The New Class of US Ambassadors in ASEAN

The US Ambassadors to the ASEAN countries rotate every three years or so. For the most part, with the exception of Singapore, they tend to be experienced career foreign service officers. A new class is making its way into the region. They a relatively young group with strong resumes and solid experience.

Lesson Jakarta Could Learn from Bangkok – Strengthen Institutions before Crisis

Now is the right time to invest in strengthening key democratic institutions in Indonesia, and indeed around the region, so that if a test comes in the national elections in 2014 or in other ways that can’t be predicted, they can protect the veracity of Indonesia’s nascent democracy and the rights of its deserving citizens and avoid the bloodshed that Thais have sadly endured.

Singapore's Tightrope Walk on Taiwan

Singapore’s policy toward Taiwan is an example of the tightrope that Southeast Asian countries need to walk in the new era of an increasingly powerful China asserting itself – particularly in relation to its “core interests” including Tibet, Taiwan and (the newest addition to the “core”) the South China Sea.


Vietnam is providing very strong leadership in its role as ASEAN Chair in 2010. Expect that proactive leadership to continue next year as Indonesia, by far the largest country in ASEAN, takes over as Chair.

ASEAN Going for Nuclear Power

By Ernest Z. Bower, Senior Adviser and Director, CSIS Southeast Asia Program Anyone near the corner of 18th & K Streets today would immediately align themselves with remarks attributed to Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew regarding air conditioning’s role as…