This chapter discusses how Burma was not the only Southeast Asian country subjected to American sanctions. The Eisenhower administration restricted trade with North Vietnam from 1954 to 1994. Cambodia was subjected to similar measures in 1975 when the Khmer Rouge took over. As for Burma, human rights violations accounted in part for these measures. Critics of these sanctions used similar arguments: they were ineffective and harmful for ordinary people—it would be better for the United States to be involved in these countries rather than isolating them. Sanctions were expanded under the George W. Bush administration, but there was increasing frustration that they were not achieving their objective of regime change. A policy review led to the Obama administration changing its course. Instead of regime change, it would work toward regime modification.
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