The Soviet Far East Military Buildup: Nuclear Dilemmas and Asian Security

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The Soviet Far East Military Buildup: Nuclear Dilemmas and Asian Security

Edited by Richard H. Solomon and Masataka Kosaka
Auburn House, 1986
280 pp. $29.95
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This is a pioneering effort to look at the expansion of Soviet ground, naval and air forces in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly the nuclearization of the Soviet military presence, and to evaluate its significance for the countries of East Asia that are allied to, or friendly with, the United States. As the editors point out, an important element in Soviet strategy in Europe has been to raise fears among America's allies about the decoupling of the U.S. strategic deterrent from the defense of Europe, and to stimulate public anxiety about the possibility of nuclear conflict as a means of undermining the political foundations of NATO. Moscow is pursuing a similar strategy in Asia, where its unabated nuclear buildup has been paralleled by a series of political initiatives designed to arouse fears about nuclear conflict. Although these efforts have been less successful in Asia than in Europe, antinuclear sentiment persists throughout the region, as is evident in New Zealand, Australia, by the August 1985 effort by the South Pacific Forum states to create a nuclear-free zone, and by the recent efforts among some groups in the Philippines to turn that country into a nuclear-free zone. The volume is an important contribution to one of the critical questions of American foreign policy: how to maintain a security coalition in the nuclear age.

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