Cold War Diplomacy: American Foreign Policy, 1945-1960

By Norman A. Graebner | Go to book overview

ers could assure a drifting world that it was not drifting toward war. Unfortunately these procedures were developed in lieu of diplomacy; they reduced peacemaking to pure symbolism. Were settlement the real objective, it could have been obtained more cheaply and efficiently through established diplomatic procedures. Mr. Eisenhower's tours of 1959 and 1960, for example, equated the cause of peace with the enthusiasm of the crowds which greeted him abroad. Yet it was this nation's relations with the governments of Moscow and Peiping, not the crowds of New Delhi, Paris, and Taipei, that mattered. Despite all this apparent search for peace, the fundamental issues that plagued the world dragged on, unfaced and unsettled.


7
CONCLUSION: THE PROBLEM OF CHQICE

The Nature of American Foreign Policy, 1945-1960. Measured by the limits of national power, American foreign policy served the country well during the first fifteen years of the postwar era. United States leadership, both Democratic and Republican, accepted the warning of Winston Churchill that the Soviet Union, heavily armed and traditionally aggressive, posed a danger to Western security. If those who determined national policy never agreed on the character and extent of the Russian threat, they chose to build and maintain the Atlantic Alliance as the surest guarantee against Soviet expansion and the recurrence of war. That Europe remained remarkably stable through fifteen years of sometimes bitter disagreement and tension must be attributed in large measure to the national effort of the American people. The repeated acceptance

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