Bread and the Ballot: The United States and India's Economic Development, 1947-1963

By Dennis Merrill | Go to book overview

Three
War and Aid, 1950-1951

Although NSC 48 and the policy decisions of early 1950 de-emphasized India's strategic significance, American policyrnakers did not neglect the South Asian nation. Due to its nonaligned policy and the immediate need to bolster countries plagued by insurgency movements such as in Indochina, Thailand, and the Philippines, NSC 48 counseled against making India "the sole bulwark" against communism in Asia. Nonetheless, pointing to its size, its strategic location, its vast resources, and its non-Communist orientation, the National Security Council noted that India, along with the other nations of South Asia, might still contribute to the containment of communism in the region. For the time being, economic assistance was to be restricted to World Bank loans. But NSC 48 did advise that the United States should "exploit every opportunity to increase the present Western orientation of South Asia and to assist, within our capabilities, its nonCommunist governments in their efforts to meet the minimum needs of their people." 1

In early 1950, the National Security Council completed work on one of the most significant policy papers of the early post-World War II era, NSC 68, "United States Objectives and Programs for National Security." NSC 68 both recommended a course for American global policy and set the context for future relations with South Asia. Written in the aftermath of the Communist victory in China and the Soviet Union's successful detonation. of an atomic weapon in late 1949, NSC 68 proposed a most ambitious containment strategy. It called for a massive increase in ground, air, and naval forces and the atomic capabilities of the United States. NSC 68 also urged the continuation and expansion of programs -- such as foreign aid -- that would contribute toward the development of "a healthy international community." The document further counseled that a "consensus" would have to be molded in the public arena to support the unprecedented, peacetime buildup of military power. 2

One overriding problem remained: how to "sell" the expensive under taking to American taxpayers? An answer to this question was soon at hand. 3 On 25 June 1950, North Korean forces dashed across the thirtyeighth parallel, the boundary line in Korea drawn after World War II by the

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Bread and the Ballot: The United States and India's Economic Development, 1947-1963
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • One - Introduction: American Developmentalism And India 1
  • Two - A Missed Opportunity, 1947-1950 19
  • Three - War and Aid, 1950-1951 47
  • Four - A Matter of Priorities, 1951-1953 75
  • Five - A Changing Cold War, 1953-1956 102
  • Six - Take-Off, 1957-1961 137
  • Seven - Jfk and India's Development Decade, 1961-1963 169
  • Eight - Conclusion 204
  • Notes 213
  • Selected Bibliography 257
  • Index 271
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