave high priority to promoting international efforts on the environment and climate change. Such efforts appeared ineffective without the participation of Asia's rising economies, notably China, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. An American approach of prolonged consultation and dialogue with China to arrive at mutually acceptable approaches to these issues seems likely. (6)
This article assesses salient strengths and weaknesses of the United States in Asia at the start of the Obama administration, and reviews the new US government's approach to key US allies in the region and other Asian powers. It then examines the US administration's policies and approach to Southeast Asian and Asian regional organizations and groupings where the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plays a leading role.
The findings of the assessment show that the United States remains in a strong leadership position in Asia. The Obama administration has a major crisis on its hands in North Korea; there is no certainty in mid-2009 of whether or how the crisis will be resolved. Elsewhere, the new US government seems intent on correcting some generally secondary shortcomings in the Bush administration's efforts in the region. Apart from a possibly significantly higher profile for Southeast Asia and Asian multilateralism in US policy, the new US government's policy actions seem to reflect adjustments in order to increase benefits for the United States rather than larger scale policy revisions and change.
Strengths and Weaknesses of US Leadership in Asia
Media and specialist commentary as well as popular and elite sentiment in Asia tended to emphasize the shortcomings of US policy and leadership in Asia for much of the Bush administration years. Heading the list were widespread complaints with the Bush administration's hard line policy towards North Korea, its military invasion and occupation of Iraq, and assertive and seemingly unilateral US approaches on wide ranging issues including terrorism, climate change, the United Nations and Asian regional organizations. The United States appeared alienated and isolated, and increasingly bogged down with the consequences of its invasion of Iraq and perceived excessively strong emphasis on the so-called "war on terrorism". (7)
By contrast, Asia's rising powers, and particularly China, seemed to be advancing rapidly. China used effective diplomacy and rapidly increasing trade and investment relationships backed by China's double digit economic growth in order to broaden its influence throughout the region. China also carried out steady and significant increases in military preparations. (8)
This basic equation of Chinese strengths and US weaknesses became standard fare in mainstream Asian and Western media. It was the focus of findings of many books and reports of government departments, international study groups and think-tanks authored often by well respected officials and specialists. The common prediction was that Asia was adjusting to an emerging China-centred order and US influence was in decline. (9)
Over time, developments showed the reality in the region to be more complex. Japan clearly was not in China's orbit; India's interest in accommodation with China was very mixed and overshadowed by a remarkable upswing in strategic cooperation with the United States; Russian and Chinese interest in close alignment waxed and waned and appeared to remain secondary to their respective relationships with the West; and South Korea, arguably the area of greatest advance in Chinese influence at a time of major tensions in the US-Republic of Korea relationship earlier in the decade changed markedly beginning in 2004 and evolved to a situation of often wary and suspicious South Korean relations with China seen today.
Former US officials pushed back against prevailing assessments of US decline with a variety of tracts underlining the US administration's carefully considered judgement that China's rise was not actually having a substantial negative effect on US leadership in Asia, which remained healthy and strong. (10) They joined a growing contingent of scholars and specialists who looked beyond accounts that inventoried China's strengths and US weaknesses and carefully considered other factors including Chinese limitations and US strengths before making their overall judgments. (11)
Several commentators and think-tanks that had been prominent in warning of US decline and China's rise revised their calculus to focus more on Chinese weaknesses and US strengths. What has emerged is a broad based and mature effort on the part of a wide range of specialists and commentators to more carefully assess China's strengths and weaknesses along with those of the United States and other powers in the region.
The basic determinants of US strength and influence in Asia seen in the recent more balanced assessments of China's rise and US influence in Asia involve the following factors: (12)
In most of Asia, governments are strong, viable and make the decisions that determine direction in foreign affairs. Popular, elite, media and other opinion may influence government officials in policy towards the United States and other countries, hut in the end the officials make decisions on the basis of their own calculus. In general, the officials see their governments' legitimacy and success resting on nation-building and economic development, which require a stable and secure international environment. Unfortunately, Asia is not particularly stable and most governments privately are wary of and tend not to trust each other. As a result, they look to the United States to provide the security they need to pursue goals of development and nation-building in an appropriate environment. They recognize that the US security role is very expensive and involves great risk, including large scale casualties if necessary, for the sake of preserving Asian security. They also recognize that neither rising China nor any other Asian power or coalition of powers is able or willing to undertake even a fraction of these risks, costs and responsibilities.
The nation-building priority of most Asian governments depends importantly on export-oriented growth. Chinese officials recognize this, and officials in other Asian countries recognize the rising importance of China in their trade; but they all also recognize that half of China's trade is conducted by foreign invested enterprises in China, and half of the trade is processing trade--both features that make Chinese and Asian trade heavily dependent on exports to developed countries, notably the United States. In recent years, the United States has run a massive and growing trade deficit with China, and a total trade deficit with Asia valued at over US$350 billion at a time of an overall US trade deficit of over US$700 billion. Asian government officials recognize that China, which runs a large overall trade surplus, and other trading partners of Asia are unwilling and unable to bear even a fraction of the cost of such large trade deficits, that nonetheless are very important for Asian governments. Obviously, the 2008-09 global economic crisis is having an enormous impact on trade and investment. Some Asian officials are talking about relying more on domestic consumption but tangible progress seems slow as they appear to be focusing on an eventual revival of world trade that would restore previous levels of export oriented growth involving continued heavy reliance on the US market. (13)
Government Engagement and Asian Contingency Planning
The Obama administration inherited a US position in Asia buttressed by generally effective Bush administration interaction with Asia's powers. It is very rare for the United States to enjoy good relations with Japan and China at the same time, but the Bush administration carefully managed relations with both powers effectively. It is unprecedented for the United States to be the leading foreign power in South Asia and to sustain good relations with both India and Pakistan, but that has been the case since relatively early in the Bush administration. It is also unprecedented for the United States to have good relations with Beijing and Taipei at the same time, but that situation emerged during the Bush years and strengthened with the election of President Ma Ying-jeou in March 2008.
