Harry S. Truman: The Man from Independence

By William F. Levantrosser | Go to book overview

military commitments and pursued a "tough" foreign policy, largely ignoring expert advice that American and Allied conventional forces, and air-atomic capable units, were probably inadequate to defend his objectives. Thus, the successive strategic plans drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff increasingly emphasized the utility of the American atomic monopoly which they believed was hardly the "winning weapon" that the administration assumed. Roosevelt's legacy of a strategy of "Europe first" guided the postwar chiefs, who found little interest in such secondary issues as intervention in the Chinese Civil War.

Ironically, the "police action" in Korea, far from Central Europe, convinced the President that conventional units still enjoyed military utility in a nuclear age. For the remainder of his tenure, Truman supported increased expenditures for ground and naval elements committed to a central front conflict with the Soviet Union.


NOTES
1.
Dennis M. Pricolo, Naval Presence and Cold War Foreign Policy: A Study of the Decision to Station the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, 1945-1948 ( Annapolis, Md., 1978); Gerald K. Haines and J. Samuel Walker, American Foreign Relations: Historiographical Review, (Westport, Conn., 1981); and Jerry H. Anderson, The United States, Great Britain, and the Cold War: 1944 ( Columbia, Mo., 1981).
2.
William Appleman Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy ( New York, 1972).
3.
John Lewis Gaddis, The United States and the Origins of the Cold War: 1941- 1947 ( New York, 1972).
4.
J. Weisner, review of George Kennan, The Nuclear Delusion ( New York, 1982), in Washington Post, Nov. 21, 1982.
5.
Walter S. Poole, "From Conciliation to Containment: The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Coming of the Cold War, 1945-1946," Military. Affairs ( February 1978), pp. 12- 15.
6.
U. S. Congress, House Committee on Military Affairs, Demobilization of the Army, Hearings, 79th Cong., 2nd Sess., Jan. 22, 1946.
7.
"The General Military Situation in Europe with Particular References to a Possible Threat to Turkey," USSR Series (0092), Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Record Group 218, National Archives (USJCS), January 17, 1948.
8.
"Staff Studies of Certain Military Problems Deriving from Concept of Operations from PINCHER' Appendix A," USSR Series (0731) RL-II, USJCS Records, April 13, 1946.
9.
Quoted in Gregg Herken, The Winning Weapon: The Atomic Bomb in the Cold War 1945-1950 ( New York, 1981).
10.
"Staff Studies of Certain Military Problems Deriving from Concept of Operations from PINCHER' Appendix A," USSR Series (0731) RL-II, USJCS Records, April 13, 1946.
11.
"Concept of Operations for PINCHER: Plan for the Defeat of the USSR 1946- 1947, appendix to enclosure B," USSR Series (0689) RL-II, USJCS Records, March 2, 1946.

-165-

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