Superpower Cooperation in Southeast Asia

  • Sheldon W. Simon


Overt superpower cooperation has been rare in post-World War II Southeast Asia. Although the global code of conduct for United States-Soviet relations has applied to this region, it has been employed more to limit potential conflict than to promote jointly agreed goals. Both Washington and Moscow have consistently advanced nuclear non-proliferation goals in Southeast Asia. They have also ensured that there has been little opportunity for direct military confrontation between themselves. This latter objective is facilitated by Southeast Asia’s maritime environment in which US naval prowess dominates over essentially land-based Soviet military power.


Daily Report ASEAN State Khmer Rouge Successor Regime ASEAN Member 
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  1. 1.
    For an elaboration of US security interests in Southeast Asia, see Sheldon W. Simon, ‘Explaining US Security Interests in Southeast Asia’, in T. B. Millar (ed.), Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific (St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Soviet security interests in Southeast Asia are discussed by Sheldon W. Simon, ‘The Soviet Union and Southeast Asia: The Vietnam Connection’, in Edward Kolodziej and Roger Kanet (eds), The Limits of Soviet Power in the Developing World (London: Macmillan, 1989), pp. 149–70.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    For an Asia-wide discussion of the US maritime strategy, see Sheldon W. Simon, ‘Pacific Rim Reactions to US Military Strategy’, in Young Whan Kihl and Lawrence E. Grinter, (eds), Security, Strategy, and Policy Responses in the Pacific Rim (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1989), pp. 81–101.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    These are elaborated in Stephen M. Meyer, ‘The Source and Prospects of Gorbachev’s New Political Thinking on Security’, International Security, vol. 13, no. 2 (Fall 1988), pp. 134 ff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Robert A. Manning, ‘Moscow’s Pacific Future’, World Policy Journal, vol. 5, no. 1 (Winter 1987–88).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hiroshi Kimura, ‘Gorbachev’s Agenda For Asia’, The Pacific Review, vol. 1, no. 3 (1988), p. 220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    These developments are traced in Chang Pao-min, ‘Kampuchean Conflict: The Diplomatic Breakthrough’, The Pacific Review, vol. 1, no. 4 (1988), pp. 430–1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 12.
    Robyn Lim, ‘Implications for Southeast Asia’, in Ramesh Thakur and Carlyle Thayer (eds), The Soviet Union as an Asian Pacific Power (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987), p. 82.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    Bilveer Singh, ‘Gorbachev and a “Pacific Community”’, The Pacific Review, vol. 1, no. 3 (1988), p. 231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 14.
    These are detailed in Sheldon W. Simon, The ASEAN States and Regional Security (Stanford: The Hoover Institution Press, 1982).Google Scholar
  11. 21.
    A good discussion of this strategy is found in Elizabeth Wishnick, ‘Soviet Asian Collective Security Policy From Brezhnev to Gorbachev’, Journal of Northeast Asian Studies, vol. 7, no. 3 (Fall 1988), especially pp. 3Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Roger E. Kanet and Edward A. Kolodziej 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheldon W. Simon

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