This introduction discusses how to think about the U.S. military presence as an understudied force of globalization both theoretically and historically. In an effort to bring together three articles written by a sociologist, an anthropologist, and a historian, it engages theoretically with issues of unequal power relations, feelings of ambivalence, and postcolonial agency. It also provides summaries of three case studies on South Korea, Okinawa, and mainland Japan to show both intentional and unintentional cultural consequences of the long-term U.S. military presence in these societies.

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