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

By Roland N. Stromberg | Go to book overview

Postscript

WESTERN DISILLUSIONMENT with the once sacred cause of the United Nations and collective security reached a new peak in the winter and spring of 1962 in the wake of developments in the Congo and in India and with the transformation of the U.N. by sheer force of numbers into an agency of the Afro-Asian states. There was much talk in the U.S. Senate and elsewhere about de-emphasizing the U.N. as a factor in American policy, although one wondered how much of a factor it had actually been at any time since the brief honeymoon of 1946. There were British-American consultations on the future of the U.N. in January, 1962, and other solemn speeches and symposiums deplored, hoped, viewed with alarm, and asked for more faith. The British Foreign Secretary, Lord Home, regarded certain shocking developments at the United Nations as marking a major crisis in the affairs of the international organization, while U.S. delegate Adlai Stevenson also spoke of "the beginning of the end" for the U.N.

In some respects, the reaction was naïve and exaggerated, for the events that induced it were predictable and normal and had appeared many times before. The action of India in invading the Portuguese enclave of Goa seemed quite genuinely to shock many people as an arrant case of "aggression." It shocked Lord Home that four members of the Security Council and probably a majority of the General Assembly were ready to condone such use of force. But it is with a sense of weariness that one must again observe how impossible it is to abolish all force from international relations at this stage and how futile is the sort of moralizing that righteously condemns some acts as "aggression" while condoning others as self-defense or liberation. Those in India or outside who defended the action in Goa declared it to be (to quote a British Labour MP) the only means of securing the liberty of many thousands of oppressed Goans. Those who had perpetrated the Suez invasion were scandalized by Goa, while those who defended it had been scandalized by Suez. As usual, "aggression" was a hopelessly subjective term: The Indian defense was in part that Portugal was guilty of a sort of indirect aggression (the subtleties of this concept had been opened up by the Americans in 1958 in Lebanon), but India also urged that it was necessary to end anarchy (an

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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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