Ripples in The American Lake

Can the U.S. reap a peace dividend in the Pacific?

Ever since U.S. forces destroyed the Japanese Navy in World War II, the Pacific Ocean has been, in military terms, an American lake. From naval bases in the Aleutian Islands and southward to Subic Bay in the Philippines, 107 U.S. warships and 51 submarines project commanding seapower. Ashore, mostly in South Korea, Japan and Okinawa, 120,000 American troops are poised to deter aggression along the Pacific's western rim. Now, with the Soviet threat waning under the U.S.S.R.'s economic and ideological decay, is that U.S. military presence still necessary?

As he ended a two-week tour of the Pacific last week, Defense Secretary...

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