U. S. Strategic Bases and Collective Security

Courtesy Reuters

THE last phase of the debate on the application of the trusteeship system to the former Japanese-mandated islands has now opened. The American position in regard to the control of the islands, certain of which are now included in our chain of military bases, was described by President Truman in a statement on November 6 and set forth in detail in a published proposal which later will be submitted to the Security Council. This proposal is in the nature of a compromise between the principles of collective and national security. We suggest that the Marshalls, Carolines and Marianas be placed under United Nations trusteeship, but with the United States as sole trustee. The United States would have administrative, legislative and jurisdictional power over the islands, which would be considered an "integral part of the United States." Moreover, areas would be classified as "strategic," under Article 82 of the Charter, at the sole discretion of the United States as administering authority. We thus claim the right to debar representatives of the Trusteeship Council from visiting such areas as we may designate at any time as "closed for security reasons."

These terms stop short of outright annexation. Moreover, that we are submitting them to the United Nations for approval and discussion is significant. Modifications will, of course, be proposed. The Administration is aware that the terms must finally be ratified by the United States Senate; but it is awake to the importance of world opinion. The President speaks of the willingness of the United States to place under trusteeship "any Japanese islands" for which it assumes responsibility, but says nothing specific about bases on the Ryukyu, Bonin or Volcano Islands.

It would be a hopeless undertaking to try to discuss the strategic bases in which the United States has a vital interest in limited and regional terms. American interests are world-wide. Even if attention is focused on a particular base or group of bases, the analysis leads inevitably to the general principles of our foreign

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