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

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

matriculation at West Point Military Academy and his participation in 1913 as a cadet corporal in the first inaugural parade of Woodrow Wilson. He shared Wilson's belief that America must be permanently a part of world affairs. The two world wars and the unhappy turn of events between 1919 and 1939 further convinced him of Wilson's wisdom. It was in that context that Eisenhower believed President Wilson would have taken pride, as the general himself had, in the creation of the United Nations, the "lineal descendant" of the League of Nations. It was against the possibility of the United States repeating its mistakes of the 1920s and 1930s that Eisenhower fought to win the White House.

A new menace, as great as Hitler's Germany, now threatened American survival—namely Soviet communism. For the president it was nothing less than a life-and-death matter. Believing that the confrontation with Moscow was "the struggle of the ages," 7 Eisenhower argued that only the unity of free nations led by the United States could provide a "hope for survival." In that conceptualization there was only a limited role for a world organization built on universal collective security and characterized by the regular use of the Soviet veto. Invoking the collective self-defense provisions of the Charter's Article 51, the administration pursued a series of military alliances as the most effective means of preserving the principles embodied in the UN founding.


The President, His Foreign Policy Team, and the UN

The first weeks of 1953 proved to be extraordinarily challenging for the new president. An expected armistice proved elusive in Korea, where continued fighting produced ongoing American causalities. Having promised to "go to Korea," and having met the letter of that promise with a visit to the war zone as president-elect, Eisenhower was under pressure domestically and from the allies to conclude the United Nations' effort successfully and quickly. In Europe the solidification of the iron curtain with a huge Soviet army threatening a divided Germany put a premium on American defense of the western democracies. Yet the president had promised to cut the ballooning federal deficit, and hoped to do so by putting the brakes on military spending. Contributing to military costs was the emerging strategic arms race with the Russians. Faced with a Soviet conventional military advantage, the administration

____________________
7
News conference of December 2, 1953, PPP, 1953, 801-802.

-84-

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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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