CSIS – Southeast Asia Sit-Rep – May 5, 2016

CSIS Southeast Asia SIT-REP

This issue includes an analysis on overlooked areas in the Maritime Security Initiative in the Philippines, a review of Australia’s decision to award its submarines contract to France, a look into water security as an emerging flash point in China-Vietnam relations, and much more. Links will take you to the full publications, multimedia, or to registration for upcoming programs when available. To jump to a section, select one of the following:


Deep insight into developments that move the dial

The Overlooked Gap in the Southeast Asia Maritime Security Initiative,” by Conor Cronin (@ConorCroninDC )
Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s trip to the Philippines on April 13-15 was an affirmation of U.S. support for its treaty ally amid the simmering South China Sea maritime disputes. The timing of his visit—at the end of the annual Balikatan U.S.-Philippine joint exercises and just weeks before an expected decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration… Read more >>

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The CSIS Asia blog features insights on policy around the Asia Pacific

Australia’s Submarine Decision Based on Capability & Domestic Considerations,” by Helen Clark
Australia has just awarded a $38 billion contract to France to build its new fleet of 12 diesel-electric submarines, which will double the current sub fleet. The Competitive Evaluation Process (CEP) saw firms from France, Germany, and Japan seek to win the contract over a fifteen month period. While matching specifications for the subs capabilities was essential, domestic considerations played a crucial role in determining the winner… Read more >>

By The Numbers: Drought on the Mekong River
Southeast Asia is experiencing its worst drought in decades, with Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand suffering the brunt of it. The drought began in late 2015 and is expected to continue through June 2016. Effects of the drought have been exacerbated by a severe El Niño episode, but environmental experts believe increased building of hydroelectric dams on the Mekong River has placed additional pressure on the river and the people who depend on it… Read more >>

The Mekong: An Emerging Security Frontier in China-Vietnam Relations,” by Huong Le Thu
China is giving Vietnam another reason to be anxious about water security. While in recent months Hanoi concentrated on a transition of its political elites, in southern Vietnam the Mekong delta has struggled with a serious drought. The level of the river is the lowest it’s been in 90 years. This year’s El Nino exacerbated the negative effects of the hydropower dams along the river, causing large-scale damage to agriculture and fisheries… Read more >>

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The Leaderboard

Two-minute read on the real people that are making news

Muhammad Ibrahim, Central bank governor of Malaysia
Muhammad’s appointment to the post just three days before Zeti steps down is an indicator of underlying differences within the government. A March 11 Wall Street Journal report named Najib ally and current Finance Ministry chief secretary Mohd Irwan Serigar as the presumptive nominee, sparking widespread concern that the prime minister would use his influence to shut down Bank Negara’s probe… Read more >>

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Recent Programs

Religious Extremism: Perspectives from Indonesia
The CSIS Southeast Asia Program hosts a discussion with Imam Shamsi Ali, director of Jamaica Muslim Center in Jamaica, New York; Fauziah Fauzan, director of the Diniyyah Putri boarding school in West Sumatra Province, Indonesia; and Shaarik H. Zafar, the State Department’s Special Representative to Muslim Communities, on countering religious extremism and lessons that can be learned from the experience of Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation. Watch >>

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For more on the Southeast Asia Program, check out our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, visit our blog CogitAsia, and listen to our podcast at CogitAsia and iTunes. Thank you for your interest in U.S. policy in Southeast Asia and CSIS Southeast Asia. Join the conversation!

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