US troops in south east Asia
Posted by aogMonday, 20 January 2003 at 21:47
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One thing to keep in mind when discussing
the presence of US troops in Korea or other south east asian nations is Japan. There is still a lot of antipathy directed toward Japan for its actions during the Pacific War. Japan has never really come to terms with the atrocities it committed during its heyday as a world power which unsurprisingly makes the former victims a bit nervous. One key effect of US troops is as a guarantee against Japan. A drawdown of US troops might well push other nations to get closer to China, which wouldn't be a good thing. Unfortunately, keeping troops there is the least bad alternative we have at this time.
I would also like to note that while anti-US sentiment gets lot of play, pro-US sentiment is underreported. Still, there is a problem that most of the pro-US demonstrators are older, i.e. likely to have experienced the war or have close relatives who did. There appears to be a new generation growing up believing that the North Korean regime isn't their enemy.