The US Pacific Command and other US military commands and organizations have been at the forefront of wide ranging and growing US efforts to build and strengthen webs of military relationships throughout the region. In an overall Asian environment where the United States remains on good terms with major powers and most other governments, building military ties through education programmes, on-site training, exercises and other means enhances US influence in generally quiet but effective ways. Part of the reason for the success of these efforts has to do with active contingency planning by many Asian governments. As power relations change in the region, notably on account of China's rise, Asian governments generally seek to work positively and pragmatically with rising China on the one hand; but on the other hand they seek the reassurance of close security, intelligence and other ties with the United States in case a rising China shifts from its current generally benign approach to one of greater assertiveness or dominance. (14)
Non-government Engagement and Immigration
For much of its history, the United States exerted influence in Asia much more through business, religious, educational and other interchange than through channels dependent on government leadership and support. Active American non-government interaction with Asia continues today, putting the United States in a unique position where the American non-government sector has such a strong and usually positive impact on the influence the United States exerts in the region. Meanwhile, over forty years of generally colour-blind US immigration policy since the ending of discriminatory US restrictions on Asian immigration in 1965 has resulted in the influx of millions of Asian migrants who call America home and who interact with their countries of origin in ways that undergird and reflect well on the US position in Asia. No other country, with the possible exception of Canada, has such an active and powerfully positive channel of influence in Asia.
In sum, the findings of these assessments of US strengths show that the United States is deeply integrated in Asia at the government and non-government level. US security commitments and trade practices meet fundamental security and economic needs of Asian government leaders and those leaders are very aware of this. The leaders also know that no other power or coalition of powers is able or willing to meet even a small fraction of those needs. And Asian contingency planning seems to work to the advantage of the United States, while rising China has no easy way to overcome pervasive Asian wariness of Chinese longer term intentions. On balance, the assessments show that the Obama administration can work to fix various problems in US policy in Asia with the confidence that US leadership in the region remains broadly appreciated by Asian governments and unchallenged by regional powers or other forces.
Relations with Key Allies
Though relations with rising China and India and troubles with North Korea tend to get the lion's share of media and public attention in US relations with Asia, US policy-makers continue to give priority to key allies in the Asia-Pacific region--Japan, South Korea and Australia. In a regional environment undergoing great change in relative power relationships and economic development and turmoil, these partners share American perceptions of the world order based on many decades of close security cooperation and shared values. South Korea and especially Japan also provide the bases needed for the United States to overcome the tremendous and often unappreciated obstacle of great geographic distance in the Pacific Ocean so that US forces are readily available to preserve stability in and US access to Asia. (15)
The Bush administration strongly emphasized US relations with Japan and Australia. President Bush's relationships with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Australian Prime Minister John Howard were the closest between the United States and these countries in recent memory. The two leaders were undaunted by formidable domestic and foreign opposition as they aligned closely with the Bush administration's controversial policies in the war on terrorism and the invasion of Iraq. (16)
The Bush administration had much less success in relations with the left-leaning South Korean government of Roh Moo Hyun (2003-08). US-South Korean relations reached a crisis point by 2004 over strong differences regarding how to deal with North Korea and various bilateral disputes related to US bases and troops in South Korea. Persistent US interchange dealing with some of the South Korean concerns and strong recognition by the Roh administration of South Korea's continuing need for a strong alliance with the United States saw the South Korean government take some significant steps to shore up the relationship with the United States. Despite widespread domestic opposition, South Korea deployed and for several years maintained the third largest troop commitment in Iraq. The Roh government also pushed hard to reach a free trade agreement with the United States. US-South Korean relations improved with the end of America's hard line policy towards North Korea in 2006, bringing US policy more in line with that of South Korea. The election in 2007 of a conservative, Lee Myeung Bak, as South Korea's president opened the way to closer US collaboration with a South Korean government even more strongly inclined to solidify relations with its American ally. (17)
The early appointments of the Obama administration of key officials dealing with Asian affairs, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's maiden visit to East Asia in February 2009 and President Obama's initial meetings with Asian leaders suggested that relations with these key allies would figure prominently in the regional and global calculations of the new US government. Prominent appointments of those well versed in US alliance relations with Asia include Jeffrey Bader as senior Asian affairs policy coordinator in the National Security Council, James Steinberg as Deputy Secretary of State, former Marine General Wallace "Chip" Gregson as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Kurt Campbell as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs. Secretary Clinton's visit to Asia placed Japan and South Korea first in her four stops. Her remarks repeatedly underlined the importance the new US government places on relations with Japan and other Asian allies. President Obama reinforced this point during later meetings with Asian leaders. (18)
Since Koizumi left office in 2006, Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has had a string of weak and unpopular prime ministers who fended off repeated calls by the political opposition for parliamentary elections. The elections will come in 2009; if the opposition wins, there could be some adjustment and probable reduction in the Japanese government's very close identification with the United States during the rule of the LDP. The domestic political turmoil in Japan compounds difficulties caused by the major economic decline suffered by the export oriented Japanese economy as a result of the global economic crisis beginning in 2008.
