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The U.S. and ASEAN

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The ASEAN economic growth. states are experiencing sustained, substantial Demands for popular political participation are increasing and have led to greater pluralism throughout the region. With the negotiated settlement in Cambodia, the region faces no immediate threat to its security. The U.S. can claim a great deal of responsibility for these developments. U.S. forward military presence and our system of alliances helped contain both tensions and military budgets over the last half century. U.S. support for an open world trading system made the regions export-led growth a possibility. Ironically, our influence in the region has lessened somewhat in post-Cold War years. Our reduced military posture and the ambiguity of our position with respect to potential conflict areas like the Spratlys temper our political clout. Our large trade deficits have made us something of a supplicant on economic issues. The Clinton Administration is attempting to move the region toward acceptance of more liberal economic policies by pressing for the development of the Asia Pacific Economic Forum APEC as a multilateral vehicle for liberalization. It has reaffirmed our commitment to maintain forward presence and respect our alliances, and has accepted participation in ASEANs new Regional Forum. At the same time, it is pursuing agressive bilateral approaches on trade issues and to force progress on human rights and democratization. The basic thrust of these policies is consistent with the general approach which has brought such success around the world in the American Century U.S. security guarantees, multilateralism, and support for open economics and democratic values. Yet we must be careful to apply this approach in a way which reflects the growing relative power of the ASEAN states, and their own limited willingness and ability to pursue cooperative solutions.

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  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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