With a population of about 325 million, Maritime Southeast Asia — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore — is an area of significant economic and security interests for the United States. These interests are four fold. First, the United States seeks to maintain open sea lanes through the region, especially through the Straits of Malacca, through which much Persian Gulf oil is shipped to East Asia. Second, the moderate Islam practiced in the region can help offset radical Islamist movements elsewhere. Third, Washington seeks to prevent terrorist infrastructure from developing in the dense jungles of the region. And fourth, the United States needs to build strong strategic relationships in the region to assure access for American air and naval forces. This article analyzes how demographic factors are affecting the security environment of Southeast Asia and examines the resulting security implications for the United States.
Originally published in: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, v. 7, no. 1, Winter/Spring 2006, pp. 83-91.
This report is part of the RAND reprint series. The Reprint was a product of RAND from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.