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US and Southeast Asia. From SEATO to ASEAN. Outline. US strategies of containment original formulation SEATO Indochina and the Philippines ASEAN Post-Cold War changes Counter-terrorism in Southeast Asia. Containment 1950s-1980s.

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us and southeast asia

US and Southeast Asia


  • US strategies of containment
    • original formulation
    • SEATO
    • Indochina and the Philippines
    • Post-Cold War changes
  • Counter-terrorism in Southeast Asia
containment 1950s 1980s
Containment 1950s-1980s
  • US foreign policy treated Southeast Asia as an arena for competition with the Soviet Union
  • Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger: ``Our objective was to purge our foreign policy of all sentimentality”
appeal of communism
Appeal of Communism
  • It seemed to be the wave of the future
    • dramatic economic and technological advances of the Soviet Union
    • anti-colonialism
    • ``importance by association” psychology
    • opportunity for greater personal power
    • public disappointment and resentment at the poverty and violence after independence
architect of containment
Architect of Containment
  • George Kennan’s original formulation called for the coordinated use of political, economic, and military influence to prevent the expansion of Soviet control in vital regions
original formulation
Original Formulation
  • Traditional Russian sense of insecurity
  • Stalin’s need for a hostile world
  • S.U. was not primarily a military threat
  • A long-term containment of Russian expansive tendencies will lead to
    • "either the break-up or the gradual mellowing of Soviet power."
truman doctrine 1947
``Truman Doctrine” (1947)
  • ``It must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressures”
  • Implies that substantial US support could be counted on anywhere, not just in those vital regions
economic strategies
Economic Strategies
  • In late 1940s, economic assistance was the central pillar of anti-communist policy
    • Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe
    • The ``arsenal of democracy”
      • technological and economic resources
early aid to southeast asia
Early Aid to Southeast Asia
  • US pressured the Netherlands to give independence to Dutch East Indies colony
  • US-Indonesia economic and technical assistance agreement in 1950
  • US aid programs to Thailand and Burma in 1950
militarization in policy
Militarization in Policy
  • US strategic shift of containment toward reliance on military strength in 1950s
  • Obligated US to ``bear any cost” against communist incursions anywhere in the world
seato 1954 1977
SEATO (1954 - 1977)
  • Southeast Asia Treaty Organization
  • Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty
  • Australia, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States
  • oppose further Communist gains in Southeast Asia
seato 1954 19771
SEATO (1954 - 1977)
  • Headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand
  • SEATO's principal role was to sanction the U.S. presence in Vietnam, although France and Pakistan withheld support
  • Unable to intervene in Laos or Vietnam in ‘60s and ‘70s due to its rule of unanimity
  • SEATO was ultimately disbanded in 1977
falling domino principle
``Falling Domino" Principle
  • President Eisenhower (1954-04-07):
    • ``beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences”
    • ``the possible sequence of events, the loss of Indochina, of Burma, of Thailand, of the Peninsula, and Indonesia”
    • ``the possible consequences of the loss are just incalculable to the free world”
falling domino principle1
``Falling Domino" Principle
  • Simplistic perception of a monolithic Communist bloc
  • Simplistic assumption that societies and politics in the vast, diverse Asia-Pacific region were essentially all alike
a source of misperception
A Source of Misperception
  • The communist-hunt of 1947-1953 in US
    • Federal Employee Loyalty Program
    • House Un-American Activities Committee
    • Internal Security Act
    • Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed communists had infiltrated S.D. and US Army
  • purged the Administration of its best senior Asia expertise
us in the philippines
US in the Philippines
  • Philippines became a cornerstone of US ``containment” in Southeast Asia
  • US shored up the Philippine government with advisors and assistance
  • US upgraded its two bases in the Philippines
    • Clark Air Force Base and the Subic Naval Base
clark air force base
Clark Air Force Base
  • Damaged by a volcanic eruption in 1991
subic naval base
Subic Naval Base
  • The air and naval bases became the most consistent, visible, and emotional of the issues that troubled US-Philippine post-war relations
  • Natural disaster and the end of Cold War made these bases less desirable to US
subic bay
Subic Bay
  • Closed in 1992
  • Philippine government converted it into a special economic zone to attract investment
    • Subic Bay Freeport Zone
    • Commerce and tourism
  • 1996 APEC Summit
asean overview
ASEAN: overview
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations
  • 10 member states
    • Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, & Vietnam
  • home to over 600 million people
  • combined GDP of US$2.1 trillion
asean founding 1967
ASEAN: founding (1967)
  • 5 founding members:
    • Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines
  • Bangkok Declaration of 1967:
    • accelerate economic growth
    • promote regional peace and stability
    • contain the spread of communism
end of cold war
End of Cold War
  • ASEAN Free Trade Area
    • initiated at ASEAN summit in 1992
    • comprehensive program of regional tariff reduction
    • program later broadened and accelerated
    • reaffirmed during Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-1998
end of cold war1
End of Cold War
  • Expansion of ASEAN
    • 1995: Vietnam
    • 1997: Laos
    • 1997: Myanmar
    • 1999: Cambodia
asean external links
ASEAN: external links
  • A joint forum with Japan was established in 1977
  • A cooperation agreement with the European Community was signed in 1980
  • ``ASEAN + 3”: regular series of meetings at the cabinet and head-of-government levels with Japan, China, and South Korea since 1997
asean and u s
ASEAN and U.S.
  • Investment:
    • US$150 billion in U.S. direct investment
  • Market:
    • 4th largest overseas market for U.S. exports
  • Trade:
    • Two-way ASEAN-U.S. trade totaled US$177 billion in 2008, up from $85 billion in 1990
counter terrorism
  • US troops in the Philippines to assist Philippine armed forces to fight terrorists
  • 2000-12-24 church bombings in Indonesia
  • 2000-12-30 bombing in Manila, Philippines
  • 2002-10-12 the Bali attacks
  • 2003-08-05 J.W. Marriott Hotel bombing in Jakarta
counter terrorism1
  • US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State:
    • ``the common threat of terrorism has actually strengthened (U.S.) cooperation and ties with key Southeast Asian countries."