New American Perspectives on Southeast Asia.

by Guy J. Pauker

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Explores uncertainties facing Southeast Asia in the aftermath of Hanoi's victories. One source of uncertainty is Hanoi's intentions. Another is interplay between the region and the United States, the Soviet Union, China and Japan. All these major powers are entering periods of succession crises and have domestic economic problems. Southeast Asians should not expect to play these powers off against each other. Indonesia is a factor of stability in Southeast Asia. As a country with a tradition of nonalignment and an anticommunist domestic policy, it is the only country capable of opposing hegemonical aspirations of the Vietnamese if it succeeds in upgrading its military resources. Reliance on Indonesia to balance Vietnam is more realistic than placing hopes in ASEAN which lacks determination. The United States is not likely to complicate policies of non-Communist countries of Southeast Asia by giving economic aid to Vietnam, but it will also not encourage regional cold war or resumption of fighting in Indochina through Asian proxies. 11 pp.

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