The Present and the Future of U.S. Policy in Burma/Myanmar

In advance of Myanmar’s November 2010 elections, the Asia Society Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward Burma/Myanmar published an update on key developments that occurred since the Task Force's initial report, which was released in March 2010.

This update predicted that the November 2010 elections would be neither inclusive nor fair, noting that Myanmar’s military leaders willfully ignored calls from the international community to allow the full participation of opposition leaders and ethnic minorities in the elections. The report also noted that the U.S. government’s new approach toward Myanmar had not yielded any significant improvements in conditions inside Myanmar.

Recognizing these conditions, the Task Force recommended that the U.S. should remain vigilant with regard to the post-election government’s attitudes toward key issues such as democratization, national reconciliation, and human rights. It also recommended that the U.S. maintain and even increase efforts to pursue an engagement process aimed at helping Myanmar’s future leaders to better understand the U.S.’s priorities for its Myanmar relationship.

The report concludes by reinforcing the recommendations made in the Task Force’s prior report, which called for the U.S. to shape its policies toward Myanmar as the country’s leadership produce indications and actual evidence that reforms are taking place.