The economic and technological dynamism of the Asia-Pacific region over the past decade has occurred in a time of comparative political stability. In this environment, individual states have had the time, opportunity, and incentive to undertake more responsibility for their own defense. The maintenance of this prevailing framework for regional politics, commerce, and security depends in part on the deterrence of major military conflict that would jeopardize political stability and internal economic growth, and in part on the maintenance of a maritime balance that permits unimpeded movement of goods, raw material, and energy resources. Within that framework, the authors analyze the actions of the Soviet Union in East Asia and the Pacific and the responses of the United States. Both countries have vital interests in the area, interests critical to their global military planning. Those vital interests dominate the behavior of both superpowers in the Asia-Pacific region.
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