The US secretary of State's presence is meant to send a signal that Southeast Asia matters – and that the US is watching Chinese influence in the region.
Millions still need her. But her release should not be the focal point of US policy toward the junta.
Friday's terror attack in Jakarta puts the Al Qaeda-linked Indonesian militant group back in spotlight.
The neighboring countries agreed Thursday to work together on terrorism despite stalled peace talks. US secretary of state arrives Friday.
The offensive is pushing thousands of refugees into Thailand. It appears to be a rebuke to Burma's neighbor, which has criticized the junta for its trial of democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi.
Thailand and Singapore have longstanding military ties with America but also trade with Burma, where the vessel is headed.
It hopes to attract adventurous visitors – but a surge in violence and development woes put that at risk.