Zack Cooper

Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Dr Zack Cooper is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University and Princeton University.

Delegates applaud during the handover ceremony at the G20 Leaders' Summit, in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, 16 November 2022. (Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

The G20 Summit: Who makes the world’s rules?

The Group of 7 are relatively aligned in their perceptions of global challenges, particularly when it comes to strategic competitors such as China and Russia, but the same perceptions do not hold true when it comes to the remaining members of the bigger Group of 20.
US President Joe Biden (facing camera, third from right) meets with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin (fourth from right), and Defence Department leaders to discuss national security priorities, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on 26 October 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

Biden’s National Security Strategy: An Asia-first strategy codified by Europeanists

Washington’s new National Security Strategy has been carefully crafted, but the document hosts a number of inherent tensions. Foremost among them is the fact that putting democracy at the center of a strategy that is increasingly Asia-focused is ill-advised.
Democratic US presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during a drive-in campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, US, 30 October 2020. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

America needs to value Southeast Asia for its own sake, and not just as a tool to fight China

Following years of neglect under the Trump administration, the Biden administration will need to get both its words and actions right to rebuild trust in the US in Southeast Asia. And one of the fundamentals of building a good relationship is to genuinely listen and respond to Southeast Asians about their interests and priorities, rather than just treating them as tools to counter China's influence.