ASEAN and Thailand's regional security cooperation
Callahan, Mary P.
Olsen, Edward A.
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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established in 1967 by the integration of the Southeast Asian non communist states. Common security concerns in the region made the cooperation possible among them in the first place. Established mainly because of security reasons, ASEAN at present has only loose regional security cooperation. On the other hand, it provides close regional economic cooperation. Distrust among ASEAN members caused by regional conflicts in the past and diversity of the countries is the reason that ASEAN still avoids anything but loose security cooperation. The closer regional cooperation provides direct improvement to Thailand's economic national security, but creates only indirect improvement on political component. Therefore, Thailand cannot rely on ASEAN for its security but has to protect itself even if that means doing something against the interests of its ASEAN partners. However, AETA provides the first chance for ASEAN members to cooperate in a long term institutionalized manner. This may help to alleviate distrust and lead to greater trust among them. Greater trust may in turn lead to closer cooperation in the security sphere in the future
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