From Hot War to Cold: The U.S. Navy and National Security Affairs, 1945-1955

From Hot War to Cold: The U.S. Navy and National Security Affairs, 1945-1955

From Hot War to Cold: The U.S. Navy and National Security Affairs, 1945-1955

From Hot War to Cold: The U.S. Navy and National Security Affairs, 1945-1955

Synopsis

This book discusses the role of the U. S. Navy within the country's national security structure during the first decade of the Cold War from the perspective of the service's senior uniformed officer, the Chief of Naval Operations, and his staff. It examines a variety of important issues of the period, including the Army-Navy fight over unification that led to the creation of the National Security Act of 1947, the early postwar fighting in China between the Nationalists and the Communists, the formation of NATO, the outbreak of the Korean War, the decision of the Eisenhower Administration not to intervene in the Viet Minh troops' siege of the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu, and the initiation of the Eisenhower "New Look" defense policy. The author relies upon information obtained from a wide range of primary sources and personal interviews with important, senior Navy and Army officers. The result is a book that provides the reader with a new way of looking at these pivotal events.

Excerpt

A country's national security is the product of many intertwined elements, including internal ones such as its economic strength, the scientific, technological, and industrial skills resident in its population and infrastructure, the sturdiness of its governmental institutions, and the competence of its military forces. Yet external factors also come into play. the context of a state's geography influences its geopolitical perceptions of security. For example, does it share a contiguous border with neighboring countries that are friendly (or at least neutral toward it) and which possess stable national governments? Or does it instead border on states with hostile or expansionist intentions or ones that are in the throes of revolution or large-scale political unrest? Similarly, the presence or absence of allies elsewhere in the world and the existence of real or perceived threats from potential enemy countries in other portions of the globe or from transnational actors such as terrorist organizations significantly affect the perceptions of a country's leaders regarding the level of its security.

American historians and political scientists, as much as government decision makers, have wrestled with the concept of national security since the end of World War ii. in part because of its somewhat amorphous nature, the mantle of national security can be wrapped around almost any topic one wishes. For the purposes of this book, though, national security is taken to be those aspects of U.S. policy having to do specifically with the interaction of national defense and foreign relations (including military assistance) at the highest governmental levels. Some theoretically minded observers no doubt will find this working definition too broad in scope. This may well be because they view national security policy simply as military policy writ large and, as such, a subject separate and distinct from foreign policy. I would argue, however, that a country's national security policy emerges at the nexus of defense policy and foreign policy and therefore, although it may be concerned predominantly with military matters, it contains substantial elements of each.

For the United States in the decade after the end of World War ii, the effort . . .

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