U.S. national security strategy in Southeast Asia: a reappraisal
Freeseman, Douglas D.
Buss, Claude A.
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The United States found itself at the end of the Cold War with a predominately military national security strategy that has been less relevant in coping with the residue of the bi-polar world. Furthermore, the general diffusion of power in the international system from military capability towards economic might highlights the need for a general reappraisal of U.S. interests, objectives, and strategy. This thesis begins with a definition of global U.S. national interests and then defines the specific objectives of the national strategy as applied to the Asia-Pacific region and Southeast Asia. In following chapters, it analyzes the security environment of Southeast Asia, the enduring and developing conflicts within the region and with external powers, as well as mechanisms for conflict resolution. Finally, it asks whether official U.S. strategy adequately promotes and protects the national interests of the United States. It concludes that the current U.S. national security strategy of 'engagement and enlargement' is flawed and must not confuse the national interests, such as the survival of the United States and its prosperity, or put international relationships at risk for the sake of national values, such as the promotion of democracy and human rights abroad.
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