The Chains of Interdependence: U.S. Policy toward Central America, 1945-1954

The Chains of Interdependence: U.S. Policy toward Central America, 1945-1954

The Chains of Interdependence: U.S. Policy toward Central America, 1945-1954

The Chains of Interdependence: U.S. Policy toward Central America, 1945-1954

Excerpt

In the last few years, the American people have been bombarded with descriptions of the "new" world in which they live. We now live in a "global village," in which goods, people, and ideas intermingle with little regard for national borders and identities. Interdependence is the new buzzword used by the pundits to explain this development. The end of the Cold War has called forth a new beginning for the world's people. In its most dramatic (and slightly ominous) characterization, it has been referred to as the "new world order."

It might surprise the American people (and perhaps even the pundits) to know that such talk is not new. Nearly fifty years ago, following World War II, Washington was abuzz with exactly the same term as it is today--interdependence. To better understand exactly what that term means in its historical sense, it behooves us to reexamine that tumultuous period in American history. What were the ideas behind interdependence? What was it supposed to accomplish? And, since the new calls for interdependence seem to indicate that it didn't succeed, why did it fail?

The world had dramatically changed. As World War II came to a close, U.S. policymakers were unanimous on that point. The changes went beyond those resulting from the death and destruction directly relating to the conflagration of war, although no one doubted that the level of mayhem had reached nearly unimaginable proportions. It went beyond the new technologies of annihilation, though there was no denying the awe and fear created by those mushroom clouds over Japan. The changes were of a more fundamental sort. The war had changed the world. It was . . .

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