Despite these weaknesses, Japan remains the second largest economy in the world with great technological achievement and modern and capable armed forces. US leaders count on Japan to work with the United States in dealing with the economic crisis, in managing and reducing the threats posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons and other provocations and in sustaining regional peace through contingency plans guarding against possible assertive actions by a rising China and other potential sources of regional instability. Japan has developed and has shown strong willingness to share its leading expertise and extensive experience in environmental and climate change matters--key priorities of the new US government. (19)
South Korea's conservative president also is unpopular though his mandate is secure until his tenure ends in 2012. Despite its comparatively small size, South Korea is among the world's top 15 economies. Its export oriented industries have been heavily impacted by the global economic crisis; its overall economic weight warrants inclusion in the Group of 20 and other groupings used by US policy-makers to deal with the economic crisis. South Korea is even more important for US policy dealing with nuclear North Korea and cooperating with the United States on the maintenance of 26,000 US military personnel in the country. (20)
The shift in Bush administration policy towards greater flexibility on North Korea upset some Japanese officials and commentators who had been generally supportive of the previous hard line approach. The Bush government also disappointed Japan by agreeing to remove North Korea from its list of terrorist supporting countries despite Pyongyang's refusal to account for Japanese abducted by North Korean agents. Media reports showed persisting antagonism between chief US negotiator Christopher Hill and his Japanese counterparts over how to deal with North Korea. Meanwhile, with the shift in US policy towards greater American collaboration with North Korea, the conservative Lee Myeong Bak government found itself as the focal point of North Korean antagonism and aggression. It sought support from the United States to buttress its position vis-a-vis North Korean pressure. (21)
The Obama administration inherited this somewhat troubling legacy against the background of more deeply rooted Japanese and South Korean concerns about the security and economic policies of a Democratic administration. Republican candidate John McCain made a stronger point than the Obama campaign of a firm stance in support of Japan and South Korea in the face of North Korean and other threats. McCain also stressed strong commitment to free trade and open US markets for Asian exports. The Obama campaign rhetoric was more reserved about free trade, notably opposing the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement. Its emphasis on reaching out to negotiate with adversaries also raised some uncertainties about the future American posture towards North Korea. (22)
A salient concern among officials in Japan and South Korea was that North Korea would outmanoeuvre an unseasoned US administration that is looking for some early diplomatic success or that the Obama administration would seek an arrangement under which the United States would accept a nuclear armed North Korea as long as it does not proliferate. There also was the more immediate concern that the United States, given its various distractions and preoccupations, would allow the North Korean situation to drift. A key question was whether or not the United States is prepared to push hard to press North Korea to meet its commitments in the Six-Party Talks, to disable and dismantle its plutonium producing facilities and to press Pyongyang further in order to continue towards full and verifiable denuclearization. The appointment of former US ambassador to South Korea Stephen Bosworth as the State Department's special representative for North Korea seemed to show US resolve to ease Japanese and South Korean concerns. (23) North Korea's subsequent military provocations appeared to overwhelm past concerns as the United States, Japan and South Korea worked closely together and with China and other concerned powers in devising negative and positive incentives sufficient to calm the North Korean provocations and resume the process of negotiations directed towards achieving a denuclearized Korean peninsula. (24)
Adding to the mix of strategic uncertainties are anxieties, particularly in Japan, over a perceived tendency in the latter part of the Bush administration for the United States to give priority to interaction with rising China rather than longstanding US allies. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton initially appeared to neglect Japan in favour of China. More recent discussion of a US-China "G-2" collaboration to deal with the economic crisis and related issues voiced by such influential individuals as Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, C. Fred Bergsten and Robert Zoellick underline a persisting Japanese concern that the United States may seek improved US-China relations at Tokyo's expense. (25)
South Korea is particularly anxious to see modifications of Obama campaign positions against the US-Korean Free Trade Agreement. Though media reports sometimes hint at ways the accord could be reached without fundamental renegotiation, the steps required remain formidable and how they would proceed amid the many other preoccupations of US economic and trade policy-makers remains unclear. (26)
Meanwhile, both South Korea and Japan have issues with the United States over salient alliance questions. In Seoul, influential voices in the conservative government want to reassess the US-South Korean agreement negotiated by its predecessor that transfers operational control of wartime command from US to Korean forces, scheduled for 2012. The continued stalemate between the United States and Japan over the relocation of the Futenma Air Station in Okinawa is seen as part of a broader failure to implement the roadmap for realignment of US forces in Japan, agreed by the two countries in 2006. (27)
The Australian government of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd showed its independence from the Bush administration in markedly shifting Australian policy in favour of the Kyoto Protocol and in withdrawing Australian forces from Iraq. However, alliance cooperation with the United States remained broad and deep, with Australian forces continuing to fight alongside Americans in Afghanistan. American interests continued to be well served by Australia's leading role in sustaining stability among the crisis-prone countries of East Timor and in the South Pacific. The United States and Australia collaborated in trilateral security cooperation with Japan. And Australia's improvement of security relations with Indonesia and South Korea seemed to meet with US approval. Close Australian-US economic relations grew as a result of the US-Australian Free Trade Agreement of 2005. (28)
China's emergence as Australia's top trading partner and consumer of Australian resources prompted speculation that Australia was less willing than in the past to support US positions on Taiwan. Australia also was said to be reluctant to join the United States and Japan in support for stronger demonstrations in military exercises and high-level security consultations involving India as a strategic partner of the three allies. (29)
Relations with China: Positive but Fragile Equilibrium
US-China relations during the first decade of the twenty-first century evolved towards a positive equilibrium that appears likely to continue into the near future. Both the US and Chinese administrations have become preoccupied with other issues and appear reluctant to exacerbate tensions with one another. Growing economic interdependence and cooperation over key issues in Asian and world affairs reinforce each government's tendency to emphasize the positive and pursue constructive relations with one another. The positive stasis provides a basis for greater cooperation over economic and security interests and issues.
