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18 Dec 12
From: Burma Desk Officer
To: AC/S G5
Via: Chief, Policy and International Affairs Branch
Subj: BURMA VISIT, 3-6 DEC 2012
1. Purpose. To provide a back-brief of official travel to Burma in conjunction with DCG
participation in the U.S. Embassy, Rangoon Marine Corps Ball.
2. Travelers. Brigadier General R. L. Simcock II, Major R. L. Ibarra, Captain R. B. Gautier
3. Itinerary. Location visited; Rangoon, Burma.
4. Dates of travel; 3 – 6 December.
5. Key personnel contacted; Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell (U.S. Embassy, Burma), Virginia
Murray (Deputy Chief of Mission U.S. Embassy, Burma), COL William Dickey,
(SDO/DATT, U.S. Embassy, Burma), GySgt Patricio B. Rodriguez (Detachment Commander,
Marine Security Guard Detachment, Rangoon, Burma), Major General (Army) San Oo
(Regional Commander, Rangoon), and Commodore Myint New (Commandant of Naval
6. Discussion. Objective of this visit was to participate in the Marine Corps Ball as well as meet
the U.S. Embassy country team and conduct a courtesy call with Burmese officials.
However, this country visit was historical in which:
This was the first time in which a Marine GO has participated in a Marine Corps Ball
BGen Simcock was the first GO to stay for an extended period of time (3 days) in
This was the first time that a Marine GO has conducted any type of discussion with
high ranking Burmese military officials.
The country team brief gave the DCG keen insight on daily life, culture and future
opportunities for USMC engagement with Burma. Although the 2
poorest country in Asia,
Burma has seen economic activity expanding this past year as well as an increase in tourist
visa requests from the U.S. Though there has been an increase in embassy staff in Rangoon
with the expectation of expanded opportunities with Burma, there are still internal issues that
Burma is dealing with such as human rights issues, ethnic conflicts (to include) in Kachin,
Shan, and Rakhine states. The courtesy call with Major General San Oo was a breakthrough
opportunity for a Marine Corps GO to have a meaningful discussion with a high ranking
Burmese military officer; however, the opportunity was unfortunately not fully capitalized
upon due to the language barrier. Towards the end of the office call, Commodore Myint New
was able to express (without interpreter) that Burma has a capable military that can conduct