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The Potential of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) as a Viable Defense Alliance.

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Student essay,

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Are members of ASEAN are capable of forging an effective military alliance in order to successfully protect individual and regional security interests Data was gathered from a literature search and in depth conversations with regional experts. The current balance of power in Southeast Asia is tenuous and recent Vietnamese activities in Kampuchea and the remainder of Indochina have been a matter of grave concern for the members of ASEAN. The ASEAN nations founded their organization on the basis of economic and social cooperation, and later hoped that a Zone of Peace, Freedom, and Neutrality would prevail in the region. With the pullout of the United States from South Vietnam and South Vietnams ultimate collapse in 1975, the threat of communism against the noncommunist aligned nations appeared imminent. ASEAN has developed into a strong political voice in the region and is trying to resolve the Kampuchea issue and take the pressure off Thailand. The ASEAN nations have quickly come to realize that with Soviet backing and a large well equipped army Vietnam may eventually have to be dealt with militarily. Although the ASEAN nations have made great strides in regional cooperation, resolving internal problems, and becoming a world trade factor, they do not possess the strong economic base and stability to join together in a strong military alliance that could modernize and project its power over the vast distances in the region. ASEANSs most viable option is to continue to grow stronger economically, use the security umbrella of the US presence in Asia, are to modernize their forces.

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  • Government and Political Science

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