At the same time, differences in strategic, economic, political and other interests have remained strong throughout the period and represent substantial obstacles to further cooperation between the two countries. Policy-makers in both countries continue to harbour suspicions about each others' intentions. (30)
Specialists in China and the United States have identified a pattern of dualism in US-China relations that has emerged as part of the ostensibly positive equilibrium in the post-Cold War period. The pattern involves constructive and cooperative engagement on the one hand and contingency planning or hedging on the other. It reflects the mix noted above of converging and competing interests and prevailing leadership suspicions and cooperation. (31)
Chinese and US contingency planning and hedging against one another sometimes involves actions like the respective Chinese and US military build-ups that are separate from and develop in tandem with the respective engagement policies the two countries pursue with each other. At the same time, dualism shows as each government has used engagement to build positive and cooperative ties while at the same time seeking to use these ties to build interdependencies and webs of relationships that have the effect of constraining the other power from taking actions that oppose its interests.
Differences between the two countries continue out of the limelight. They are managed in over sixty dialogues and other high-level interaction between the two administrations. Secretary Clinton's visit to China in February 2009 and President Obama's meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the G-20 summit in London in April followed the pattern in the latter years of the Bush administration in calling for deepening dialogue and development of "positive and constructive" relations. Nonetheless, the differences between the two countries are readily apparent on the US side, where they are repeatedly highlighted by US media and interest groups concerned about various features of Chinese governance and practice, and where the majority of Americans give an unfavourable rating to the Chinese government. They are less apparent in the more controlled media environment of China, though Chinese officials and government commentaries make clear their strong opposition to US efforts to support Taiwan and to foster political change in China, as well as key aspects of US alliances, security presence around China's periphery and positions on salient international issues ranging from the military use of space to fostering democratic change. (32)
The positive features of the relationship tend to outweigh the negatives for three reasons. First, both governments gain from cooperative engagement--the gains include beneficial economic ties, as well as cooperation over North Korea, terrorism, Pakistan and even Taiwan. It also includes smaller progress on Iran and even less on Sudan and Myanmar. Second, Washington and Beijing recognize that, because of ever closer US-China interdependence, focusing on negative aspects in US-China relations would be counter productive to their interests. Third, US and Chinese leaders recognize that, because of other major policy preoccupations they both have, focusing on negative aspects in US-China relations would also be counter productive to their interests.
In sum, it seems fair to conclude that the recent US relationship with China rests upon a mutual commitment to avoid conflict, cooperate in areas of common interest and prevent disputes from shaking the overall relationship. (33) Against this background, the Obama government seems most likely to advance relations with China in small ways. It probably will show sufficient resolve to avoid conflict with China over trade, currency, environmental security, Taiwan, Tibet human rights and other issues that appear counterproductive for what seem to be more important US interests in preserving a collaborative relationship with China and avoiding frictions with such an important economy at a time when international economic cooperation is of paramount importance. (34)
Those in the United States who seek to give greater prominence to differences with China seem overwhelmed for now, particularly by the salience of the global economic crisis and the perceived US need to be seen to cooperate with China in restoring international economic confidence. (35) Events in China or US-China relations could bring their issues to the fore, as they did during Chinese crackdown on dissent and violence in Tibet in 2008. In the recent past, events such as China's efforts to purchase a US oil company during a period of rising gasoline prices in the United States and product safety issues with Chinese consumer goods exported to the United States saw spikes of anti-China media commentary, congressional commentaries and investigations and other public discussion that damaged China's image with the American public. The US administration remained on the sidelines in those instances as it pursued private dialogues with the Chinese government, preserving the positive but still fragile equilibrium in US-China relations.
Relations with India--Good Momentum
The mix of areas of convergence and areas of divergence is more positive in the case of US relations with the other fast rising Asian power, India. Though the details of the Obama administration's policies towards India have not yet been clearly articulated, it seems likely that the positive momentum in US-Indian relations begun in the Clinton administration and greatly advanced in the Bush administration will be continued. (36)
The strategic uncertainty that lies at the base of the respective "hedging" policies of the United States and China has little place in US-Indian relations. The wide ranging US-Indian defence cooperation emerged and developed strongly at the turn of the decade and predates the negotiation and ratification of the US-Indian civilian nuclear agreement--the centrepiece of the Bush administration's effort to promote India's development and world status. Since 2002, the United States and India have held a series of unprecedented and increasingly substantive combined exercises involving all military services. These have included the use of the Indian Air Force's advanced Russian SU-30MKI aircraft over US territory, Special Forces training in mountains near the China-India border and annual naval exercises in the Indian and Pacific oceans. The scope of arms sales has grown, with the United States welcoming Indian consideration of requests for advanced fighter aircraft and command-and-control, early warning and missile defence equipment. The US government also supported Israel's sale of the US-Israeli Phalcon airborne early warning system to India, while it worked hard to prevent the transfer of such advanced equipment from Israel to China. (37)
By the time of President Bush's 2006 visit to India, US leaders were routinely highlighting the civilian nuclear accord as reflecting a core US interest in working to help India become a major world power in the new century. Washington conducted relations with New Delhi under the rubric of three major dialogue areas: strategic (including global issues and defence), economic (including trade, finance, commerce and the environment) and energy. As supporters of improved US-Indian relations, the Indian-American caucus represented the largest of all country-specific caucuses in Congress.
