October 9 2013
Key Words Notes
Moscow was simply unavailable to prevent the Western powers,
especially the US from supplying …? Keeping 2 and half million citizens
alive. Eventually by 1940 they had to back down. The consequences
however, esp in terms of international relations were terrible. The west
was convinced, especially since Moscow did get the atomic bomb in
august 1949, that Moscow was ready for anything. Thus decided to create
the military organization- NATO. It became one of the major step to
militarize the Cold War. Up until now there had been diplomatic conflicts,
now there was a potential for a military show down.
Add to this simultaneously the developments in Asia.
- The fact that China had turned communist. Mao had a civil war from
- Communist China on the side of the Soviet Union signed an agreement
with Stalin, putting together the two states and assuring Soviet
guarantee or support
- In addition to that there was a major agreement on two sides.
a. Nationalist China.
b. Above all a division of labor was agreed upon. Soviets would make
major decisions regarding European development.
c. China was given the leading role in Asia. It was given the objective
of strengthening communism.
d. Korean War:
i. Broke out in the summer of 1950.
ii. Lasted for three years
iii. Eventually military stalemate ensued and both sides had to
agree on a compromise.
iv. No Peace treaty- only a compromise.
For the West these were crucial development. These were the
developments that ensured that Communism is on a global role. It is
indeed, as suspected by Kennan, after global domination.
The fact is that you cannot separate international military developments.
Above all you cannot separate international relations from technological
military break through.
- Throughout history not one international affair was settled by
- Throughout International relations, surely that was the case during
the Cold War, the deciding factor was always held by the military
technology. So crucial, influential and consequential was military
technology that no international affair could be discussed or
separated from it.
- Example: from the very beginning organized international relations
1648- 30 years war.
a. Sweden became a major power.
b. It came to the aid of the German Protestants. A major military
c. If you consider the Swedish population of 2 million people
compared to the German population of 15-20 million compared to
the Spanish of 5 -8 million. Or if you compare them to catholic
population which was up to 30 million in Europe
d. How was it possible for a tiny state such as Sweden to become so influential? Basically salvaging the Protestant states.
e. They did this by implementing a strategy that changed their whole
army. In those times the Swedish people were the first in the
world to implement the musket. And introduce it to their entire
f. All Swedish nations had muskets. By doing so their firepower was
immensely higher than those surrounding them
g. This is what started the revolution in military affairs
o It allowed the Swedes to dominate the battlefields for a
number of years. Salvaging the protestant cause.
o It also led to greater casualties. This is why the 30-year war
became so bloody.
- That set the standard. Form that point on any state that had at the
upper had in military technology won
a. Example: WWI. When the Germans decided to challenge the
British in Naval terms.
b. The Germans thought of laying down a high sea fleet, attempting
to catch up with the British.
c. By doing so they initiated an arms race and more so, indirectly
challenged British rule.
d. Threatened the existence of Britain.
- Military technology/ revolutions became very important. Whoever
had the upper hand there would eventually have the upper hand in
Still even more important in general terms, WWI was a military
stalemate. No one managed to find the antidote to the Machine gun, or
the barbwires, or trenches. Instead of a mobile war they ended up in
stalemate. It was this military stalemate that all belligerents tried to
solve. Basically attempted to go back to mobile warfare instead of a
stationary warfare. This involved changing of tactics and military
strategy. For the first time the Germans come up with a viable plan.
Introducing blitzkrieg. A fast-paced mobile war. No stationary war. The
essence of blitzkrieg was immense. It was incredible. If you look back to
1939-1940 it was extremely successful. Poland was defeated in 6 weeks.
France was also defeated. Belgium was defeated in 5 days. Denmark also
in 5 days. Norway in 2 weeks. The Germans lost their advantage when
they attacked the soviets. Blitzkrieg could not be implemented in soviets
as it was implemented in Western Europe. The terrain was different,
landscape was different. In addition, unlike Western Europe Soviet Union
did not have roads. Everything was different there. The essence was all
about the new technology. New technology new strategy.
