By Donald Hugh McMillen
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Extra info for Asian Perspectives on International Security
This was the Pax Americana era. The peace system sustained by the superpower balance, however, did not last long. By the first half of the 1970s two important changes had precipitated the erosion of the bipolar system: the Sino-Soviet conflict and the stalemate resulting from a rapid increase in Soviet nuclear capability. These two changes combined to reduce inter-bloc hostility and open a new door to increased multilateral interactions across the blocs, loosening the tight bipolar system and nullifying many of the principles underlying the Cold War era.
In the last three decades the Soviet Union has not threatened South Korea while the US has kept its armed forces on and around the Korean peninsula. Were the US to give any hint that South Korea is excluded from its 'concerned areas', or that its military forces in this region are much weaker than those of the Soviets, then the possibility of a Soviet proxy war in Korea would have to be considered as realistic and likely. How long and to what extent will South Korea need American military support?
Therefore, the situation in which Vietnam is caught up in the morass of Kampuchea is exactly what Bangkok wishes, just as China wishes it. On the other hand, even though Kampuchea is still recognised as the 30 Asian Perspectives on International Security legitimate government by the UN, there is hardly any possibility that Democratic Kampuchea will regain its power in Phnom Penh. In Japan, there is an old saying: 'one illness will ensure health': From time to time, a person who has no illness and who is too confident of his health may die suddenly due to negligence.
Asian Perspectives on International Security by Donald Hugh McMillen