Multifaceted US-India cooperation included close coordination in anti-terrorism efforts; in advancing the sales of US high technology dual-use goods to India; and in major modifications of existing US non-proliferation policy and law in order to allow for approval by the Congress and relevant international organizations of the US-India civilian nuclear agreement. (38)
Significant differences and limitations remained. India's economic reforms and greater conformity to trends in economic globalization reinforced growth and attracted US investment and trade. However, problems included grossly inadequate infrastructure, widespread poverty and weak public services in health care, education, electric power and water supply. The Indian government also vacillates in its commitments to moving the economy in the direction of the free market. Excessive government control and bureaucracy are often cited in American complaints about doing business in India. (39)
India aligns strongly with the poor developing countries against requirements sought by the United States and other developed countries that call upon India to support greater trade liberalization in negotiations at the World Trade Organization and other venues, and support emissions reduction in various climate change negotiations. Though India has made a strategic choice in pursuing a closer alignment with the United States, Japan and other developed countries, it also sustains a strong commitment to strategic independence in world affairs. Its improved relations with China and Pakistan are generally welcomed by the United States, though its close relations with Iran and Myanmar seem at odds with US policy concerns. (40)
Relations with Southeast Asia and Regional Groups Focused on ASEAN
Hillary Clinton's visit to Jakarta was clearly the public relations highlight of her first trip to Asia as Secretary of State. Official comment, media coverage and public assessments were positive about the Secretary and what her visit symbolized for increased US attention to Indonesia and Southeast Asia more broadly. The Indonesians were also excited about the prospect of a "home coming" to Indonesia by President Barack Obama in connection with the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting to be held in November 2009. As a youth, Obama lived in Indonesia for several years. The Clinton visit helped to overcome some of the Southeast Asian ambivalence and wariness over Washington's episodic high-level attention and often offensive unilateral attitudes. (41)
The Secretary also built positive momentum for US relations with the region by:
* Highlighting Indonesia's status as a regional power and a vibrant and tolerant Muslim state.
* Signalling US interest in signing ASEAN's Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), which was eschewed by previous US administrations even though the treaty has great symbolic importance in Southeast Asia and has been signed by China, Japan, Australia and other powers.
* Pledging to regularly attend the annual ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial Meeting in Southeast Asia--a contrast to previous Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who missed two out of four of the annual meetings.
* Indicating tactical flexibility in pressing for greater respect for human rights in Myanmar. The flexibility might open the way to closer US cooperation with ASEAN which has been hampered by Myanmar's membership in the group and US policies sanctioning and isolating the ruling junta. (42)
Nevertheless, US policy concerns regarding Southeast Asia remain less important than the range of issues seen in America's relations with China, Korea and Japan in Northeast Asia, and the array of interests and issues at stake in US relations with India and neighbouring Pakistan and Afghanistan in South Asia. In part this lower priority prevails because US policy-makers and opinion leaders generally see less at stake for American interests in Southeast Asia than in the other areas. The US military presence, trade and economic relations and Great Power politics inevitably give pride of place to Northeast Asia in American calculations in Asia, while the war in Afghanistan and India's rising power garner major American interest and concern. Moreover, opportunities for US interests in Southeast Asia appeared limited at times. The region recovered somewhat from the Asian economic crisis of 1997-98 but has been subject to persistent political instability and economic uncertainty that curbed US and other foreign investment. The instability and uncertainty also sapped the political power and importance of ASEAN and its leading members, even though the organization more recently has been at the centre of growing Asian multilateral activism dealing with salient regional economic, political and security issues. (43)
Strengthening US-Southeast Asian Relations
US attention to the region rose in the first decade of the twenty-first century. The US-led global war on terrorism broadened and intensified US involvement throughout Asia. Southeast Asia for a time became the so-called "second front" in the US struggle against terrorism. The United States worked closely with its allies Australia, the Philippines and Thailand, as well as with others such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia in various efforts to curb terrorist activities in Southeast Asia. (44) Meanwhile, following the Asian economic crisis, a variety of Asian regional multilateral groupings centred on ASEAN and its Asian partners were formed and advanced significantly. China's stature and influence in these groups and among ASEAN states grew rapidly amid burgeoning intra-Asian trade and investment networks involving China in a central role, and attentive and innovative Chinese diplomacy. China's rising prominence was seen by many to steer the region in directions that reduced American influence and worked against US interests. (45) On the other hand, the massive and effective US-led relief effort in the wake of the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami disaster in South and Southeast Asia showed unsurpassed American power and influence and underlined the continuing importance of the United States for regional stability and well being. (46)
Subsequent events saw Indonesia receive notable US attention with former Secretary of State Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld making separate trips during 2006 and President Bush making a visit in conjunction with the APEC summit in November. US assistance to Indonesia in fiscal year 2006 was over US$500 million. Following the US waiver in November 2005 of remaining legislative restrictions on military assistance to Indonesia, the Bush administration in March 2006 permitted sales of lethal military equipment on a case-by-case basis and the US Pacific Command in March endorsed "rapid, concerted infusion" of military assistance to the country.
