pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

A Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Competition, Coordination, and Cooperation in the Region’s Economy (Pusan, Sejong, Seoul)Oct. 24-25: 4th Myanmar-US Retired Military-to-Military Dialogue


– 10/23/2019




Yangon, Myanmar

Welcome/Introductory Remarks

Gen Hla Htay Win, Army (Ret.)

Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, LTG, USA (Ret.)

Moderator: Col Ralph Cossa, USAF (Ret.)

Session 1: Perspectives on Political Dynamics

This session will focus on recent political developments influencing US-Myanmar relations. The US presentation will address key factors shaping current policies toward Myanmar and the broader region as contained in the US Indo-Pacific Strategy Report. The Myanmar presentation will address the status of the Myanmar peace process, broader foreign policy considerations, and current perceptions of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy and Myanmar-US relations in general. Specific focus should be given to the impact on the military-to-military relationship.

US Presenter: LTG Karl Eikenberry, USA (Ret.)

Myanmar Presenter: LTC Ko Ko Hlaing, Army (Ret.)

Moderator: RADM Bob Girrier, USN (Ret.)

Session 2: Security Challenges in Southeast Asia

This session will offer perspectives on the security challenges in Southeast Asia. Each side will outline the nature and sources of the major security challenges in the region from their respective national perspectives, the preferred response to these challenges, and the prospect for enhanced bilateral or multilateral security cooperation in the region as part of the response process, including the role of both regional (ASEAN and ADDM) and extra-regional (ARF, EAS, ADMM+) organizations.

US Presenter: Col Bill Wise, USAF (Ret.)

Myanmar Presenter: ADM Thura Thet Swe, Navy (Ret.)

Moderator: LTC Ko Ko Hlaing, Army (Ret.)

Session 3: Managing the DPRK Challenge

This session will examine the challenges posed by Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions and each country’s relationship with the DPRK. The US presentation will provide an update on the status of denuclearization talks and the importance of continuing the “maximum pressure” campaign.

Myanmar side will ask questions and respond to questions from US members about the nature of past and current Myanmar-DPRK relationship and Yangon’s role in the enforcement of UNSC Resolutions.

Moderator/US Presenter: Col Ralph Cossa, USAF (Ret.)

Session 4: Examining the Rakhine Incident

During this session, Myanmar presenters will share information and provide insights regarding the current situation in Rakhine State. The US side will ask questions and respond to questions from Myanmar participants about the US reaction to Rakhine developments.

Moderators/Myanmar Presenters: Col Maung Maung Nyein, Army (Ret.)

                                                       LTC Ko Ko Hlaing, Army (Ret.)

Session 5: Civil-Military Relations

This session will offer perspectives on civil-military relations. Presentations will focus on the role of the military and attitudes toward the military in the respective societies. The US presentation will specifically address the role of the National Guard and Reserves in responding to civil emergencies in support of homeland security. The Myanmar presentation will explain the role of the Tatmadaw in the Myanmar peace process and the Tatmadaw’s dual function (national defense and politics).

US Presenter: MG Bob Lee, USA (Ret.)

Myanmar Presenter: Col Maung Maung Nyein, Army (Ret.)

Session 6: Building Confidence within US-Myanmar Relations

This session will explore opportunities for improving US-Myanmar relations through increased cooperation in areas such as illicit trafficking, countering terrorism, and countering the proliferation of WMD and the means of delivery, including the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Each presentation will outline opportunities for enhancing cooperation in these areas and expectations regarding these activities by highlighting key metrics for evaluating how this type of cooperation can build confidence and enhance mutual trust.

US Presenter: LTC Miemie Winn Byrd, USA (Ret.), Ed.D.

Myanmar Presenter: Gen Hla Htay Win, Army (Ret.)

Session 7: Enhancing Military-to-Military Relations

This session will reflect on the role of military-to-military cooperation in building bilateral trust between US and Myanmar through bilateral and multilateral military cooperation. Each presentation will offer suggestions for increased military-to-military cooperation over the long term in areas such as peacekeeping, maritime security, military medicine, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief. Presenters will also focus on the challenges to increased cooperation in the near term. Presenters should address the major challenges to improving military-to-military relations, milestones to mark progress, and what both sides can do to reduce suspicions and promote security cooperation.

US Presenter: Col Bill Dickey, USA (Ret.)

Myanmar Presenter: CDRE Aung Thaw, Navy (Ret.)

Concluding Remarks