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The Ford Administration and Security Policy in the Asia-Pacific after the Fall of Saigon

Andrew J. Gawthorpe
The Historical Journal
Vol. 52, No. 3 (Sep., 2009), pp. 697-716
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40264196
Page Count: 20
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The Ford Administration and Security Policy in the Asia-Pacific after the Fall of Saigon
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Abstract

This article enhances our understanding of the Ford administration's foreign policy by examining how it sought to react to a changed situation in the Asia-Pacific after the fall of Saigon in May 1975. It shows how changes in regional politics forced the administration to adapt to a situation in which allies began to look to the Communist countries for friendship and to reconsider having American forces on their soil. It illustrates this situation by looking at base negotiations in Thailand and the Philippines, and the administration's search for an alternative arrangement in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. It then reconsiders two crisis situations in the region to examine the relevance of the superpower competition to the administration's responses. This aids our understanding of the role that regional factors played in tactical foreign policy decisions taken by the Ford administration, extending beyond a focus on the superpower competition that has marked the historiography of the administration in the past.

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