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U.S. Policy at Asia’s Strategic Crossroads

After the 2015 Elections in Burma

Task Force 2016

US Policy at Asia's Strategic Crossroads


Priscilla A. Clapp

Chief of Mission & Permanent Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy Burma (ret.)

Faculty Adviser

Mary Callahan

Mary Callahan

Associate Professor

Task Force

  • Heather Ellis
  • Jason Flick
  • Cherryl Isberto
  • Devi Johnson
  • Natasha Karmali
  • Jernej Markovc
  • Camille Sasson
  • Tharin Sethi
  • Victor Shen
  • Nicole Shermer

In an effort to rebalance U.S. influence in the Asia Pacific region, the Obama Administration has shifted its policy toward an “action-for-action” approach. Recent political changes in Burma have prompted a reexamination of U.S.-Burma policy and resulted in greater engagement with the newly elected government and its people. This task force proposes pragmatic diplomatic and assistance tools in support of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and members of Burmese civil society.


Current challenges facing the NLD and areas for U.S. Cooperation:

  • High expectations on the NLD to fulfill the needs and demands of the Burmese population.
  • Ensuring security through the peace process including the promotion of ethnic unity and protection of human rights.
  • Reintegration of the Burmese economy into U.S. and international commerce.
  • The lifting of sanctions and increased international support in response to progressive reforms.


  • Encourage the NLD to promote inclusivity by increasing representation in negotiations of nationwide ceasefire agreements while providing assistance to appointed officials promoting the peace process.
  • Establish military-to-military engagement under the condition of military compliance with international standards of codes of conduct.
  • Incentivize investments in Burma by matching positive reforms with lifting of sanctions on businesses, banks, and trade.



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