Ever since the principle of self-determination entered the lexicon of international politics during World War I, American foreign policymakers have had to contend with problems revolving around that concept. The need to favor one or another claimant, each waving the banner of self-determination and invoking the “right to determine its own fate,” continues to present dilemmas, often extremely troubling ones, for U.S. decisionmakers. Examples from recent history come readily to mind. The entire post-World War II decolonization process entailed an endless series of such dilemmas, and even after formal decolonization was all but completed, such nagging issues as Katanga, Biafra, and Eritrea remained, not to mention the problems of South Africa, Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and Indochina. Indeed, even within America’s own imperial domain, the United States was faced with the conflicting demands of the Puerto Rican nationalists and the majority of the Puerto Rican electorate, the claims of the Marianas as against those of Micronesia as a whole, and demands for cultural autonomy on the part of diverse ethnic groups.