Kwajalein Atoll, the Marshall Islands and American Policy in the Pacific
Ruth Douglas Currie
For centuries, the Marshall Islands have been drawn into international politics, primarily because of their central location in Oceania. After World War II they came into the American sphere as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. At the outset of the Cold War, the Marshalls were a site for nuclear tests and later for the U.S. Army’s ballistic missile testing as part of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative.
This book focuses on the islanders’ tenacious negotiations for independence and control of their land, accomplished as the Republic of the Marshall Islands in a Compact of Free Association with the U.S. The creation of American policy in the Pacific was a struggle between the U.S. departments of the Interior and State, and the military’s goals for strategic national defense, as illustrated by the case of the Army’s base at Kwajalein Atoll.