Power projection capabilities in the Pacific Region
Reductions in bipolar tensions have reduced the likelihood of conflict between the superpowers, but other nations with expanded and modernized force-projection capabilities present a potential multipolar threat. Conflicting territorial claims and border disputes are common in the Pacific region, and enhanced power-projection capabilities increase the possibility that some nations may attempt to settle these claims by force. This paper describes the power projection capabilities in the region, and a number of potential areas of conflict in which power projection might be employed to solve territorial disputes. The author suggests three priorities for U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) that will help protect U.S. interests in the region: (1) to ensure that sufficient U.S. power-projection capabilities are retained to counter those of other nations in the Pacific region; (2) to encourage participation in joint exercises with the air and naval forces of these nations; and (3) to promote more extensive cooperation with the country-teams (groups of U.S. personnel from various organizations with interests in the nation, headed by the U.S. ambassador to that nation) in the region. 55 pp. Bibliog.