US interests and strategic policy
The Armed Forces of the United States are present today in the Asia-Pacific region in order to implement a military strategy that flows from a national security strategy designed to protect American interests and those of her allies. The size, location and missions of those forces reflect that objective. Before examining the make-up and missions of US forces in the region, it is therefore necessary to describe those interests and strategies as laid out in official statements and amplified in authoritative commentary.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked an irreversible beginning of the end of the Cold War which had dominated US national security strategy for 40 years. In short order the American people and many of their representatives in Congress came to expect an economic benefit, called a 'peace dividend', from the reduced military spending presumably made possible by the reduced threat.
At the end of 1989 the US Congress required the Department of Defense to report on 'specific ways our Asian allies can increase their participation in regional stability and how we can reduce and restructure our military presence in East Asia'. In April of 1990 the Department of Defense responded with a report informally known as the ' East Asia Strategic Initiative' or ' EASI'. The report acknowledged three developments that lay behind its genesis: (1) the declining threat of the Soviet Union; (2) rising nationalist sentiment in the Asia-Pacific region leading to a resentment over the presence of US forces; and (3) domestic considerations,