Andrew Selth

Briefing paper

The armed forces and the democratic transition in Myanmar

For decades, the armed forces have been the most powerful political institution in Myanmar. In 2008, this position was enshrined in a new constitution. Since 2011, the generals have been aiming for a controlled withdrawal from government, while retaining the Tatmadaw’s institutional independence and a...

Burma: pawn, pivot, pariah… and now partner

Over the past 25 years, Burma has been variously described as a pawn of China, an important strategic pivot in the region, and a pariah state allied with North Korea. These perceptions prompted different approaches from the international community, ranging from the hard line taken...

‘The Compleat Analyst’: contemplating strategic intelligence in an age of international terrorism

Drawing an analogy between the specialist skills needed in fishing to that of strategic intelligence analysis, this paper revisits the selection criteria for analysts who focus on terrorism. As the global terrorist environment has changed significantly in the post-2001 era, additional analytical capabilities need to...

The United States and Burma: troubled past, uncertain future

For 20 years, the US pursued a policy towards Burma that was bound to fail. The Obama Administration cannot take credit for the reform programme launched by President Thein Sein in 2011, but its more nuanced approach placed the US in a position where it...

Burma and North Korea: Smoke or fire

This paper examines the strategic challenges posed by Burma's increasing cooperation with North Korea, including recent claims of a secret nuclear weapons program.