Posts By John J. Brandon

In The News

Obama’s Asia Pivot on Shaky Ground

October 9, 2013

Asia-Pacific leaders gather in Brunei this week for the 8th East Asia Summit (EAS) and the 23rd ASEAN Summit, on the heels of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali on Monday. While a number of critical issues were set to be discussed, President Obama’s last minute cancellation…

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In The News

Two Nations, One Friendship: But is It Still Special?

March 20, 2013

Today, March 20, marks the 180th anniversary of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, making the U.S. bilateral relationship with Thailand the longest uninterrupted diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and any Asian nation. The Thai-American Chamber of Commerce’s theme for 2013 commemorating 180 years of relations…

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In The News

U.S.-ASEAN Relations Mature, but Pitfalls Abound

January 30, 2013

For Southeast Asia, 2012 brought both challenges and opportunities to the region – from Cambodia’s chairmanship of ASEAN and further political opening in Burma (also known as Myanmar) to tensions in the South China Sea and the adoption of the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights (ADHR).

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In The News

U.S. Administration’s Rebalance Toward Asia, with Emphasis on Southeast Asia

November 14, 2012

Last week, Barack Obama was re-elected to serve a second term as president of the United States. President Obama’s first trip abroad since his re-election will be to Southeast Asia from November 17-20 to attend the East Asia Summit (EAS), the regional grouping of 18 Asian-Pacific nations, including the United States…

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In The News

Obama’s Trip to Burma Makes History

November 14, 2012

On November 19, Barack Obama will visit Burma (also known as Myanmar). History will be made as Mr. Obama will be the first U.S. president to ever visit the country. But he won’t be the first Obama. The president’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, reportedly served in Burma during World War II…

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In The News

Can Civil Society Bridge Gap to Peace in Thailand’s Deep South?

October 31, 2012

More than 5,000 people have been killed and thousands more injured in Thailand’s southernmost provinces since a decades-long separatist Muslim insurgency reignited in January 2004. The predominantly Muslim southern region has a long history…

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In The News

Optimism High, But Challenges Remain for Burma’s Future

September 26, 2012

Given the decades-long political stasis in Burma (also known as Myanmar), the changes introduced under President Thein Sein have been nothing short of remarkable. Over the past 18 months, President Thein Sein has released thousands of political prisoners…

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Notes from the Field

Neil Armstrong, Southeast Asia, and International Literacy Day

September 5, 2012

Like many, I was saddened to learn of Neil Armstrong’s death in August. He was 82. When Mr. Armstrong made his “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” I was a 12-year-old boy growing up in New Jersey.

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In The News

Asia: The World’s Most Water-Stressed Continent

March 21, 2012

Tomorrow is World Water Day. Tragically, by the end of the day, 4,300 children somewhere in the world will have died because of contaminated water and poor sanitation. That’s one child every every 20 seconds. This is an appalling statistic, but still represents a marked improvement from 12 years ago…

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In The News

A Strategic Pivot in U.S.-Southeast Asia Relations in 2012

January 4, 2012

For much of the past two decades, many Southeast Asians have expressed frustration that U.S. policy treated their region with benign neglect or indifference, and that the United States’ attention was episodic rather than consistent. In 2011, the Obama administration announced that the U.S. needed to make “a strategic pivot” in its foreign policy…

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