4. The Little Tigers Roar: The Republics of Korea and China
5. Allies Needing Reassurance: The Philippines and Thailand
6. Dangerously Unsettled: Malaya/Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia
Conclusion: Success Yet Failure.
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. (source: Nielsen Book Data)