Optomizing USMC Assistance in the Philippines Malaysia and Indonesia
Borer, Douglas A.
Rice, Ian C.
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Current US strategic guidance has articulated a strategic rebalance to Asia to recognize future power trajectories in the region. It is a fact that burgeoning great powers (China and India) will continue to rise and directly exert their interests regionally. These rising regional interests may clash with those of the United States and its key allies (Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand). This study posits that ongoing military-to-military engagement with the Republic of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia will be instrumental to maintaining US influence in the region. To improve future USMC Security Force Assistance efforts in the region it is critical to examine prior bilateral military assistance activities with these countries (whether by the United States or other countries). This study will focus on the history of security force assistance activities in these countries (e.g. training assistance and the transfer of doctrinal practices) from the colonial periods to the present to identify how these activities influence political behavior in the studied countries. Additionally, systematically examining SFA over time will also aid in identifying best practices and areas for correction. By gaining a better understanding of how SFA activities have affected specific countries of interest, the USMC can better shape regional and country-specific Security Cooperation planning. Additionally, with the national strategic guidance, namely the Strategic Landpower Initiative, pushing for an increase in Security Cooperation activities such as SFA, gaining an understanding of the long-term implications will be important to where and to what extent the United States and its armed forces conduct military-to-military engagement activities.
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