Publication:
FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE MARINE CORPS BASING IN THE PACIFIC: OKINAWA PROTEST AND THE DEFENSE POLICY REVIEW INITIATIVE

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Authors
Buck, Dylan R.
Subjects
Okinawa
Japan
DPRI
Guam
Marine Corps
protest
bases
Advisors
Weiner, Robert J.
Date of Issue
2021-06
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Antibase sentiments in Okinawa challenge the U.S.–Japan alliance and restrain U.S. military operations at a moment when the balance of power is shifting in East Asia. U.S. bases in Japan are vital for maintaining a credible forward presence that safeguards allied interests. Sustained pressure from protest has compelled the USMC to reduce force posture by repositioning farther from the region. The Defense Policy Review Initiative (DPRI) outlines the plan to realign 55% of the force from Okinawa, predominantly to Guam, by FY2031. To explain the pressure on U.S. access, this thesis identifies the most significant drivers of U.S. base protest in four general categories: proximity, sovereignty, democratic responsiveness, and external threat perception. Within each category, factors were examined from general, Japan-, and Okinawa-specific vantages to delineate their significance in explaining protest. The analysis finds that proximity and external threat perception significantly influence protest. The DPRI has mitigated many drivers of protest, specifically those associated with factors identified in Okinawa, suggesting protest will decrease in the region. However, such actions also inhibit military operations. The U.S.–Japan alliance must achieve a Host Nation Support Agreement that complements the DPRI to enable multilateral military operations intent on enforcing the authority of the internationally recognized order within the region.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
Organization
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NPS Report Number
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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