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Reported Post (Agis)

We should definitely be engaged with Africa, but to ignore all of Southeast Asia just so we can focus on development in Africa is just plain silly. You don't have to make the decision between the two regions to start with, and currently Southeast Asia is growing and there's a strong desire for American presence whether you want to recognize that or not.

While you're right that SEA nations won't "follow the American way" (whatever that means), neither will the countries of Africa or really any ally or partner. The fact is, that shouldn't be the requirement for building relations and finding mutual areas of interest and concern.

also the case in Vietnam pretty much highlights what I'm trying to say. South east Asian countries will fight tooth and nail to ensure an outside power does not become too influential.

Vietnam didn't fight against us because we were becoming "too influential". It's because we were supporting French colonial efforts, then stuck around to prop up a regime against communist North Vietnam. Of course the Vietnamese would resist, and neighboring countries would support them against US imperialism.

But the threat to Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia is not American imperialism. It's Chinese militarization of the SCS and growing influence in Southeast Asian affairs. After the US left Vietnam, after all, you had the Chinese invade Vietnam and fight to a standstill there. That was around the 17th time in history that China invaded Vietnam, and that fact isn't lost on them. Massive anti-Chinese protests happen when news of further Chinese encroachment happens.

And that's pretty much the same for the rest of the countries of Southeast Asia. They certainly don't want to be dominated by any great power, but the most direct threat is always going to be from China, which is geographically close and will want to become the hegemonic power of Asia, to the detriment of our allies and our interests there.

Mostly because if China gets too powerful those nations will find a way to resist which imo would help us far more in the long run.

That way to resist is finding other options, and balancing competing powers like the US and China. That will ultimately serve them better and create a better strategic dynamic between America and China.

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