US - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Apr 2010 to Jul 2010

: US Ambassador to Indonesia Cameron Hume dedicates $56 million in coastal and shipboard radars, helping Indonesia to create one of the world’s largest integrated maritime surveillance systems.

: US Senate Foreign Relations Committee votes to extend sanctions on Burma for one more year because of the junta’s civil rights abuses.  The sanctions have been extended annually since the 2003 Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act came into force.

: Benigno Aquino III is sworn in as the president of the Philippines.

: Scot Marciel, currently deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia and US ambassador to ASEAN, is nominated to be ambassador to Indonesia.

: The State Department releases its “Human Trafficking Report 2010” which criticizes several ASEAN countries for labor trafficking and prostitution.

: After a third reporter is murdered in the Philippines over the weekend, the State Department urges the Philippine government to move quickly to prosecute the perpetrators.

: US Ambassador to Indonesia Cameron Hume speaks at a seminar sponsored by the Islamic Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) on “The US View of Islam,” an effort to broaden the PKS appeal as a moderate Muslim party.

: The eighth annual Southeast Asia Cooperation against Terrorism (SEACAT) maritime security exercise begins in Singapore with the US and six Southeast Asian navies tracking simulated vessels of interest.

: Singapore objects to its inclusion in the annual State Department Watch List on Human Trafficking and counters that the US should examine its own record on immigration.

: The US and Indonesia sign a defense framework agreement in Jakarta covering training, procurement, and maritime security.  However, the US ban on Indonesia’s Special Forces (Kopassus) remains in place.

: Over 100 US soldiers and airmen join Indonesian forces for the exercise Garuda Shield 10 in Bandung on peace support and stability training.

: Sen. Benigno Aquino III is officially proclaimed the winner of the Philippines’ presidential election during a joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

: The US-Vietnam Political, Security, and Defense Dialogue is held in Hanoi, focusing on peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime search and rescue, and nonproliferation.

: Cambodia participates in its first CARAT exercise with the USS Tortuga that includes shipboard training and jungle operations for US and Cambodian naval personnel.

: Because of the continuing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, President Obama postpones his trip to Indonesia for the second time.

: US Defense Secretary Robert Gates meets Indonesian Defense Minister Pumomo Yusgiantoro on the sidelines of the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.  They discuss removing the US ban on training for Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus).

: Malaysia announces that the US has upgraded Kuala Lumpur’s participation from observer to participant in the annual multinational Thai-US exercise, Cobra Gold.

: The US hospital ship Mercy visits Vietnam providing medical services as part of the Pacific partnership humanitarian aid program.

: The US and Indonesian Navies engage in joint exercises in and around Surabaya, East Java.

: The US Embassy in Bangkok reopens for “limited operations” after violence in the vicinity of the Embassy ends.

: The US Senate unanimously passes a resolution drawn up by Sen. Jim Webb affirming support for the US-Thai alliance and calling for an end to violence.

: The Indonesian-US Security Dialogue focuses on the roles of militaries in disaster relief, peacekeeping, counterterrorism, and bilateral military relations.

: Malaysian Minister of Defense Ahmad Zahid Hamide visits Washington for talks with the Pentagon, National Security Council, State Department, and leading think tanks.

: US Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero visits Indonesia to engage government officials in an array of human security issues.

: The US Embassy in Bangkok warns US citizens against travel to Thailand because of the violence generated by the confrontation between the government and populist opponents.  The Embassy also authorizes non-essential government workers and their families to leave the country.

: President Obama informs Congress that the administration plans to renew sanctions against Burma based on the ruling junta’s failure to allow the political opposition a role in upcoming elections.

: The US and Thai Navies engage in the CARAT exercise, encompassing riverine, anti-submarine, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) warfare maneuvers.

: The US Embassy in Bangkok closes to the public as the Thai Army begins to move against Red Shirt enclaves.

: Assistant Secretary Campbell meets detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon.

: The second iteration of Pacific Angel 2010 takes place in Can Tho, Vietnam, with over 50 US military working on humanitarian assistance with Vietnamese counterparts.

: Assistant Secretary Campbell meets with leaders of the opposition United Front for Democracy, Against Dictatorship (UDD) in Bangkok.

: President Obama commends Indonesia’s decision to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at the opening session of the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.

:   Elements of the US Pacific Fleet and the Royal Brunei Navy engage in the 16th series of CARAT exercises off the Brunei coast with both sea-based maneuvers and symposia.

: Southeast Asian economic ministers visit the US for a nationwide business tour sponsored by the US-ASEAN Business Council. Burma is excluded from the group because of its violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1874 on arms trade with North Korea.

: The US hospital ship Mercy sails from San Diego for the fifth annual US Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance endeavor with visits planned for Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Timor-Leste.

: The US State Department issues a travel alert for Thailand urging US citizens to avoid non-essential travel to the country.

: The second ASEAN-US Joint Cooperation Committee meets at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

: The new US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, Jr. presents his credentials to President Arroyo.  He emphasizes the Peace Corps presence in the country with 130 volunteers working in 40 provinces.

: US Ambassador to ASEAN Scot Marciel visits Indonesia for the Joint US-ASEAN Consultative Committee focusing on capacity building in the ASEAN Secretariat.

: The US Commission on International Religious Freedom releases its Congressionally-mandated annual report that designates Burma and Vietnam as countries of particular concern.  The report also criticizes the White House for not effectively pursuing a religious freedom agenda or naming a State Department officer in that role.

:   Indonesia attends the US Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC, part of President Obama’s pledge to broaden ties with the Islamic world.

: Presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III says he will review the Philippine’s security treaty with the US to insure that there is no permanent US presence in Mindanao.

: State Department spokesman Philip Crowley expresses Washington’s alarm at the protracted conflict between supporters and opponents of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra that had led to bloodshed and calls on both sides to negotiate a settlement.

: Welcoming Cambodia’s inauguration of a new counterterrorism center, a US spokesman states that Cambodia’s porous borders are a concern not only because of terrorist movements but also transnational crimes such as narcotics trafficking.

:  Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits the US to attend the NNS and urges Washington to pay more attention to his country and to ASEAN.

: ASEAN leaders attending the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Washington include Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak visits the US to attend the NNS and meet President Obama.  US-ASEAN ties are stressed as well as a “strategic partnership” between the two countries.

: ASEAN leaders, meeting in Hanoi, invite President Barack Obama to attend a second 2010 ASEAN Summit in Hanoi to be scheduled later in the year.

: Red Shirt pro-Thaksin opposition in Thailand sends a letter through the US Embassy in Bangkok thanking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her expression of concern about the political situation in Thailand.

Date Range