With a war in Afghanistan and worries over the rise of new superpowers in China and India, Asia seems like a relatively recent U.S. foreign-policy bugaboo. But since World War II, the United States has devoted more and more of its diplomatic and military efforts across the Pacific. The Cold War was fought on Asian soil, economic strategy was designed with Asian tigers in mind, and diplomacy has focused on containing and befriending the inhabitants of the world's biggest continent. The following photographs depict this complicated, contentious, and often lucrative history of a superpower and its Asian allies and foes.
U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur meets with Japanese Emperor Hirohito in Manila, Philippines, in October* 1945, a few weeks after Japan's surrender following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrendered to Allied forces on Sept. 2, 1945, officially ending World War II.
*Correction, Oct. 12, 2011: The date was corrected from the originally incorrect Sept. 2, 1945.