"For the past forty years, U.S. security strategy in the East Asia-Pacific region has remained relatively unchanged, relying primarily on bilateral alliances to keep peace and security. Triggered by the Fall of the Wall, and growing political and economic realities at home, the Clinton administration unveiled a new East Asia policy of "comprehensive engagement" designed to meet the challenges of a new world order in the Pacific. Yet, the Spratly Archipelago, in the vicinity of the South China Sea, plagued by age old territorial disputes, the hegemonic rise of China, and a diminished U.S. presence now threatens regional stability, calling into question the United States' new policy. This paper examines current U.S. policy, in light of on going tensions in the Spratly Islands and the South China Sea, by examining the risks to our vital interests in the region and recommending policy alternatives."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/