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75 Years On: How Lessons from the Pacific Theater Impact American Foreign Policy Today

Cover of the report
Cover of the report

"'To defeat an enemy as tough and dedicated as the Japanese, we had to be just as tough. We had to be just as dedicated to America as they were to their emperor. I think this was the essence of Marine Corps doctrine in World War II,' wrote Eugene Sledge, whose memoir With the Old Breed describes his experience as an American mortarman, fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa in the Pacific theater.

Like those who experienced the Pacific War first hand, Asia and the United States continue to grapple with the Pacific War’s ’ legacy. To better understand how the War continues to shape geopolitics in Asia and U.S. strategy toward the region 75 years on, the Wilson Center has assembled a remarkable group of scholars and former policymakers from the United States and across Asia to better understand how we continue to live in the shadow of the Pacific War, and what lessons may be learned to avoid similar catastrophes in the future."

Wilson Center President and CEO Jane Harman introduces the Asia Program's newest series: The Legacy of the Pacific War: 75 Years Later.

About the Author

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Jane Harman

Distinguished Fellow and President Emerita, Wilson Center

Jane Harman, Distinguished Fellow and President Emerita, Wilson Center, is an internationally recognized authority on U.S. and global security issues, foreign relations and lawmaking. A native of Los Angeles and a public-school graduate, she went on to become a nine-term member of Congress, serving decades on the major security committees in the House of Representatives. Drawing upon a career that has included service as President Carter’s Secretary of the Cabinet and hundreds of diplomatic missions to foreign countries, Harman holds posts on nearly a dozen governmental and non-governmental advisory boards and commissions.

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Indo-Pacific Program

The Indo-Pacific Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on US interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more