To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations

By John Allphin Moore Jr.; Jerry Pubantz | Go to book overview

3
The Cold Warriors

The Soviets are the real enemy and all else must be viewed against the background of that truth.

President Eisenhower to Prime Minister Churchill
November 27, 1956

The developing Soviet-American confrontation of the late 1940s ended the hope that the United Nations could work as its founders envisioned. The world body became an arena for skirmishes in that confrontation, a place where even allies challenged U.S. actions, and only once in a while was it a setting in which quiet diplomacy might facilitate a resolution of particularly serious differences between the USSR and the United States. Beginning with the president's declaration of the Truman Doctrine in 1947 American foreign policy steadily shifted to a new road, one committed to U.S. leadership of the "free" world in the effort to halt Soviet-inspired communist expansion around the globe. The United Nations served as an instrument of American foreign policy but increasingly was seen as a minimal actor, secondary to a system of military alliances, unilateral initiatives, and strategic defense spending.

The Truman years were interesting because they marked the transition from the earlier idealized hope that universal collective security could greatly lessen the prospects of another war, to a recognition of a unique American responsibility for world peace and stability in the face of a determined enemy. In Korea, as we described in Chapter 2, the American goal of stopping Soviet expansion merged with the means of utilizing the United Nations to achieve that end. Truman could do this, however, only because the Soviets were boycotting the Security Council when the war broke out, and because the United States commanded an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly. Even under those circumstances, though, the war was conducted as an American affair, with an American commander, largely American troops, American funding, and presidential decision-making in the Oval Office. When the Soviets returned to their seats in the Security Council, the United States had to resort to a revision of UN procedures with the passage of the "Uniting for Peace" Resolution to ensure UN legitimacy for United States' actions on the Korean peninsula.

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To Create a New World? American Presidents and the United Nations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • To Create a New World? *
  • Table of Contents *
  • Preface *
  • Frequently Used Citations *
  • Introduction *
  • 1: To Create a New World? American "Exceptionalism" and the Origins of the United Nations *
  • Dismissing the United Nations 7
  • The United Nations at Half Century 10
  • Woodrow Wilson and American Idealism 12
  • Traditional Arrangements of International Politics 17
  • The Twentieth-Century Crisis 21
  • 2: The Founders *
  • Fdr and the Un *
  • Yalta 44
  • Truman and the Un 47
  • Onset of the Cold War 53
  • Korea 69
  • 3: The Cold Warriors *
  • The President, His Foreign Policy Team, and the Un 84
  • The "Eisenhower Model" 91
  • Superpower Confrontation and the United Nations, 1953-1969 95
  • Cold War Tensions and UN Institutions 112
  • Jfk and the Un 118
  • Lyndon Johnson and the Un 131
  • Disarmament and Development 143
  • 4: The Realists' Ascent *
  • Nixon and the Un 176
  • 1968 184
  • Nixon and Watergate 186
  • "Nixinger" Diplomacy 188
  • Vietnam and Nixon 193
  • India and Pakistan, 1971 196
  • China 199
  • Yom Kippur 203
  • President Ford's Interregnum 208
  • 5: Two Sides of Idealism *
  • Carter and Foreign Policy 214
  • Carter, Human Rights, and the Un 219
  • Carter, China, and the Ussr 229
  • Breakthrough at Camp David 234
  • Carter and Africa 241
  • The Iranian Hostage Nightmare 248
  • Reagan and the Un: Phase One 254
  • The Middle East, Reagan, and the Un 262
  • Reagan and the World 268
  • Iran-Contra 274
  • Gorbachev 276
  • Reagan and the Un: Phase Two 280
  • 6: The New Moralists *
  • President Bush's UN Odyssey 290
  • President Bush's Use of the Un 298
  • President Clinton: the New Moralism and the Demands of Politics 315
  • Conclusion *
  • Appendix a Secretaries-General of the Un *
  • Appendix B U.S. Ambassadors to the Un *
  • Bibliography *
  • Index *
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