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

By Roland N. Stromberg | Go to book overview

X. Collective Security in the Nuclear Age

Crises of the 1950's

IN THE AFTERMATH of Korea, there was a pronounced return to unilateral action and big-power meetings as the focus of diplomacy, a pronounced reluctance to repeat the grand experiment in collective security. The Indochina crisis of 1953 reminded many of Korea and led to some demands for a repetition of the stand against Communist aggression. But the dispute was not even submitted to the United Nations, presumably because the complicating issue of Western colonialism ( France being in possession of Indochina) would have doomed it. Even without the United Nations, President Eisenhower and Secretary Dulles, who had just wound up Korea, showed an inclination to embark upon a similar adventure; they spoke of a "row of dominoes" and were apparently willing to fight (in some way) if Britain and others would go along. Britain refused, feeling some resentment at being tossed the hot potato. In this country, public opinion was divided, with much hostility to another Korea counteracting dislike of "appeasement." Even such stalwarts of collective security as Senator Douglas of Illinois balked at the proposal to send American troops to Indochina, though they showed a willingness to send British and Nationalist Chinese. It was a pattern of frustration that got the British, French, and Americans into a bad temper with each other, Dulles feeling let down by British pusillanimity while Eden complained of American fuzziness and emotionalism.

In the Indochina crisis, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was as convinced of the validity of collective security as Acheson and Truman had been in 1950 and as Eden would be in 1956. He was prepared to hold the line against aggression, arguing against appeasement with the familiar lessons of the 1930's powerfully in mind.1

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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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