Accession Number : ADA308510

Title :   The Spratly Islands Dispute and Implications for U.S. National Security.

Descriptive Note : Research rept.,

Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s) : Schuetz, Robert E.

PDF Url : ADA308510

Report Date : 05 JAN 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 32

Abstract : The Spratly Island archipelago has become a focus for potential conflict in the South China Sea. Six nations claim all or portions of the islands. Despite recent diplomatic initiatives sponsored by Indonesia, as well as efforts in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), little progress has been made towards a negotiated diplomatic solution. A principal stumbling block has been China. China's steadfast refusal to conduct substantive negotiation on anything but a bilateral basis only serves to drag out the diplomatic process. China's continuing naval expansion program is a major destabilizing action, causing other claimants to question China's commitment towards a peaceful negotiated settlement at all. While the potential exists for either a diplomatic solution or eruption of large scale military action, the most likely course of action is maintenance of the status quo. Confirmation of postulated large scale petroleum reserves in the area would, however, increase the likelihood of near term armed conflict. Continued involvement by the United States, both on the diplomatic front and through forward military presence, is crucial to stability in the area of the Spratly Islands.

Descriptors :   *CONFLICT, *SOUTH CHINA SEA, *POLITICAL NEGOTIATIONS, *ARCHIPELAGOES, WEAPONS, MILITARY OPERATIONS, UNITED STATES, SYMPOSIA, NATIONAL SECURITY, NAVY, EXPANSION, CHINA, ISLANDS, INDONESIA, DIPLOMATS.

Subject Categories : Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE