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Asia and Pacific

The Case for a US-Vietnam Alliance

Whilst both Vietnam and the US suffered a massive trauma as a result of the conflict between the two countries, the status the war occupies today in these nations is more as a set of personal tragedies, rather than a cultural and institutional monolith that defines the relationship between them. If handled correctly, enhanced collaboration could offer the prospect of massive and almost cost-free foreign policy benefits for both countries.

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United Wa State Army: Trouble in South Asia

It is disturbing to hear of news that the United Wa State Army, an ethnic militia and former separatist group operating in Myanmar, may have acquired some fairly sophisticated ballistic missile technology, like those used to shoot down flight MH-17. According to Burmese intelligence officials late last year, there was evidence of the UWSA constructing a “radar and missile base” in the region around Tanyang, in the Shan state, supported by a Chinese company. It is not clear what kind of missiles the base is meant to be housing, though they have been described as “long-distance”, a conclusion which is supported by the kind of infrastructure being constructed.

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Violence Against Women: A Response to Narendra Modi’s Independence Day Speech

Delhi, 15th August 2014, Narendra Modi addressed the nation in his first Independence Day speech as Indian Prime Minister. The ramparts of the iconic Red Fort provided a familiar setting. However, the content of Mr Modi’s speech broke from tradition. Notable was his impassioned plea for a shift in attitude on the issue of violence against women – an issue that, by his reckoning, still brings shame to India

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Opportunity and Risk in Japan’s military normalisation

Last week, the Japanese cabinet undertook a significant shift in their country’s defence policy, by agreeing to reinterpret the constitutional limits on the use of force in a less strict manner. The new understanding of the restrictions of Article 9 now allow for Japanese “collective self-defense” as well as military intervention to protect its treaty allies.

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