Skip to Content
Manchester Metropolitan University Library
The U.S. Army in Southeast Asia: near-term and long-term roles

The U.S. Army in Southeast Asia: near-term and long-term roles

Chalk, Peter

This RAND report explores the role and force posture of the U.S. Army in Southeast Asia, both now and out to 2020. The author argues that, under the current, largely benign conditions, the military will focus mainly on supporting defense reform and modernization, facilitating disaster relief response operations, providing assistance to address nonconventional transnational threats, and helping to balance China's increased influence into the region. If the security outlook in Southeast Asia remains favorable, these mission areas will not fundamentally change over the near term. However, should the general outlook deteriorate, perhaps as a result of a severe economic slowdown, the geopolitical environment will become far less certain and more prone to crisis. Governments that have derived legitimacy from rapid development would suffer from a loss of grassroots support. State-to-state rivalries would become more acute, especially with regard to the South China Sea disputes. And natural catastrophes would take on greater security relevance because of tighter fiscal constraints for underwriting disaster preparedness and response. To meet these challenges, the United States will need to adopt an agile strategy that is thin in physical presence but broad in programmatic execution. Specifically, there are four areas in which the Army should concentrate its efforts: (1) enhancing the defense capacities of partner nations to meet both conventional and nonconventional dangers; (2) concluding new base agreements for hosting small, mission-oriented expeditionary forces; (3) expanding support for regional humanitarian assistance activities; and (4) initiating appropriate responses to counter a more outwardly adventurist China

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published Santa Monica, California : RAND 2013

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: Peter Chalk
ISBN: 0833084259, 0833084275, 9780833084255, 9780833084279
Note: Online resource; title from PDF title page (ebrary, viewed January 21, 2014).
Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (40 pages).
Series: Rand Corporation research report series ; RR-401-A
Subject: Armed Forces.; TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING Military Science.; Security, International Southeast Asia.; United States Armed Forces Southeast Asia.; United States. Army Planning.; Armed Forces Planning.; HISTORY Military Other.; United States. Army.; United States.; Security, International.; Military relations.; Southeast Asia.; HISTORY Asia Southeast Asia.; United States Military relations Southeast Asia.
Alternative Title: At the head of the title: RAND Arroyo Center
Series Title: Research report (Rand Corporation) ; RR-401-A.
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Introduction
  2. The current strategic outlook in Southeast Asia
  3. The role of the U.S. Army in Southeast Asia : near term. Defense reform and restructuring
  4. Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief
  5. Addressing transnational challenges
  6. Balancing China's increased influence into the region
  7. The role of the U.S. Army in Southeast Asia to 2020. Increase the tempo of regional security cooperation
  8. Conclude new basing agreements
  9. Expand humanitarian assistance and disaster relief initiatives
  10. Counter a more adventurist China
  11. Conclusions.