Free Association

Two decades after the last nuclear test in The Marshall Islands, the relationship between The US
and The Marshall Islands changed. The two countries made a new agreement to cooperate with each
other and they called it free association. Free association is an agreement between an island nation and
a bigger or stronger country in which each country gets something it wants. The bigger country defends
the island nation, gives it money and helps it take care of its dealings with other countries. In exchange,
the island nation allows the bigger country to have military bases on its islands. In 1983 voters in The
Marshall Islands decided to enter into a free association agreement with The United States.

Free association is good for The Marshall Islands for several reasons:

1. The United States provides money for roads, education and businesses.
2. The United States protects The Marshall Islands from other countries, terrorism or any other
threat to its safety.
3. Marshallese people have permission to move to The US to find jobs and attend American
colleges and universities.
4. The US helps The Marshall Islands with its political matters such as negotiations with other
countries.
5. The US buys products made in The Marshall Islands which supports the economy.

Free association is good for The United States for several reasons:

1. The Marshall Islands is used as a strategic military location between The US and Asia.
2. The US is allowed to have a military base there.
3. The US has a missile testing site there which works with The Pacific Missile Range Facility on
on the Westside of Kauai to test missiles.
4. The island is used for scientific research that supports the NASA space program.
5. The US used the islands as a test site for nuclear weapons.