Of course this was the same situation at the end of WWII. After all nuclear
weapons and atomic bombs were introduced. This was a new technology,
which naturally needed a new strategy. Unfortunately that was not the
case at all.
Atomic bomb: incredible weapons. Immensely more powerful than
conventional bombs. However, there is a limit to atomic bombs and how
much they could destroy.
- For a good 6 or 7 years this was the main weapon. It was also very
- They thought that we needed to have an even more powerful weapon.
Something that would be limitless. And this is where the hydrogen
bomb came in. - Actually there is no limit to hydrogen bomb.
- In essence this is what you had by 1952.
The Americans produced the first Hydrogen bomb. It took the Russian 4
years. The Americans had it 1945 and 1949 the Russians had it? It took
the Russians 9 months to catch up and produce their own Hydrogen
Clearly both had the same destructive weapons. Both were in need of a
viable strategy. How to bring in these weapons and somehow implement
a foreign policy that would allow them to utilize them to some sort of
advantage. Astonishingly neither side did anything. If we look at the past
history no one understood the new weapons. No one tried to implement
a viable foreign policy that involved the weapons.
What were the consideresations of the two sides:
- The minute the war ended both was preoccupied with
demobilization. Not how to implement the new weapons into a viable
strategy and gain as much as they could, rather demobilization
a. 10 an half million American soldier
b. There after the American high command never considered the
Atomic weapons as a new weapon that needed a new study.
c. Rather they saw them as a extension of the conventional weapons.
d. If we look at the military study of late 1948 we can see that they
tried to figure out what would happen if the Soviets did attack
Western Europe and the Americans were called up on the defense
of that continent.
e. The American strategy came up with the conclusion that they
would use their 56 atomic bomb. They could kill about 3-4 million
soviet citizens outright. Another 3-4 million citizens would die in
10 years. It would destroy the economy. But still not prevent a
major general soviet invasion in Western Europe and not prevent
them from over running the continent.
f. In other words it would have no impact on the world. The only
impact it would have is that soviet casualties would be higher.
Other than that the nuclear weapons would not stop the soviet
- Given that they did not even think of creating a new strategy for
- The soviets were no different. In 1944-1945 they were the ones who
were in disadvantage. The Americans were the ones who had nuclear
monopoly. Yet the Russians, Stalin that is did not see nuclear weapons
in any other different way. He too saw the atomic weapons only as an
extension of conventional weapons.
a. He too thought that if there was a war between the US and the
Soviets the primary task was to defend the homeland and prevent
b. The army to prevent an invasion into Eastern Europe and then
c. The air force to safeguard the economic centers
d. The navy to prevent an American invasion from the soviets
- Only after these tasks were achieved did Stalin think of using his
limited nuclear weapons. Both sides saw them as ordinary weapons.
They understood how powerful they were because they saw the effect
of Japan, but did not tailor their strategy. It took the American number of years to create the first strategy. Even
though the Russians had their own atomic bombs the American still had
superiority. The essential steps on developing the first strategy.
- Congressional hearing in November 1945: inviting generals to share
their experiences of WWII.
- Two particular generals
- Both spoke to the cabinet and shred their ideas. They said that
another pearl harbor couldn’t be prevented. Any opponents of the US
that had the ability to launch attack could pull off a pearl harbor.
- The only way to prevent such an attack, and the only way to save
them was by promoting the development of nuclear weapons,
propagandizing them. Telling the Russians that the US does have the
weapons, and that we would retaliate with these weapons. And to
make sure that no attack would ever occur. This is the birth of the
strategy of retaliation.
- All the Americans who promoted retaliation and deterrence only in a
sense to prevent future wars. Bernard Brady, an American strategic
expert came up with this idea. Up until this point the Americans
thought every single war to be winnable. However, from this point on
the fact that we have weapons that are so destructive we have to
make sure that we deter an outbreak of the war by showing off
- No sane opponent of the US would ever risk a war knowing full well
that his own state would be destroyed.
Even within the retaliation aspect there were number of individuals who
did not see eye to eye with this strategy.
