WWII- Cold War.docx

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Political Science

I. US enters the War o FDR comes up with the Cash & Carry, which didn‘t work for long WHY? 1) Britain ran out of cash FDR came up with Destroyers and Bases, Lend or Lease 2) British convoy had difficulty carrying weapons back b/c German submarines in the North Atlantic were sinking British ships  FDR managed to allow American navel ships to escort convoys carrying armaments back to Britain o Germany wasn‘t so thrilled (letting ships carrying weapons to fight them float by b/c they were escorted by American ships; US X combatant, but kind of look like one b/c they escorted a combatant) o By summer 1921, US navy was fighting an undeclared war with German submarines in the Northern Atlantic o Calculated way on FDR‘s part by manipulating public opinion and finding a way around Congress‘ isolationist constraints: As soon as Hitler sank an American ship, that would open way to US declaration of war & isolationist public and congress wouldn‘t stand in his way o Question of US entry into war was actually settled by Japan o Japan = vulnerable, lacked raw materials such as oil; FDR understood this and wanted to find ways around the US public and Congress to support Britain in war against Germany  capitalized on Japan‘s vulnerability: placed a trade embargo on Japan & by summer 1941 US froze Japanese access in the West o At this point, Japan was set to run out of oil within months BUT their lacking resources were in the islands nearby o Japanese leaders calculated that 1) Japan couldn‘t expand very far in their region without provoking the Americans to war, 2) Japanese political leaders were told by their military advisors that if they fought coldstale? war with US, they would lose o Japan‘s situation: going to run out of oil and other resources, have the power to get them short term but if they get it, probably going to provoke the Americans to war and if they provoke Americans to coldstale war, they going to lose o SO 1) Decide war is inevitable, Japan should strike first, rather than US striking first 2) bolster this decision with wishful thinking about the course of war: knew in a long war, the most powerful state, US, would win  hoped they would fight a short war o Hoped by seizing a string of islands across the pacific in a short time & preemptively destroying a large part pacific American fleet in Pearl Harbor, Japan could persuade the Americans to some kind of deal (to divide up the islands?) Instead fought a long, horrible war (that US wanted to win and Japan were guaranteed to lose) o Dec. 7 1941, Japanese engaged a surprised attack on Pearl Harbor and a massive submarine campaignnext day US declares war on JapanGermany declares war on US 3 days later WWII o Some argue, with the US entry into the war, given the technology of the time, the faith of the axis powers was pretty much set: Only need to look at the economic and productive figures of the time; Pearl Harbor was a setback BUT US economy and military was able to gear up in a massive and fast way: by 1943 US produced 37 billion dollars worth of armaments whereas Germany only produced 13.8 billion, 86,000 planes compared to 25,000 decisive numbers and people argue Germany would have eventually lost the war even if they stayed at peace with SU o In reality, Japan brought US into war too quickly & Germany made even bigger mistake by turning east and attacking SU, 6 months before Pearl Harbor in June 1941 o Germany had enormous success with Blitzkrieg—hoped to recreate this victory, fast BUT found SU very hard to invade b/c very big, cold, and even though backward in many ways Soviet military power was in great proportions o Germans had initial success entering SU and capture/kill 3 million Russians in first few months BUT country this big was hard to defeat in a total war –bowed down in winter and by spring Nazis army was being driven back o In total wars –wars that mobilizes all of a country‘s resources and is fought to the finish –the biggest countries (population, territory, and even economic capacity) sometimes have the greatest advantage in total wars o ―Big enough, can lack brilliant strategy and win‖this logic has been very deeply ingrained in our thinking of war BUT it depends on the conditions –not always a total was Germany may well have reached their objectives if they had been able to keep the allies divided, but once the war starts, the alliance comes together; once the balance of power starts to pull together, things start to look more decisive on side of allies II. Birth of the Cold War- started during WWII 1. Divided alliance o This grand Alliance (Britain- greatest colonial power, old style politics, hatred of communism, US- huge industrial capitalist country, huge isolationist at heart led by FDR, SU-world‘s only communist country led by Stalin, its ideology called to overthrow world‘s capital system which led by Britain and US their allies) o When Hitler invaded the SU in June of 1941, Churchill offered to assist with all means a Britain‘s disposal Grand alliance brought together by fear of German hegemony and was successful long enough to defeat Germany o But just as balance of power , theorists would argue the alliance had issues and began to fray when the big 3 FDR, Stalin, Chamberlain started to discuss what they would do after they defeated Germany; faced with designed the post WWII world o And in the frame of the Alliance, you see that