Collective Security and American Foreign Policy: From the League of Nations to NATO

By Roland N. Stromberg | Go to book overview

VIII. The Four Policemen

War Hopes and War Aims

HOPES FOR a fairer postwar world marked by "effective international organization" burgeoned on the victories of World War II accomplished by a successfully functioning military alliance. Largely concealed from the public eye were the struggles, often exceedingly sharp, that went on between the wartime Allies over military and sometimes, tangentially, political strategy.* These conflicts were largely overcome, and after "the turn of the tide" in late 1942, all was seemingly rosy. Outwardly, the leaders of the Great Allies presented a dramatic tableau of consultation and cooperation in the many face-to-face conferences. Exaggerating but slightly, President Roosevelt criticized World War I peace preparation for its complete lack of any such "man-to-man" meetings until after the war was over. Determined not to repeat this mistake, Roosevelt assumed leadership in arranging the heads-of-state conferences that marked the war's progress. Churchill was no less active: Stalin quipped that he was the Holy Ghost of this modern Trinity because he flew about so much. The Soviet leader, to whom the others came, was evidently cast in the role of senior divinity (inevitably so, because Russian armies were bearing the brunt of the European war). It was hoped that out of this wartime alliance would emerge an enduring coalition that would be the nucleus of the new world order. With memories of 1919, American officials felt that the time to forge a postwar organization was during the period of wartime cooperation or never. This prevalent point of view reflected a somewhat naïve faith in the establishment of an "or-

____________________
*
Chiefly, in 1942, concerning early and massive invasion of France, a cherished American objective partly because of Russian wishes, partly because of the itch to total victory as early as possible regardless of political consequences; later, concerning strategy in the drive on Germany.

-156-

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Collective Security and American Foreign Policy: From the League of Nations to NATO
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • I - Peace by Force? 3
  • II - Wilson and the League of Nations 22
  • III - America and World Peace in the 1920's 46
  • IV - The United States and the "Rape of Manchuria" 66
  • V - The Collapse of European Security: 1933-36 87
  • VI - Neutrality, Collective Security, and War: 1937-40 109
  • VII - American Entrance into the War 137
  • VIII - The Four Policemen 156
  • IX - The Second Failure 186
  • X - Collective Security in the Nuclear Age 213
  • XI - Concluding Analysis 230
  • Postscript 249
  • Notes 253
  • Bibliography 279
  • Index 293
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