Nuclear Strategy and the Attack on Korea
Immediately after Japan surrendered, President Truman, the scientists, and Congress all turned to the question of what to do with this nuclear genie that had been loosed on the world. In November 1945, the United States proposed that the United Nations should supervise the production of all nuclear energy, and the U.N. General Assembly created an Atomic Energy Commission to consider the question.
In June 1946, the United States proposed the Baruch plan (which took its name from Bernard Baruch, chairman of the committee that developed the plan), under which atomic weapons would be outlawed and U.N. inspectors would have the authority to operate freely in any country. The idea was that once the system was in place, the United States would destroy all the nuclear bombs in its stockpile.
Many Americans were fearful of the Baruch plan, so many that the Senate may never have ratified it. However, the question became moot when the Soviets rejected the scheme out of hand. They were well on their way to developing their own bomb, and their political system could not easily accommodate U.N. inspectors poking around. If nuclear weapons could not be abolished under the supervision of the United Nations, they would soon be included in the world's arsenals. Strategists had to assume that they would be used in future wars. But how?