A Greater Mekong Health Security Partnership
July 22, 2013
The U.S. strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region reflects a cumulative historic shift in U.S. foreign policy priorities that has evolved steadily over recent decades. Not surprisingly, most discussion of the strategic rebalance has focused on hard power considerations. Beyond hard power, however, the United States has a long history of utilizing the strength of its ideas and ideals, and the generosity and good will of its people—particularly through its humanitarian tools—to advance its global interests and influence. The unanswered questions in regard to the strategic rebalance and these humanitarian tools are: where specifically, to what concrete purpose, and how?
The Greater Mekong Health Security Partnership is a dynamic proposal for a new form of U.S. humanitarian engagement in Asia that can creatively combine civilian and military capacities. With high-level civilian leadership, it is feasible, timely, affordable, and focused. It can be tailored to local and national realities, while at the same time advancing U.S. foreign policy interests as part of the strategic rebalance in the Asia Pacific, and provide the foundation for future enlarged partnerships across Asia.