Vietnam, the host of the November 2006 APEC leaders meeting, also received notable US attention. The United States took the lead in negotiations on Vietnam's successful entry into the WTO. The United States was a close second to China as Vietnam's leading trading partner and it was the largest foreign investor in the country. Secretary Rumsfeld visited Vietnam in 2005 and Vietnam modestly strengthened defence ties with the United States. (47)
US military activism in the region also included Secretary Rumsfeld's and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' participation at the annual Shangri-La defence forum in Singapore, and Secretary of State Colin Powell's regular attendance and Secretary Rice's less consistent attendance at the ARF; a strong programme of bilateral and multilateral exercises and exchanges between US forces and friendly and allied Southeast Asian forces; an active US International Military Education and Training (IMET) programme with regional governments; and the US role as the top supplier of defence equipment to the leading ASEAN countries. The US military maintained what was seen as a "semi-continuous" presence in the Philippines to assist in dealing with terrorist threats, and it resumed in November 2005 a "strategic dialogue" with Thailand. These moves added to progress made in US security ties with Singapore (the largest regional purchaser of US military equipment) and the upswing in US military ties with Indonesia. (48)
The pace and scope of US military activism in the region reinforced the tendency of US allies and associates to find reliance on the United States and its regional defence structures preferable to reliance on other nascent but rising Asian regional security arrangements. (49) Numerous bilateral and multilateral US military exercises were valued by Asian partners. The United States promoted maritime security cooperation in the strategically important Straits of Malacca by working with the states bordering the Straits, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, to develop a command, control and communications infrastructure that will facilitate cooperation in maritime surveillance of the Straits. Malabar, an annual US exercise with India was broadened in 2007 to include forces from Japan, Australia and Singapore in a large naval exercise near the eastern entrance of the Malacca Strait. It involved over thirty warships including two US and one Indian aircraft carrier battle groups. (50)
US foreign assistance to Southeast Asian countries increased along with substantial increases in the US foreign assistance budgets prompted by the war on terrorism begun in 2001 and the Bush administration's Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) and Global HIV/AIDS Initiative (GHAI) begun in 2004. MCA rewards countries that demonstrate good governance, investment in health and education and sound free market policies. GHAI is focused on dealing with the worldwide health emergency caused by HIV/AIDS. In addition to Indonesia, noted above, which received the bulk of US$400 million pledged by the US government for relief from the December 2004 tsunami disaster in addition to a substantial US aid programme, other large recipients of US assistance included the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and East Timor. (51)
The War on Terrorism in Southeast Asia
There was strong support in the United States for increased military and other counter-terrorism cooperation with Southeast Asian governments after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America. Nonetheless, several years of strong anti-terrorism efforts combined with the US-led war in Iraq prompted Southeast Asian leaders to complain that the United States was conducting its fight against international terrorism in the wrong way. American actions were seen to radicalize Asia's Muslims and to cause growing domestic opposition to Southeast Asian governments friendly to the United States. Meanwhile, Southeast Asian leaders also complained that US preoccupation with the war in Iraq and the broader war on terrorism made US leaders inattentive to Southeast Asia and towards other areas such as nation building, economic development and cooperation in an emerging array of regional multilateral organizations. (52)
The US actions against terrorism in Southeast Asia were primarily bilateral, though some attention focused on regional organizations such as the ARF, APEC and ASEAN. With US encouragement, APEC members in particular undertook obligations to secure ports and airports, combat money laundering, secure shipping containers and tighten border controls. (53)
The US military took the lead after 9/11 in arranging for close cooperation with the Philippines, a treaty ally of the United States, to deal with terrorists in the country. Joint and prolonged exercises allowed hundreds of US forces to help train their Philippine counterparts to apprehend members of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, active in the southwestern islands of the Philippines. US military supplies to the Philippines increased markedly; other US military training activities helped to strengthen Philippine forces to deal with other terrorist and rebellious groups. These included members of the Jemaah Islamiyah reportedly active in training terrorists in the Philippines. The United States awarded the Philippines the status of Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) in 2003, provided increased military assistance and welcomed the small contingent of Philippine troops in Iraq. The contingent was withdrawn in 2004 to save the life of a kidnapped Philippine hostage. (54)
The Bush administration also awarded increased military aid and MNNA status to Thailand, the other US treaty ally in Southeast Asia, which sent nearly 500 troops to Iraq. Thailand also reversed its refusals in the 1990s and offered sites for the forward positioning of US military supplies. Cobra Gold, the annual US-led military exercise in Thailand, attracted participation from other Asian countries. Meanwhile, Singapore developed a new security framework agreement with the United States involving counter-terrorism cooperation, efforts against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and joint military exercises. (55)
The United States also supported a Southeast Asian anti-terrorism centre in Malaysia. US support for Indonesia focused at first on the Indonesian Police Counter-Terrorism Task Force and broader educational and other assistance designed to strengthen democratic governance in Indonesia in the face of terrorist threats. Restrictions on US assistance to the Indonesian military were slowly eased, amid continued reservations in Congress over the military's long history of abuses. Popular sentiment in Malaysia and Indonesia was strongly against a perceived bias in the Bush administration's focus against radical Islam as a target in the war on terrorism. This added to the prevailing unpopularity of the Bush administration on account of its policies in Iraq and towards the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. Nonetheless, the Bush administration worked hard to improve relations with Malaysia and particularly Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim state whose government emphasized moderation and democratic values. US aid, military contacts and high level exchanges grew as the Indonesian democratic administration made progress towards more effective governance. (56)
The United States and Asian Multilateralism
Given the variety of regional groupings focused on ASEAN, US policy choices in dealing with Asian multilateralism in Southeast Asia were complex. Elsewhere in Asia, prevailing circumstances did not call for significant US policy action on multilateral groupings. In Central Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) did not allow US participation. In South Asia, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) saw the United States participate as an observer; in Northeast Asia, the United States already has been a leader at the Six-Party Talks; China and other participating powers were keen to transform this arrangement eventually into a more permanent regional group to address broader security concerns.
In the case of the Southeast Asian oriented groupings, US policy debate revolved around a basic choice. Should the US government continue with its recent level of activity in the region, or should it take steps to further advance the American profile in regional groupings? Spurred on by China's rising influence in Asian multilateral groups and with the strong encouragement of Japan, Australia, Singapore and others that the United States play a more prominent role in these groups, the US government increased involvement in these organizations as it took a variety of steps to shore up US relations with Southeast Asian governments. (57)
The Bush administration by 2006 developed US initiatives to individual Southeast Asian nations as well as to ASEAN and related regional multilateral groups. These initiatives were based on the US position as the region's leading trading partner, foreign investor, aid donor and military partner. US initiatives to ASEAN represented in part the Bush administration's efforts to catch up with ASEAN's free trade agreements and other formal arrangements with China, Japan and other powers. Strong US opposition to the military regime in Myanmar continued to complicate US relations with ASEAN. That regime's crackdown on large demonstrations led by Buddhist monks in 2007 saw the Bush administration take the lead in pressing the UN and individual states to take actions against the repressive government. (58)
In contrast to other powers seeking closer ties with ASEAN, the United States did not agree to accede to the TAC, and remained ambivalent on participation in the East Asia Summit (EAS) meeting that required agreement to the TAC as a condition for participation. US officials also said they were not opposed to Asian regional organizations that excluded involved powers like the United States, but US favour focused on regional groupings open to the United States and other concerned powers.
