Southeast Asia

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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.

  • China with sunset on Earth

    Report

    China's Engagement with the Developing World

    Oct 16, 2018

    Engaging with developing countries offers China economic growth and global influence. What are the consequences of Beijing's strategy toward the developing world for the United States?

  • The Eiffel tower is illuminated in green with the words "Paris Agreement Is Done" to celebrate the Paris U.N. COP21 Climate Change agreement in Paris, France, November 4, 2016

    Report

    U.S. Policy in Asia Under the Trump Administration

    Apr 18, 2018

    A conference on U.S. policy in Asia explored the arenas of U.S.-Asia engagement, developed an understanding of the outcomes of past interaction, and made the case for the terms of future engagement. Topics included climate change, trade and investment, national security, human rights, and macroeconomic issues.

Explore Southeast Asia

  • Journal Article

    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

    Commentary

    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

    Commentary

    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

    Commentary

    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

    Commentary

    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 8, 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

    Commentary

    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 decision making can help Vietnam's largest city develop integrated flood risk management strategies despite this uncertainty.

    Aug 16, 2013

  • Report

    Lessons from Department of Defense Disaster Relief Efforts in the Asia-Pacific Region

    The Asia-Pacific region bears the brunt of the majority of the world's natural disasters and is home to key U.S. allies. In an effort to improve the effectiveness of such operations, this report analyzes recent HA/DR operations in Burma, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Japan, and identifies lessons that can be applied in the future.

    Jul 31, 2013

  • President Thein Sein of Myanmar (Burma) shakes hands with President Barack Obama

    Commentary

    Obama's Burmese Gamble

    A year ago, the United States and Myanmar (Burma) did not even have ambassadors in each other's capitals. In May, President Thein Sein became the first leader from Myanmar to visit the White House in nearly a half-century. Has Obama's administration been too quick to embrace what was one of the world's most repressive regimes?

    Jul 11, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Options for Effective Mechanisms to Support Evidence-Informed Policymaking in RMNCH in Asia and the Pacific

    This RAND Europe report looks at providing timely, reliable and high-quality evidence to inform decision-making to improve women's and children's health.

    May 1, 2013

  • Vietnamese woman paddling a boat

    Journal Article

    Flood Risk Management in Ho Chi Minh City

    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.

    May 1, 2013

  • Washington soldiers train with Thai military in counter-insurgency exchange

    Commentary

    Is Asia's Forgotten Revolt About to Explode?

    This is why teachers are so often the targets of attack. In the rebels’ view, schools aren’t neutral places for children to receive an education. They are seen as government-run indoctrination centers, propagating an exclusionary history and an alien language, writes Jonah Blank.

    Feb 25, 2013

  • Cambodian garment factory workers travel home from work in Kampong Chhnang province, north of Phnom Penh

    Report

    The Benefits of Nation-Building Interventions Have Exceeded the Costs

    Most interventions in the past 25 years have been followed by improved security, some degree of democratization, and significant economic growth—with only a modest commitment of international military and civilian manpower and economic assistance.

    Feb 4, 2013

  • The Philippine flag

    Commentary

    High Hopes for Philippine Peace Plan

    The government has successfully used a combination of counterinsurgency strategies against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in recent years, raising expectations that the new peace deal will also succeed—and in a manner that favors the government's interests, writes Molly Dunigan.

    Dec 6, 2012

  • U.S. President Barack Obama speaks alongside Nobel Peace Prize laureate and long-time opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at her residence in Yangon, Myanmar, November 19, 2012

    Commentary

    Obama and Myanmar (Burma): Four Points About Conflict There

    We can expect to see continued jockeying for scarce resources among vulnerable populations around the globe, attempts by majority communities to disenfranchise powerless minority groups, and episodes of extreme weather to blow away any notion that disasters—whether natural, man-made, or both—can't happen here, writes Jonah Blank.

    Nov 20, 2012

  • President Barack Obama greets Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of Thailand during the ASEAN Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Nov. 18, 2011.

    Commentary

    Obama Trip Could Be Bellwether for U.S.-Asia Relations

    Specific areas of focus for President Obama's visit are likely to include expanding trade and investment opportunities for U.S. businesses in Southeast Asia, increasing defense cooperation with Thailand, and offers of disaster recovery assistance to Burma in the wake of its recent earthquake, writes Scott Harold.

    Nov 15, 2012

  • Report

    Report

    Historical Lessons for Creating Local Defense Forces for Afghanistan and Beyond

    Lessons learned from past cases of local defense forces used in the context of counterinsurgency—in Indochina, Algeria, South Vietnam, Oman, El Salvador, Southern Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq—can be applied to the current development of the Afghan Local Police.

    Sep 18, 2012

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    Understanding and Engaging the Muslims of the Southern Philippines

    Explores and compares how members of the US military, Philippine military and police, and populace of Mindanao understand Islamic beliefs and values.

    Aug 10, 2012