US–Burma Relations: Change of Politics under the Bush and Obama Administrations

Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen is Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies at the Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University.
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • March 2013

    The article analyses US–Burma relations under two different US administrations. Since the failed 1988 democracy uprising in Burma, the United States of America and the Union of Burma have had a strained relationship. This resulted in the US government's downgrading of its representative from ambassador to chargé d'affaires. The Republican administration of President George W. Bush pursued an isolationist policy by imposing sanctions on Burma from 2001 to 2009. When President Barack H. Obama took office in 2009, his Democratic administration embarked on a dual-track policy, engaging the Burmese leaders in a senior-level dialogue while continuing with sanctions. Although both the Republican and Democratic administrations pursued sanctions, the dual-track policy of the Obama administration was better received by the Burmese government. Democratic reforms within Burma played an important role in improving the bilateral relations under the Obama administration.