Date of Completion

5-5-2012

Embargo Period

5-11-2012

Open Access

Open Access

Abstract

The United States maintains military bases in foreign countries in efforts to protect American overseas interests, whether they are economic, diplomatic or for geostrategic purposes. In Japan, where the United States has maintained military installations since the end of World War II, debate over the realignment of forces on Okinawa has caused minor, yet growing, rifts in the stable United States-Japanese alliance. Current plans to shift American military forces from Okinawa to locations throughout the Pacific do not take into account the historical or geostrategic factors for their stationing in Japan. This thesis identifies the geostrategic challenges to the current realignment plans proposed by the United States and instead offers an alternate realignment plan that would see American military units on Okinawa move to joint bases on the main islands of Honshu or Kyushu in Japan.

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