Posts By John J. Brandon

In The News

Sunnylands Summit Needs More Than Symbolism

February 10, 2016

When President Obama meets with the 10 Southeast Asian leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) next week in California, it will be an opportunity to expand and deepen U.S.-ASEAN relations. At the third ASEAN-U.S. Summit held in Kuala Lumpur last November, the U.S. and ASEAN elevated their relationship to a “strategic partnership.”

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In The News

Predictions for Southeast Asia: A Look Back and Ahead

January 6, 2016

Southeast Asia faced a number of big challenges in 2015 – ASEAN economic integration, resolving maritime security disputes, ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Myanmar’s historic elections, and the precarious state of Thailand’s democratic development.

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In The News

A Code of Conduct for Maritime Security

November 11, 2015

From November 14-22, President Obama will embark on a three-stop overseas trip, beginning in Turkey to attend the G20, followed by a stop in Manila for the APEC summit, and ending in Malaysia where he will meet with Asian leaders for the 10th East Asian Summit (EAS) and U.S.-ASEAN Summit.

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Comment

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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