Military Law Review
Serious thought must be given to the complex problem of U.S. military retrenchments in the Pacific Rim. One of the most troubling issues is the impact of significant military reductions on those developing nations in the Asian Basin that currently have no garrison of U.S. troops, but are nonetheless friendly to and necessary for American interests. Almost all of friendly Indochina is affected, with Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia being of particular significance.
Accordingly, the time has come for policymakers to begin to formulate a post-reduction security strategy for Indochina. Without such a strategy, the cumulative effect of an erosion of confidence on the part of its friends, low-intensity conflict (“LIC”) escalations, and acts of external military aggression could well be devastating to American interests in the region.
With an increased deployment of its special forces assets and an expanded use of combined training exercises, United States Pacific Command (“PACOM”), in conjunction with United States Special Operations Command (“USSOCOM”), can adequately tailor an agenda to simultaneously combat LIC, while deterring external threats. The real issue will be providing the unified command with the flexibility and funding to make the model viable. This challenge will be met only if Congress is made aware the model can function effectively within the already existing Department of Defense (“DOD”) infrastructure and that modifications in current security assistance priorities must be made.
Jeffrey F. Addicott, Developing a Security Strategy for Indochina, 128 Mil. L. Rev. 35 (1990).