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The paper first presents an historical look at ASEAN and the nations (Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore) that are included in the organization. Problems which face ASEAN in the 1980s are then discussed. These include Communist influence and infiltration, the role the Overseas Chinese will play in each of these nations, and oil production in the South China Sea. Also discussed in some detail are geopolitical, demographic, and economic realities of the region in the 1980s. The author concludes that the military, political, and economic threats facing the five Southeast Asia countries in the 1980s will be great and may exceed their resilience unless their efforts are supported in full by the Western allies.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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