In This Review

The United States And The Defense Of The Pacific
The United States And The Defense Of The Pacific
By Ronald D. McLaurin and Chung-in Moon
Westview Press/Seoul: Kyungman University Press, 1990, 353 pp

The authors' objective is to analyze the U.S. defense posture in the East Asia-Pacific area in greater detail than is customary outside narrowly military texts, and in this they succeed. There is more detailed information on U.S. defense deployments and security arrangements than is available outside Pentagon documents and posture statements. Thus the book will be a valuable source for scholars and policymakers. Missing, however, are a historical or conceptual framework for understanding the U.S. force posture in the Pacific and any effort to consider the rapidly changing strategic circumstances. The declining Soviet threat plus fiscal constraints will force a substantial reduction in U.S. forces in Asia (and elsewhere) during the 1990s. It would therefore have been helpful if the authors could have told us where forces might be cut, and in accordance with what criterion.