Volltext: How do states without defence forces defend themselves?

by the United States in the Spanish-American War of 1898 and lost the Philippines and Guam 
as a result. Deciding that the rest of the Spanish East Indies were not viable Spain sold the 
territories to an imperially hungry Germany. This did not last as the First World War allowed for 
the sparsely defended islands to be seized by Japan. As part of the victorious allies in the First 
World War Japan retained the islands as a League of Nations mandate territory after the war'??. 
Some 20 years later the Japanese used many of the islands as bases to project power across 
the Pacific in the Second World War. The US fought hard to secure these islands as part of 
GEN MacaArthur's island hopping campaign. Major battles such as Peleilu, Kwajelein and Truk 
Lagoon displaced the Japanese at considerable human cost to both sides’. 
After the war the United States was awarded the territories as United Nations Trust Territories. 
The US used some of the remote islands in what is now the Republic of the Marshall Islands to 
conduct nuclear testing including the largest US atmospheric nuclear test codenamed Castle 
Bravo which completely destroyed an island in the Eniwetok Atoll chain and contaminated the 
surrounding area for decades to come'??. The US granted independence to the Trust Territory 
creating three new states, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) in 1979'%, the Republic of 
the Marshall Islands (RMI) in 1979'% and finally the Republic of Palau in 1994'%. 
All three of these states were small in terms of their land area and population but following the 
1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea they all have extensive Exclusive Economic Zones. 
FSM for example has a land area of just 702 square kilometers but it has an EEZ of 2.98 million 
square kilometers'®. Despite the potential of marine resources all three states are poor with 
limited natural resources and face the difficulty of dispersed populations on small and fragile 
islands and atolls. With a combined population of only 200,000 people the issue of defending 
these newly independent states was a difficult problem. 
While no immediate aggressor was apparent the 1980s was an era of Super Power 
confrontation and still bitter from the experience of Pearl Harbour in the Second World War the 
United States was keen to ensure that the Pacific remained within its sphere of control ?". 
19? de Smith, 122-124. 
101 Ibid, 126-129. 
10? |big, 135. 
195 https://www.doi.gov/oia/islands/fsm 
194 https://www.doi.gov/oia/islands/marshallislands 
195 https://www.doi.gov/oia/islands/palau 
106 http://www fao.org/fishery/facp/FSM/en#CountrySector-GenGeoEconReport 
197 Amitav Acharya, The Asia-Pacific Region: Cockpit for Superpower Rivalry, The World 
Today, Vol. 43, No. 8/9 (Aug. - Sep., 1987), pp. 155-158.


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