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PacNet #53 – Burma/Myanmar: The Triangulation of Strategic Interests

A decade ago, in February 2001, Georgetown University sponsored in Washington a conference “Burma/Myanmar: Nexus on the Bay of Bengal.” It was designed to encourage the new Bush administration to consider the strategic importance of that country as an element of US foreign policy. Although well attended by some 150 influential people, it did not accomplish its goal of drawing policy attention to the importance of the pivotal location of that sad country. US policy continued, and still continues, to be focused primarily on democracy and human rights, important but not normally the sole elements of foreign policy. Myanmar is now the focus of three strategic thrusts that will profoundly affect the region and the Burmese people.