Leading up to World War II, the Federated States of Micronesia were under Japanese control, which explains why Micronesia became the site of some of the most fearsome battles ever fought in the South Pacific. In fact, so many Japanese and American vehicles litter the seafloor surrounding the collection of islands that the oil contained within them poses an environmental concern. After the war, the region became part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, beginning a long relationship with the U.S. Given that history, the country didn't make military spending a priority when it finally gained independence in 1979.
In 1986, Micronesia entered into a Compact of Free Association with the United States, and its defense has been the U.S.'s responsibility ever since. What's more, citizens from Micronesia don't need a visa to work in the U.S. (and vice versa), and while Micronesians rely on the United States for their defense, they can also enlist in America's fighting forces. In fact, Micronesians play an active role in the American military and have actually suffered more fatalities as a percentage of their population in the Iraq and Afghani wars than the United States has [source: Nobel].
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