Strategic Vacuum East of Suez
U.S. Concern Over New Soviet Interest in Area
The waning british presence in the Indian Ocean leaves a political and strategic void which other big powers increasingly show signs of wanting to fill. Over the past three years, the Russians have moved substantial elements of their fleet into the ocean, surmounting considerable logistic obstacles to do so, and have sharply increased their economic and political activity in the Asian, African and Middle Eastern nations on the ocean's littoral.
Washington has been nervously eyeing the Soviet initiative but, publicly at least, has been reluctant to make a full-scale move into the area. Embittered and wearied by the long and costly involvement in Southeast Asia, the American people seem to want fewer, not more, ...