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Picture of Trade and Security

Trade and Security

The United States and East Asia, 1961-1969

Author(s): Charles M. Dobbs

Book Description

In a strange way, the United States achieved its goal for the Vietnam War, but forgot why it was fighting. It was not fighting to keep South Vietnam from falling to the communists; it was fighting in Indochina to buy time for the other free nations of the region to develop economically and strengthen their respective relationships with their polities.

In 1961, the region seemed weak economically. Japan was on the eve of its great expansion that turned it into the world’s second largest economy for many years; South Korea and Taiwan still depended on US economic assistance, and focused more on the perceived communist threat than improving the quality of life for their peoples. Thailand similarly watched the civil war in Laos; the Philippines needed to develop stability in government; and the Malay peoples moved from Malaya to Malaysia, to Malaysia and Singapore, all the while warily watching events in Indonesia.

Trade and Security discusses how the US government sought to rally the region against the Communist threat, and in part opened the American economy to exploitation by its East Asian allies, and how those Allies used the Cold War and the perceived Chinese threat to gain greater access despite the consequent damage the American economy suffered. While US financial officials complained about the increasing damage to the domestic economy and to the worsening balance of trade and balance of payments deficits, diplomatic and military leaders remained fixated on the general superpower confrontation with the Soviet Union and the regional competition with the People’s Republic of China.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-1990-9
ISBN-10: 1-4438-1990-5
Date of Publication: 01/05/2010
Pages / Size: 320 / A5
Price: £44.99


Charles M. Dobbs is Professor of History at Iowa State University, USA. He earned his baccalaureate degree from the University of Connecticut and his master’s and PhD degrees from Indiana University, all in History. He teaches courses in modern US and East Asian history. He is the author of The Unwanted Symbol: American Foreign Policy, the Cold War, and Korea, 1942–1950, The United States and East Asia Since 1945, and Triangles, Symbols, and Constraints: The United States, The Soviet Union, and the People’s Republic of China, 1963–1969 as well as several dozen scholarly articles and more than 250 encyclopedia entries.