US spending spree for SE Asia
The Pentagon has begun implementing a new capacity-building program for states around the South China Sea.
US Kicks Off New Maritime Security Initiative for Southeast Asia
The United States has started implementing the Pentagon’s new maritime capacity-building initiative for Southeast Asian states near the South China Sea, initially announced last June following congressional approval, U.S. officials have confirmed.
After a customary a two-week congressional notification period, U.S. officials have released the first year of funds for the five-year, $425 million dollar Southeast Asia Maritime Security Initiative (MSI), which involves five main ASEAN states – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – along with Singapore, Brunei and Taiwan, and aims to improve the ability of these countries to address a range of maritime challenges, including China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea (See: “America’s New Maritime Security Initiative for Southeast Asia”).
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