Luge Lessons in Rangoon: Why the Engaging Burmese Military is Key to the Nation's Economic Future
Joint Military Operations Department, Naval War College Newport United States
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The Burmese military is the focal point of the nations economy due to its privileged access and institutionalized structure. Furthermore, its current disposition - sitting astride the access to the most valuable resources for investment as well as the decision-making about whom gets selected - means that the distortion to the Burmese economy will remain in place until the military itself makes the decision do divest itself from the investment business. Because the civilian leadership is relatively weak and cautious, and because recent gains are so fragile, this change must come from within the Burmese military itself. China will remain a significant force within the country with whom any partner dealing with Burma must contend. However, the negative influences of China upon Burmese society, not to mention the near hegemony it enjoys within the military mean that there is all the more reason for the U.S. to seek avenues to engage the Burmese military directly. These tools should include specific training aimed at addressing the main points of contention with U.S. policy human rights, rule of law, civil-military relations and civilian control of the military.
- Government and Political Science
- Economics and Cost Analysis