In comparison with the postwar decades from 1945 to 1990, East Asian prospects for peaceful stability and economic growth have never been better. The Cold War confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States has ended. The arms race that flooded the Pacific region with Soviet and U.S. nuclear weapons systems has been replaced by a gradual phasing out of tactical and intermediate missiles. The navies of the two superpowers are diminishing, albeit involuntary on Russia’s part. Moscow’s alliances with Pyongyang and Hanoi now exist only on paper. Washington’s bases in the Philippines were closed by mutual agreement.