the seeds of the Cold War were sewn long before Germany was defeated, see the cold war emerging even as the allies are working to defeat Germany o As strange as that may sounds (huge disagreements between powers working together toward a common end, not really surprising because these disagreements actually started coming about when thinking about the post WWII world & what would their relative position in that world be. **Notice importance of relative gains; all want Germany to lose, but exactly how Hitler loses will have an important impact on post war world o Basically two disagreements 1) How to defeat Germany 2) how to set up post war world o Everyone realized post WWII int‘l system would look very different from anything the Europeans were used to; becoming clear US & SU had entered the big world stage long term & Unclear what Britain‘s (already been declining) role would be, role of France and China (just now entering), and the role of defeated nations, Germany and Japan o So the jockeying for relative position starts even while they are working together. 2. Second front o One place this is visible is discussion of setting up a second front in Europe o 1942: Germans fighting Russian on the first front; allies needed to open up a second front –essentially reinvade Europe from either west or south but couldn‘t agree how to do it o The British wanted to put off the second front, when it happened wanted it to be aimed at the Balkans to hold on to colonial empire as much as they could o FDR installed a posdair? Plan- concerned about Russia‘s ability to hold out against Germany & wanted to take some pressure off Russia by forcing Germany to divide and fight a two-front war o Basically, British and US arrived at compromise: decide to invade through North Africa (and fight the French occupied colonies) SU didn‘t like the ideathought the decision was taken by British interest to take new colonial territory & the second front didn‘t do enough to take pressure off of them o ** Micro-disagreements –due to other implications for other interests the Allies have  line of decision on post WWII world is beginning to form 1) Churchill: worried about preserving British Empire, wanted to restore the balance of power in Europe that could hold peace so they could exert effort in holding on to their empire, also worried about SU and feared Stalin might be the new problem BUT with all these concerns Britain was weak SO came up with plan for dividing spheres of influence –semi-formal arrangement where each of the great powers would have a say in their zone & recognize rights of others to dominate in their area (variant of Concert of Europe, deliberately managed balance of power system) 2) Stalin: paranoid about SU security & wanted to consolidate Soviet gain in Eastern Europe to ensure a German state X able to threaten them, thought of US return to isolationism which meant an opportunity in Europe 3) FDR: worried about American retreat to isolationism after WWII; X like Churchill‘s ‗divided spheres of influence‘ b/c American public X support it; came up with Four Policemen –system in which the US, SU, Britain, China work together to secure peace & put down potential aggressors, keep others in line; kind of managed balance of power system in which the power states would cooperate so that no one challenged the balance; part of this plan involved the UN—thought the best would be to combine ideas of collective security + the realities of power politics (able to design to avoid the problems they wished to avoid…UN security council) truly believed SU and US could work together (understood SU concerns about security and recognized Stalin was predetermined to set up his empire in Eastern Europe, thought SU aggression was product of fear and pervasive insecurity) thought if SU security was met, both could work together, X believe in a fundamental conflict of interest 3. Poland and Yalta o 1 serious dispute over the setup of the post WWII world: destiny of Poland, when SU pushed back to Berlin, encounter an German occupied Berlin 1) Stalin set up puppet Polish govt. in SU which had no legitimacy in Warsaw 2) Another Polish govt. set up by exiles in London –strong anticommunist (British backed this govt. because 1. had greater support in Poland 2. hostility toward SU) 3) US wanted free elections within Poland BUT free elections don‘t always go the way you want them to if stuck with free elections, the govt would be anti soviet and knew SU couldn‘t live with that so backed down; FDR believed SU made legitimate claims wanting a Polish govt. that was at least Soviet friendly because Germany had attacked through Poland 2 times US compromise ―Should be a coalition govt. in Poland that included at least some of London exiles Stalin X like this and by 1945 recognized his own Polish puppet govt. o This Poland issue came to play Britain-US-SU relations for the rest of year; same problem came up when dealing with other issues in Eastern Europe o Yalta: seen as the beginning of the end of the Grand Alliance o American conservatives have long criticized FDR for giving away Poland, by implication giving away Eastern Europe to SU o True that the post War world is decided at Yalta, but not clear that outcomes made much difference (FDR was criticized for giving away Poland but was not his to give away) –unless Western allies were willing to go to war for Poland, very unlikely, very little that could be done & still needed Stalin to finish off Germany