The United States can do much more to build closer partnerships with Southeast Asian countries, according to Scot Marciel, the Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow at APARC, whose previous long career in the U.S. foreign service focused on Southeast Asia and included the roles of U.S. ambassador to Myanmar and Indonesia. He notes, however, that a deeper, more consistent engagement with Southeast Asian nations requires the United States to adopt a more systematic strategic approach to the region, one that draws on a positive agenda that transcends the U.S.-China great power competition.
Marciel recently joined APARC Visiting Scholar Gita Wirjawan, host of the popular Endgame video podcast, to discuss the geopolitical evolution of the Southeast Asian countries and how their relationships with the United States have been unfolding
Marciel is the author of the forthcoming book Imperfect Partners, which provides his on-the-ground witness account of the ups and downs of critical U.S. relationships in Southeast Asia. In his conversation with Wirjawan, he urges U.S. policymakers to design a positive agenda for engaging Southeast Asian countries in areas like health, climate change, and economic development.
The wide-ranging discussion addresses multiple other issues, including the unlucky history of Myanmar and how the international community can help Myanmar’s resistance prevail; the relevance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); the dynamics between ASEAN and the Quad, the minilateral grouping comprising Australia, India, Japan, and the United States; and more.
This conversation with Marciel is part of an Endgame interview series Wirjawan is recording with Stanford experts during his residency at APARC.