The United States supported the ARF, the primary regional forum for security dialogue. The Bush administration strongly supported APEC. President Bush at the APEC Summit Meeting in November 2006 urged APEC members to consider forming an Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area. The US initiative was seen to underline US interest in fostering trans-Pacific trade groupings in the face of Asian multilateral trade arrangements that excluded the United States. (59) At the APEC Summit in 2007 President Bush proposed the formation of a democratic partnership among eight democratically elected members of APEC and India. (60)
President Bush in November 2005 began to use the annual APEC leaders' summit to engage in annual multilateral meetings with attending ASEAN leaders. He and seven ASEAN leaders attending the APEC leaders meeting in 2005 launched the ASEANUS Enhanced Partnership involving a broad range of economic, political and security cooperation. In July 2006 Secretary Rice and her ten ASEAN counterparts signed a five year Plan of Action to implement the partnership. In the important area of trade and investment, the US and ASEAN ministers endorsed the Enterprise for ASEAN Initiative (EAI) launched by the US government in 2002 that provided a road map to move from bilateral trade and investment framework agreements (TIFAs), which were consultative in relation to free trade agreements (FTAs) that are more binding. The US FTAs were seen by US officials as markedly more substantive, involving a variety of tangible commitments and compromises, than the FTAs proposed by China and other powers. From these US officials' perspective, such US FTAs thus were harder to reach but had a much more significant effect on existing trade relations. The United States has bilateral TIFAs with several ASEAN states and in August 2006 the US Special Trade Representative and her ASEAN counterparts agreed to work towards concluding an ASEAN-US TIFA. The Bush administration followed its FTAs with Singapore and Australia with FTA negotiations with Thailand and Malaysia, but those negotiations stalled. (61)
The initiation in 2005 of the US presidential mini-summits with ASEAN leaders attending the annual APEC leaders meeting conveniently avoided the US-ASEAN differences over Myanmar, which was not an APEC member. (62) The Bush administration for a time accepted a working engagement with Myanmar as an ASEAN member at lower protocol levels. Myanmar was represented in the ASEAN-US Dialogue, and Secretary Rice shook hands with all ASEAN foreign ministers at the signing ceremony of the ASEANUS Enhanced Partnership in July 2006. Meanwhile, the Bush administration announced in August 2006 that it was planning to appoint an ambassador to ASEAN and that the Treasury Department intended to establish a financial representative post for Southeast Asia. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Scott Marciel, was appointed the US ambassador to ASEAN in 2008. (63)
The events examined above show clear direction in US policy and interests in favour of greater American activism and involvement with Southeast Asia. The change in US administration has strongly reinforced this trend. Of course, there remain serious complications and uncertainties. Heading the list is the ability and will of US leaders to devote consistent attention to regional bilateral and multilateral relations in Southeast Asia, especially given the overriding US policy preoccupations with the global economic crisis and major conflicts and confrontations in Southwest Asia, the Middle East and North Korea. Meanwhile internal instability on the part of most leading ASEAN states could indicate that greater US activism may result in few major accomplishments if ASEAN governments remain cautious about international commitments during a period of domestic political instability.
Nonetheless, the positive publicity flowing from Secretary Clinton's trip to Indonesia, the planned visit of President Obama to the region in November 2009 to attend the APEC Summit and the new US government's demonstration of greater interest in and flexibility towards relations with Southeast Asia suggest that enhanced US activism, involvement and flexibility in the region may represent the most significant change in US policy in Asia under an Obama administration. The new US government, when otherwise not challenged by major crises like the one recently generated by North Korea, seems inclined to adhere fairly closely to pragmatic and generally constructive US policy approaches to key Asia issues followed in the later years of the George W. Bush administration.
(1) Edmund Andrew, "Report Projects A Worldwide Economic Slide", New York Times, 9 March 2009.
(2) Kenneth Katzman, Afghanistan: Post Taliban Governance, Security, and US Policy (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 9 February 2009).
(3) K. Alan Kronstadt and Kenneth Katzman, Islamist Militancy in Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region and US Policy (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress Report RL34763, 21 November 2008); America's Role in the World: Foreign Policy Choices for the Next President (Washington, D.C.: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, 2008).
(4) Bruce Klingner, "Obama Will Be Challenged by North Korea", Korea Times, 21 January 2009; James Przystup, "North Korea's Missile Test and the Road Ahead", Pacific Forum CSIS, PacNet 28, Honolulu, 16 April 2009; David Sanger, "US to Confront, Not Board, North Korean Ships", New York Times, 16 June 2009.
(5) Donald Zagoria, Cross-Strait Relations: Cautious Optimism, Report of Conference on Prospects for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, National Committee on American Foreign Policy, New York, 13-14 January 2009.
(6) Kenneth Lieberthal and David Sandalow, Overcoming Obstacles to US-China Cooperation on Climate Change, John L. Thornton China Center Monograph Series No. 1 (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, January 2009).
(7) Morton Abramowitz and Stephen Bosworth, Chasing the Sun (New York: Century Foundation, 2006).
(8) David Shambaugh, "China Engages Asia: Reshaping the Regional Order", International Security 29, no 3 (Winter 2004/05): 64-99; Joshua Kurlantzick, Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power is Transforming the World (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2007); David Kang, China Rising: Peace, Power and Order in East Asia (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007).
