Burma assessing options for U.S. engagement
Heaney, Dennis S.
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This thesis will provide a background look at Burma's recent history from World War II to present day to examine how the current state of affairs came about in the country. Burma's diverse ethnic groups and the nearly continuous insurgencies since World War II will be analyzed relative to a short period of democracy (following British colonial rule) from 1948 to 1962, to repressive military rule from 1962 to today. This thesis examines how Burma's military juntas have retained internal control in the face of insurgent and pro-democracy movements. Burma's geographic location, between the rising powers of India and China, its abundant natural resources, its drug trade, and the government's human rights abuses, all make the country important to United States' foreign relations in Asia. This thesis will look at the current U.S. policies toward Burma and explore possible Burmese policy options for the U.S. in the future. The thesis will conclude with recommendations for future policy based on the research to determine if the United States can effect change in Burma.
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