World War Two and the Post-War 'New Order' in the Indo-Pacific

Sue Thompson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Throughout the twentieth century, US involvement in the Indo-Pacific region has increased steadily and undertaken significant transformation, especially since the Second World War. The United States became involved in the Pacific War after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and through strategic reformation led allied forces and defeated Japan. After the war, Washington initially wanted to militarily retreat from the region and concentrate on the reconstruction of the Japanese economy. However, the onset of the Cold War resulted in an increased commitment to the Indo-Pacific and Washington concentrated on a variety of strategies in an attempt to contain the spread of communism. These included efforts towards supporting non-communist nations through economic development, multilateral aid bodies and security alliances. In particular, the United States was keen to encourage regional cooperation policies so that Asian nations could work together with the ultimate goal of containing communism and bringing stability to the region. However, while efforts were placed on increasing cooperation and regional economic development, US military involvement escalated as ground forces were committed to conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. Once the war in Vietnam was over, Washington sought a new foreign policy strategy for the region, withdrawing forces from the Asian mainland and improving relations with China. Yet security interests persisted through the maintenance of offshore military bases, alongside increased economic interests. By the late 1980s, US trade with Asia exceeded that with Europe.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of US Foreign Policy in the Indo-Pacific Edition
    Editors Oliver Turner, Nicola Nymalm, Wali Aslam
    Place of PublicationLondon
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Cite this