Realism is back, with a vengeance (as if it ever left).
The Philippines, which spend 500 years in a Catholic convent and 50 years in Hollywood, later became a US treaty ally during the Cold War. It then booted the US out in 1991. Like the rest of ASEAN, it cosied up to China but Beijing's Nine Dashes in the South China Sea dashed any of Manila's hopes of chicken adobo/chopstick diplomacy.
Thailand, meanwhile, another Cold War US treaty ally, never colonised and acknowledged as a bellwether, is once again living up to its famed penchant for bend-with-the-wind diplomacy:
So, is the US losing its pivotal role in Asia? Read my lips, Uncle Sam says: P-I-V-O-T...
In this dizzying spirit of the time, the US wants India to put on dancing shoes and to be its "best partner". Bollywood here I come!...
Even Singapore, a US "strategic partner", has joined in the India Fever (New Delhi has since long been forgiven for refusing -- together with other "friends" like Egypt -- to help Singapore build up from scratch its armed forces post-1965; Singapore then turned to Israel):
But today's (Feb 10) best read is this ST commentary by Bilahari Kausikan:
Drawing from his previous vantage point, he gives readers this sober reminder about Realism in international politics: