Missile Defences and Asian-Pacific Security by Michael J. Mazarr

By Michael J. Mazarr

An in-depth learn of the army, monetary, and political implications of the strategic and tactical missile defenses for the Asian-Pacific quarter. It deals up to date examine at the prestige of SDI and Asian-Pacific nations and gives an advent to the SDI debate and Europe. Michael Mazarr has written for a couple of periodicals together with "Defense Analysis". he's the co-editor of "Technology move to the Soviet Union - drawback for the West" and is at the moment engaged on "Semper Fidel - American international relations and Cuba, 1776-1988".

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The Soviets are attempting to rectify this deficiency, but until they do their eastern forces will suffer from significant problems of supply and reinforcement. Japanese forces are also developing into a not insignificant factor in Soviet Presence in the Far East 39 the regional balance of power. The Japanese Self Defence Forces possess some eighty-three F-15 and 110 F-4 fighters, fifteen submarines, fifty destroyers and frigates and numerous patrol aircraft. 16 Japanese land forces deploy more than 150 000 men organized into twelve mechanized infantry divisions and a tank division.

Soviet leaders have pursued other essentially defensive missions in the region; for example, protection of the thirty-odd Soviet fleet ballistic-missile submarines stationed in the area is also a key mission of the Pacific Fleet. Guarding Soviet SSBNs is a 'critical proposition for their strategy for nuclear war' ,29 and as Soviet sub-launched missiles have acquired longer ranges, the Soviets have begun basing them closer to home. Some commentators see protection of SSBNs Soviet Presence in the Far East 45 as the major role of the Soviet Navy - and one that is distinctly defensive in character.

Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone expressed his government's intent, in time of war, to guard the straits between the Japanese islands, to establish a 1000 mile sea-lane defence perimeter around Japan, and to make Japan into an 'unsinkable aircraft carrier, putting up a tremendous bulwark of defense against infiltration of [Soviet) bombers' (though these promises have subsequently been qualified or withdrawn). The Japanese since 1980 have participated in naval exercises with US and ANZUS forces, allowed deployment of US F-16 fighter-bombers, and footed a yearly bill of some $1 billion supporting the US troops in JapanY Many analysts point out that these sort of activities are 'all talk and no action', and that, militarily, Japan is still very weak.

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