Once such individual, Curtis Lemay said that to hell with relation. I will
not wait for the other side to make a move. I will throw at them
everything I had. Even the atomic weapons. He kept telling the president
and the congress that the US is not obliged to share with them their
secret plans. In other words he thought he could decide on his own. Had
this been the case you would not run international affairs.
Fortunately for the world, numerous people did not see eye to eye with
- There was a very serious in fighting within the American armed
forces. They air forces were just one branch, and then you have the
navy, the army and such. . Both of them fought against the air force.
- The minute nuclear weapons became the main striking force it also
meant..? Whoever had the atomic weapons (which ever section had
control) controlled all of these resources.
- They would get the most money from congress. Naturally the navy
and armed forces would never agree to let air force have sole
command over the nuclear weapons.
- It took them 5-8 years to sort out all of these differences. They
eventually came up with one strategy.
Stalin never saw the nuclear weapons any different from the
conventional weapons. Which meant that as long as Stalin was alive there
was no chance the Russians could come up with an independent strategy
for fighting a nuclear war.
Up until 1953 very much the same attitude. The Red army thought of this
This soviet-American conflict, and soviet-American development of
nuclear weapons was complicated and challenged. By the early 50s an additional states that acquired nuclear weapons. The first to do so was
Great Britain. It is quite a surprise that the British decided to go on their
own and build their own.
- You have to think in the terms of 1940s when Britain required so
much American aid to fight against Nazi Germany alone.
- To guarantee that aid they were willing to share their own. They
shared their nuclear/atomic research and so on.
- Therefore one would assume that the British and Americans would
always share the nuclear strategy and technology. However that was
not the case.
- That goes great distance to say how misinformed the British were.
Throughout the 1940’s Churchill constantly appealed to this special
relations between Britain and the US. So they assumed the Americans
will share their nuclear secrets. However that came to an end.
Starting from 1946 the US atomic energy act terminated that special.
That exchange of top secrets between the US and Great Britain. Indeed
London was on its own from now on. No more American support and
sharing American secrets. That pretty much left Britain isolated and in
nuclear terms-defenseless. A visit by in 1947 and he received a similar
press down by a secretary of state just as Molotov had from US in 1945
from Truman. When he came back from London he was livid. He said that
he did not want another foreign secretary of England to go under similar
thing that I have gone through. They cannot reply on the Americans and
must have the atomic bomb.
- It is this what prompted the British to develop their own nuclear
- Pouring in billions of pounds.
- Eventually by 1952 they managed to build a bomb of their own.
Operation hurricane was tested successfully.
- However, it was not a really powerful bomb.
- Nevertheless they tested their nuclear weapon, joined the nuclear
club and became the third state in the world to achieve nuclear
- Afterwards they even developed their own strategy in what context
and how to use the nuclear weapons.
The minutes the British have it. Who else have to have it? The French.
Charlie de Gaulle felt that the Americans were as dangerous to the
world as communism. He wanted to develop an independent third world
nuclear force lead by France. However to have that you have to have a
bomb of your own. Eventually the French undertook a serious scientific
study. There was quite a cooperation between French scientist and
Israeli scientist. The point is that it took them several years and by 1960
they developed their own bomb and joined the club.
- The French had the tiniest, yet the most powerful tested weapon.
- By 1960 France becomes the fourth power to have a nuclear
weapon. France decided to strike an independent course.
- He showcased France as a viable option vs communism or American
- It promoted France as a great power throughout the world and
exposed the a third path between the two extremes: American
Capitalism and Soviet Communism.
Eventually the Chinese will be the 5 great power to follow the same path. Especially after the Chinese and Soviets split in the 60. At this point
these 4 states. This is the development, this is how they came to be, this is
how they were implemented and thereafter every single state was
compelled to somehow develop a strategy. You have the weapons, how
can you use them effectively to allow you to dominate international
affairs and pretty much impose your will on your opponents.
Moreover we had two events in international relations that pitted the
east vs. the west.
- Berlin blockade
- Korean war
In neither case do we see either side relying on nuclear weapons. This
was not because they were considerate about the effects of the nuclear
weapons. Instead it was simply because they had no strategy for them.
Many argued in Washington that ha