The creation of formal regional cooperation in Southeast Asia is generally attributed to initiatives that came from countries in the region. In particular, the creation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was a direct result of the Malaysian-Indonesian talks that ended Confrontation. Indeed, at the time many Asian leaders denied that ASEAN was the result of an outside idea or action. However, this position ignores the importance of Western financial aid in the establishment and subsequent success of ASEAN, as well as the various policy positions Western countries had taken since the end of the Second World War. This article argues that Southeast Asian regional cooperation was influenced by both Western and Asian policy and its development reflected the economic and political transformation of the Southeast Asian landscape that was taking shape at the time.