The South Pacific islands, or Oceania, contain ten independent and quasi-independent states, with the prospect that there will be 16 or more by the mid-1980s. Except for American Samoa, Guam, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands-the U.S. possessions-we have taken the view that the region is the responsibility of our allies with colonies there. Dorrance holds that, although Australia and New Zealand will continue to play the leading role, the U.S. must take more interest in Oceania. He sees a number of potentially destabilizing elements: changing leadership patterns, economic problems, the possibility of violence accompanying the decolonization of the French territories, the probable emergence of decolonization pressures directed against the U.S. territorial presence, and the likelihood of some form of Soviet engagement.
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