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The United States and Burma in the Cold War, 1948–1965

Kenton Clymer discusses United States foreign policy on stopping communist expansion in Southeast Asia after 1949.

Date & Time

May. 7, 2012
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET


6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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After the Chinese Communists defeated the Nationalists in 1949 (and even more so after the Korean War), United States foreign policy focused on stopping communist expansion into Southeast Asia.  Americans are familiar with this effort in Indochina. But early in the Cold War the United States viewed newly independent Burma as nearly as important as Vietnam. Because Burma shared a long border with China and chose a strictly neutral international stance, the U.S.-Burma relationship was fascinating, delicate, and complex.

Kenton Clymer, a fellow at the Wilson Center, is Distinguished Research Professor of History at Northern Illinois University. His two-volume history of U.S.-Cambodia relations won the Ferrell Prize in 2005 from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. His other books are about John Hay, Protestant missionaries in the Philippines, and American interest in India’s independence. He is currently writing a history of U.S. relations with Burma.

Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room
Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop
Reservations requested because of limited seating: or 202-691-4166




Kenton Clymer

Kenton Clymer

Former Fellow;
Distinguished Research Professor, Department of History, Northern Illinois University
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History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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