New Power Dynamics in Southeast Asia: Changing Security Cooperation and Competition
Fair or not, the longstanding perception that Southeast Asia remains on the back burner of the United States’ strategic agenda endures. Since the end of the Second World War, with the exception of the Vietnam War, the region has played second fiddle to Northeast Asia. Driven primarily by post-September 11, 2001, concerns—and consistent with its preference for a hub-and-spokes approach—the United States has engaged with Southeast Asian countries according to individual security concerns rather than through multilateral frameworks such as ASEAN, the ARF, or the EAS. While this arrangement has served the practical interests of both sides well and will probably continue in the immediate term, there is at the same time a growing need to reconsider the role of regional institutions as new power dynamics and evolving concepts of security take shape in the region.

This page is part of Rising Powers: The New Global Reality, a project from the Stanley Foundation.