Southeast Asia

Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia form the bulk of Southeast Asia, a region that has experienced significant economic development in recent decades but also faces ethnonationalism and security concerns. RAND has investigated these issues as well as the region's relations with the United States, the former Soviet bloc countries, China, and Japan.

  • Wreckage from a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 plane that was downed in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, July 18, 2014

    Blog

    Like Flight 370, the MH17 Crash in Ukraine Could Remain a Mystery

    Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was reportedly shot down yesterday near the Russia-Ukraine border. But like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished in March, what happened to MH17 is shrouded in mystery.

    Jul 18, 2014

  • Indonesia's presidential candidate Joko Widodo smiles during a speech in Serang, Indonesia, July 16, 2014

    Blog

    Good Guy Gamble: What to Expect from Indonesia's Jokowi

    The preliminary verdict of Indonesia's presidential election suggests that nice guys can finish first. That could be good news for Indonesia, Southeast Asia, the United States, and the world. But that comes with two big caveats: The initial results must be confirmed by the final tally, and the losing candidate must accept that he has lost.

    Jul 17, 2014

  • Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam at an interview with Reuters on May 22, 2014, where he demanded that China withdraw an oil rig off the coast of Vietnam in waters also claimed by Hanoi

    Blog

    China Unlikely to Blink in Maritime Dispute with Vietnam over Oil Rig

    Tensions are rising in the South China Sea, where China moved a state-owned oil rig, reportedly accompanied by six warships, into disputed waters last month, triggering anti-Chinese demonstrations in Vietnam that resulted in four deaths.

    Jun 12, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Aid Under Fire: Development Projects and Civil Conflict

    We estimate the causal effect of a large development program on conflict in the Philippines through a regression discontinuity design that exploits an arbitrary poverty threshold used to assign eligibility for the program.

    Jun 1, 2014

  • Messages of support left for family members and passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport

    Blog

    The Flight 370 Mystery Gets Political

    Why might unnamed sources try to link Anwar to a potential hijacking of an aircraft carrying 239 passengers? Possibly to divert attention from the government's ineffective management of the search in the days since the plane's disappearance.

    Mar 19, 2014

  • Hercules aircraft parked on the tarmac at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan on Okinawa

    Blog

    Should the U.S. Move the Marines to Guam?

    The option to permanently base Marines on Guam should hinge on the benefits of the location and the costs. Guam scores poorly on both counts and better options exist. However, previous guidance provided to the Marine Corps constrains consideration of such options.

    Feb 28, 2014

  • News Release

    'Small Footprint' Counterinsurgency Strategies Work Best with Narrow Range of Partners

    Future U.S. efforts should focus on finding areas of agreement with partner nations and possibly convening networks of people in those nations who can implement changes and then providing the necessary resources and technical expertise.

    Feb 26, 2014

  • Pakistani soldiers place barbwire to secure a street during a curfew in Rawalpindi

    Report

    'Small Footprint' Counterinsurgency Strategies Work Best with Narrow Range of Partners

    Future U.S. efforts should focus on finding areas of agreement with partner nations and possibly convening networks of people in those nations who can implement changes and then providing the necessary resources and technical expertise.

    Feb 25, 2014

  • Research Brief

    Partner Capacity in Counterinsurgency Campaigns

    Success stories in small-footprint U.S. interventions have occurred in countries with inclusive politics and reasonable state capacity. Unfortunately, most insurgencies seek to overthrow regimes that are weak in inclusion and capacity.

    Feb 11, 2014

  • Soldiers move to secure a helicopter landing zone in Paktika Province

    Blog

    Failure to Learn: Reflections on a Career in the Post-Vietnam Army

    In the aftermath of a decade of war, the Army must have an objective, serious debate — one that it never engaged in after Vietnam — to understand its experiences, both good and bad.

    Jan 27, 2014

  • US Soldier clasps hands with ROK soldier during training exercise

    Report

    The U.S. Army in Southeast Asia: Near-Term and Long-Term Roles

    If the outlook in Southeast Asia deteriorates, the U.S. Army role should be increase security cooperation, conclude new regional basing agreements, expand disaster assistance, and create policies to encourage risk-averse Chinese behavior.

    Jan 6, 2014

  • Journal Article

    An Exploration of How Perceptions of the Risk of Avian Influenza in Poultry Relate to Urbanization in Vietnam

    This research examined how perceptions of outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) subtype H5N1 in poultry are related to urbanization.

    Jan 1, 2014

  • U.S. Marines help displaced Philippine nationals from the back of a KC-130J Super Hercules at Vilamor Air Base, Manila, Republic of the Philippines

    Blog

    How Philippines Typhoon Aid Helps USA

    In the wake of Haiyan there is no substitute for the capabilities of the U.S. military. At the level of national interest, however, does the case for tasking the U.S. military to international natural disasters hold up — particularly in a time when the Pentagon has seen its budget slashed?

    Nov 12, 2013

  • A U.S. Marine and a Philippine airman assist an injured Filipino woman off a KC-130J Super Hercules at Vilamore Air Base, Manila, Republic of the Philippines

    Blog

    Responding in Typhoon Haiyan's Wake

    Prior responses to other recent disasters offer important lessons. Improved preparedness and efficient coordination mechanisms can help ensure that, when time is of the essence, the United States provides the most effective response.

    Nov 12, 2013

  • Navajo Bridge over Colorado River

    Multimedia

    Applying Robust Decision Making: Planning for Water and Flood Risk Management

    Robust Decision Making is used in a wide range of applications, most critically in water and flood risk management.

    Nov 5, 2013

  • A man clears debris from the mosque that was burnt down in Myanmar's Rakhine state

    Blog

    Who's Bombing Myanmar?

    After a half-century of hermetic authoritarianism, Myanmar's re-entry into the world community has been one of the biggest (and most optimistic) stories in Asia. Yet an upswing in ethnic and religious conflict could put Myanmar's progress at risk.

    Oct 30, 2013

  • People pay their respects in front of a portrait of General Vo Nguyen Giap at his house in Hanoi October 6, 2013

    Blog

    The Passing of Vietnam Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap

    The passing of Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap marks the end of an era for Vietnam — and for giants of the twentieth-century anti-colonial movement throughout the world. As commander of the Viet Minh and the Vietnam People's Army, his strategies led to successes against France and the U.S. that were regarded as among communism's finest military moments.

    Oct 7, 2013

  • China's President Xi Jinping and Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in a joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta October 2, 2013

    Blog

    China's ASEAN Outreach

    Chinese President Xi Jinping called for greater cooperation between his country and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during remarks delivered Oct. 3 before the Indonesian parliament. But Angel Rabasa, a RAND senior political scientist, says improved relations between China and its neighbors will depend more on action than on words.

    Oct 4, 2013

  • Men travel in a boat across the Yangon river

    Blog

    U.S. Sanctions Against Myanmar Need to Go

    Washington now has to ask itself whether its goals can best be met with these restrictions in place or whether it is time to recognize the fundamental changes that are taking place in Myanmar and forge a new relationship with its leaders based on full government-to-government relations, writes Peter Chalk.

    Oct 2, 2013

  • Vietnamese woman paddling a boat

    Project

    Ensuring Robust Flood Risk Management in Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh City faces significant and growing flood risk. Recent risk reduction efforts may not work if climate and socio-economic conditions diverge from earlier projections. Robust decisionmaking can help Vietnam's capital develop integrated flood risk management strategies despite this uncertainty.

    Aug 16, 2013