Cold War Diplomacy: American Foreign Policy, 1945-1960

Cold War Diplomacy: American Foreign Policy, 1945-1960

Cold War Diplomacy: American Foreign Policy, 1945-1960

Cold War Diplomacy: American Foreign Policy, 1945-1960

Excerpt

For the American people the fifteen years from 1945 to 1960 comprised an original experience. Never before in a time of comparative peace were they so fully involved in world affairs. As the guardians of Western civilization they had little choice, for that civilization had entered upon troubled times. Tragically the suicidal tendencies within Western Europe, characterized largely by that region's inability to integrate the German Empire into its political structure, had the effect of propelling two great powers to the forefront of world politics. That the United States and Russia in 1945 would face one another across a weak and demoralized Europe was predicted by the mere act of crushing the might of Germany. But this apparent military necessity in itself presaged no unique or permanent American involvement in affairs beyond its own shores. Most Americans assumed, indeed, that with the establishment of peace the two great Allies, through their cooperation and mutual support of the decisions of the United Nations, would guarantee at last the creation of a new world order based on law and justice. Beyond victory lay a world not unlike that of the inter-war years with the traditional balance of power--always the chief source of American security--firmly re-established in Europe.

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