(9) These findings and trends noted below are reviewed in Robert Sutter, "Assessing China's Rise and U.S. Leadership in Asia: Growing Maturity and Balance", Pacific Forum CSIS, PacNet 6, Honolulu, 29 January 2009.
(10) Victor Cha, "Winning Asia: America's Untold Success Story", Foreign Affairs (November/December 2007): 98-113.
(11) Evelyn Goh, "Southeast Asia: Strategic Diversification in the 'Asian Century'", in Strategic Asia 2008-2009, edited by Ashley Tellis, Mercy Kuo, and Andrew Marble (Seattle: National Bureau of Asian Research, 2008).
(12) These factors are explained in detail in Robert Sutter, The United States in Asia (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2009). For alternative perspectives, see among others, International Relations of Asia, edited by David Shambaugh and Michael Yahuda (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2008).
(13) "We Should Join Hands: Chinese Premier Interviewed", Newsweek, 6 October 2008.
(14) Evan Medeiros, Pacific Currents: The Responses of US Allies and Security Partners in East Asia to China's Rise (Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, 2008).
(15) Richard Armitage and Joseph Nye, U.S.-Japan Alliance: Getting Asia Right Through 2020 (Washington, D.C.: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2007).
(16) Emma Chanlett-Avery, Japan-US Relations: Issues for Congress (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress Issue Brief 97004, 31 March 2006); Hugh White, "Australia in Asia: Exploring the Conditions for Security in the Asian Century", in International Relations of Asia, op. cit., edited by Shambaugh and Yahuda, pp. 215-34.
(17) Larry Niksch, North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Development and Diplomacy (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress RL33590, 5 January 2008).
(18) Ralph Cossa and Brad Glosserman, "Reassuring Allies: Secretary Clinton's Most Important Mission", Pacific Forum CSIS, PacNet 10, Honolulu, 6 February 2009.
(19) Edward Gresser and Daniel Twining, "Shock of the New: Congress and Asia in 2009", NBR Analysis, February 2009, pp. 21-23.
(20) Department of State, South Korea: Background Notes, April 2009
(21) Cossa and Glosserman, "Reassuring Allies", op. cit.
(22) Issue Trackers, Council on Foreign Relations, 2008.
(23) Ralph Cossa and Brad Glosserman, "Regional Overview", Comparative Connections 11, no. 1 (April 2009).
(24) Ralph Cossa, "Lee-Obama Summit: Solidifying a Joint Approach toward Pyongyang", Pacific Forum CSIS, PacNet 44, Honolulu, 12 June 2009.
(25) Michael Green, "Japan-US Relations", Comparative Connections 11, no. 1 (April 2009).
(26) The Proposed US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, CRS Report RL33435, 24 May 2008).
(27) Cossa and Glosserman, "Reassuring Allies", op. cit.
(28) Department of State, Background Notes: Australia, January 2009
(29) Gresser and Twining, "Shock of the New", op. cit., p. 24.
(30) Kerry Dumbaugh, China-US Relations: Current Issues and Implications for US Policy (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Report 33877, 8 December 2008).
(31) Evan Medeiros, "Strategic Hedging and the Future of Asia-Pacific Stability", The Washington Quarterly 29, no. 1 (2005-06): 145-67; Rosemary Foot, "Chinese Strategies in a US-Hegemonic Global Order: Accommodating and Hedging", International Affairs 82, no. 1 (2006): 77-94.
(32) China's National Defense in 2008 (Beijing: Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, January 2009); Briefing by delegation from the Chinese Academy of Military Science, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., 2 October 2008.
(33) Gresser and Twining, "Shock of the New", op. cit., p. 21.
(34) C. Fred Bergsten, "A Partnership of Equals: How Washington Should Respond to China's Economic Challenge", Foreign Affairs (July-August 2008): 57-69.
(35) "Clinton: Chinese Human Rights Can't Interfere with Other Crises", CNN, 21 February 2009
(36) Gresser and Twining, "Shock of the New", op. cit, pp. 27-29; Satu Limaye, "US-India and India-East Asian Relations", Comparative Connections 10, no. 4 (January 2009): 141-47.
(37) K. Alan Kronstadt, India-US Relations (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress Report RL33529, 31 July 2006), pp. 15-16.
(38) Satu Limaye, "Consolidating Friendships and Nuclear Legitimacy", Comparative Connections 9, no. 4 (January 2008).
(39) Teresita Schaffer, "Partnering with India: Regional Power, Global Hopes", in Strategic Asia 2008-2009: Challenges and Choices (The National Bureau of Asian Research, 2008).
(40) Gresser and Twining, "Shock of the New", op. cit., p. 28.
(41) Sheldon Simon, "The United States and Southeast Asia", Comparative Connections 11, no. 1 (April 2009).
(42) Bronson Percival, "Clinton Prelude: What Next with Southeast Asia?", Pacific Forum CSIS, PacNet 16, Honolulu, 25 February 2009.
(43) Diane Mauzy and Brian Job, "U.S. Policy in Southeast Asia: Limited Re-engagement after Years of Benign Neglect", Asian Survey 47, no. 1 (July-August 2007): 622-41; Donald Weatherbee, "Strategic Dimensions of Economic Interdependence in Southeast Asia", in Strategic Asia 2006-2007, edited by Ashley Tellis and Michael Wills (Seattle, Wash.: National Bureau of Asian Research, 2006).
(44) Evelyn Goh, "Southeast Asian Reactions to America's New Strategic Imperatives", in Asia Eyes America, edited by Jonathan Pollack (Newport, R.I.: US Naval War College, 2007).
(45) Bruce Vaughn and Wayne Morrison, China-Sou