and Japan 4. Potsdam and the Future of Germany o Potsdam: what to do with Germany 1) Stalin wanted Germany severely weakened 2) British worried because already had tried that & a revitalized Germany was thought to be necessary to stand up against SU 3) FDRTruman; US vacillated (wanted democratic Germany, wanted to secure balance of power, too strong to be left alone, but weren‘t sure of solution) o Agreement to disagree which divided Germany and each had say in their zones o Potsdam basically ratified the existing distribution of power (Western Europe -US and Britain & Eastern- SU); Important who actually held territory: the post war lines is a matter of who stands were o One successful thing: Successful US testing of atomic bombs in New MexicoNagasaki and HiroshimaJapan surrendered in December III. Causes of the Cold War A. Orthodox view (prominent until mid60‘s) o SU basically caused the Cold war o Views the SU as expansionist state & Western powers act stop and restrain this expansion, reluctant to do so and preferred to cooperate but had to guard against the state of Munich (appeasement is very dirty, if you fail to stand up to aggressor today, will hurt you even worse tomorrow—WWII lesson) People argue SU didn‘t take the UN seriously, which was the US collective security response, SU kept large armies and totally inflexible at Yalta, B. Revisionist view (starts up in 60‘s in opposition to orthodox view) o Main thrust: Cold War was a consequence of US policy toward SU (X vice versa) o Regarding US power: up to the Cold War, world was not bipolar, actually unipolar (SU had lost 30 million people, industrial production was half of before, US had atomic bomb)  The powerful state, US, led the way o Regarding Stalin: more moderate than often depicted—tried to restrain Mao from taking power in China o Soft & hard versions of revisionist o Soft—Truman had been more hardline than FDR, democratic party had become too anti-communist ideological struggle where the US overreacted; interesting twist on this is that ideologies was foil, top policy makers in Washington weren‘t ideological at all, responding to realist statesmen & concrete threats of SU and had to create a skeptical and isolationist support of publicportray the struggle in more dramatic ideological terms Real politik - ideological crusade against SU, on behalf of free people o Hard–essentially Marxist, view US as expansionist state that wished to protect interests of capitalistic system; Could not afford to have powerful socialist state in the world, particularly one that had taken on Eastern Europe and in doing so dried the capitalist market there  US brought upon cold war to protect themselves C. Decision making FDR defeat in giving away Poland, Stalin being paranoid, etc. D. Post revisionist o Gaddis (orthodox after Cold war- post revisionist) o Doesn‘t make any sense to blame any one side; inevitable because of the bipolar structure of post WWII balance of power E. Comments Any of these causes aren‘t entirely satisfying 1) Orthodox portrays US as reacting to SU too simplistic in a way as the most powerful state and because US had other interests 2) Revisionist: strong argument doesn‘t really hold, US was not terribly worried about economic position in 1945 with an abundance of new markets around the world economic spending was systematically subordinated to political issues because US did a lot that cost a lot in the service of security -thought to be more important (don‘t mean it doesn‘t hold long term,) 3) Bad decisions were made on both sides, but not entirely clear if other decisions would have changed outcomes much 4) Post revisionist- relied heavily on systemic analysis truth that some kind of cold war could have been inevitable but the depth, probably not- different hostility reflected different conditions of bipolarity IV. Timeline for the Cold War 1. 1946- 50 o Embassy ―Why is the SU not following with plans for the IMF and World Bank (economic institutions imposed by the US)  Kennan‘s long telegram response: tried to warn US govt. about his thoughts on Stalin‘s true intentions and nature, argued the SU saw the world divided socialist vs. capitalist and saw no hope of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence only way to stop SU was to meet power with power, should build cohesion and resistance of Western block & be prepared to counter Soviet extension wherever it reached o Basically birth of ―containment‖US policy was to contain communism where is was, neither threaten nor expand o During same year, Churchill, ―iron curtain was falling across Eastern Europe‖ o Truman – saw Kennan was right –that SU would expand communism wherever they could, some argued US was hesitant to see the Soviet as an absolute rival but various disagreements solidified they weren‘t going to be able to work together o What some considered to be the declaration of Cold War 1947:Truman Doctrine Britain had been providing security in Mediterranean but overextended and could no longer SO US decided to replace British power by giving assistance to Greek and Turkey (or let a power vacuum develop) WHY was this important? A major break from regular US foreign policy during peace time Unsure, so asked republican senators would the senate go for this? Yes talked about protecting free people everywhere not so much balancing power; ideological struggle that US had obligation Truman doctrine: idea that US
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