Ravenal, Earl C.
January 1971
Foreign Affairs;Jan1971, Vol. 49 Issue 2, p201
This article examines the prospect of the 1970 doctrine of United States President Richard Nixon as a relief from involvement in Asian contingencies. As long as the U.S. asserts interests in Asia that entail defending territory, could plausibly be threatened by hostile actions and are evidenced by alliances that dispose the U.S. to a military response, they are exposed to the contingency of involvement. If the U..S. maintain this exposure through insistence on their present Asian commitments, while adopting budget-constrained strategies, they risk a future defeat or stalemate, or they allow themselves to be moved toward reliance on nuclear weapons. To avoid these alternatives, two courses are available. One is heavy dependence on allied forces to fulfill defense requirements. This is the hope of Asianization, offered prominently by the Nixon Doctrine. But this policy binds the U.S. closely to the fate of their Asian clients and diminishes their control over their involvement; and there is still the liability that U.S. forces might be required to rescue the efforts of their allies. The other course is a process of military readjustment and political accommodation that would make it far less likely that they would become involved every time there is some slippage in the extensive diplomatic fault that runs along the rim of Asia.


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