Posts By John J. Brandon

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American Foreign Policy and American Education

May 13, 2015

Two reports with ungainly titles and ostensibly nothing to do with each other were released by U.S. federal agencies last month. Together, these two reports should provoke a moment of reflection by anyone interested in the future of U.S. foreign policy.

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Comment

Thailand and Taxes

April 15, 2015

Today is tax day in the United States, a date many Americans dread whether they owe Uncle Sam or think they have paid too much already. April 15th always reminds me of the first time I had to pay income tax in Thailand. It was 1979, and I was employed by the Thai government teaching English in Bangkok.

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History

George Dupont, the Only Thai in the U.S. Civil War

April 8, 2015

Editor’s note: The 182-year history of U.S.-Thai diplomacy is the oldest uninterrupted bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Asia. It’s a history with many colorful chapters. In 1861, Rama IV, known in English as King Mongkut of Siam, offered to send elephants to U.S. President James Buchannan as transportation and beasts of burden. By the time the letter arrived, Abraham Lincoln was president.

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In The News

Southeast Asia in 2015: Maritime Security, Myanmar Elections, TPP Top Agenda

January 7, 2015

Southeast Asia enters 2015 facing a number of critical challenges that will have a bearing on its future: Can economic integration be achieved among all 10 members of ASEAN? How might maritime security disputes unite or splinter ASEAN? Will democracy in Myanmar continue to develop apace? Will democratic development in Thailand be further weakened? Also looming large is the question of whether the U.S. can ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a key economic ingredient in the country’s rebalancing strategy toward Asia. Below are some of my predictions on these issues.

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In The News

Global Summits Shine Spotlight on Obama’s Pivot to Asia

October 22, 2014

Less than one week after midterm elections in the United States, President Obama will travel to Asia to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum from November 10-11 in Beijing, and the East Asia Summit from November 13-14 in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

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In The News

Thailand in 2014: Reform or Repression?

May 28, 2014

After declaring martial law for just a couple of days, Thailand’s military decided to launch a full-blown military “takeover” which most people in the rest of the world called a coup. The junta is now called the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC).

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In The News

Martial Law in Thailand Eases Some Tension, But Long-Term Solution Still Uncertain

May 21, 2014

In the early hours of May 20 in Bangkok, Thailand’s Army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha declared martial law nationwide in order to restore order after seven months of street protests that have left the country without a proper functioning government. General Prayuth said martial law would remain in place…

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In The News

Fissures in Thailand: Both Natural and Man-Made

May 14, 2014

May 5 was the start of a very tumultuous week in Thailand on many fronts. But it initially did not start that way. May 5 is Coronation Day in Thailand, a national holiday, which this year commemorated the 64th anniversary of King Bhumipol Adulyadev’s ascension to the throne.

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In The News

Obama’s Asia Trip to Test Rebalancing Policy

April 23, 2014

This week President Obama travels to four Asian countries – Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Malaysia. In many respects, the president’s visit is to make up for his absence last October in Brunei and Indonesia to attend the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders meeting because of the U.S. government shutdown.

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In The News

Economic Growth in ASEAN Drives Demand for Low-Cost Air Carriers

February 26, 2014

In mid-February, Singapore hosted Asia’s largest aerospace exhibition. Organizers of the week-long Singapore Air Show were hoping that $25 billion in deals would be signed, but by week’s end, expenditures had already surpassed that, reaching $32 billion in deals inked to help meet the demand for inexpensive, short-range travel. In 2010, sales amounted to what now seems a paltry $10 billion.

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