Beginnings of the Cold War Arms Race: The Truman Administration and the U.S. Arms Build-Up

By Raymond P. Ojserkis | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5

Globalization

AMERICAN DEPLOYMENT TO EUROPE AND THE PROMISE OF GERMAN REARMAMENT

Western European governments generally supported the American decision to intervene in Korea because it showed American willingness to prevent Soviet expansion. 1 The British, as a Foreign Office memorandum put it, sent a sizable contingent of troops to Korea “in order to safeguard the future of the United Nations Organization, and to deter the Soviet Union from attempting aggression elsewhere (e.g., in Persia).” 2 However, the critical result of the war, for Britain and for the rest of Europe, did not lie in Korea, nor in the UN, nor in Persia, but in Germany. The question of whether and how to address the Soviet preponderance of military power along the dividing line between the two German states vexed Western Europe from 1950 to 1955.

The important result of the war for Europe was the development of a new NATO combat-ready army in areas of the Federal Republic of Germany close to the German Democratic Republic, with six divisions of U.S. troops deployed there. 3 These American forces, and the U.S. military aid funds, shifted the balance of power on the continent. As Churchill said toward the end of the war, “Korea does not really matter now. I’d never heard of the place until I was seventy-four. Its importance lies in the fact that it has led to the re-arming of America.” 4

The inclination, present before the Korean conflict, to lobby Washington to at least maintain, and perhaps increase, American military commitments in Europe became a primary foreign policy objective of most

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Beginnings of the Cold War Arms Race: The Truman Administration and the U.S. Arms Build-Up
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface and Acknowledgments vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Demobilization 5
  • Chapter 2 - Consolidation 13
  • Chapter 3 - Reconsideration 47
  • Chapter 4 - Transformation 85
  • Chapter 5 - Globalization 107
  • Chapter 6 - Actualization 129
  • Conclusions 153
  • Bibliography 215
  • Index 231
  • About the Author 239
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