CAS IR 271 Final: Pacific War to the Cold War

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Boston University
International Relations
CAS IR 271
Ivan Arreguin- Toft

WWII: The Pacific War / Origins of the Cold War WWII: The Pacific War ● Dual significance of the Battle of Midway. ● How the war ended and why? ● The role of racism on both sides of the war Midway: 4-7 June 1942 ● U.S. aircraft carriers: Hornet, Enterprise & Yorktown ● Japanese aircraft carriers: Akagi, Hiryu, Soryu & Kaga ● It’s still a big ocean (blind man’s bluff) ● Code breaking: ○ JN-25 “purple” ○ “AF” = Midway August 1945 ● 6 August: Hiroshima (Little Boy) ● 9 August: ○ Nagasaki (Fat Man) ○ USSR invades Manchuria ● 15 August: Japan surrenders Race War: The Pacific ● Why we fight (Directed by Capra) ● Should Japan be “exterminated”? ● General Blaimey: Australian “Nipponfrei” ● Battle of Attu: ○ Fought between the U.S. and the Japanese Empire (May 1943) ○ Located on Attu Island ○ Allied victory ○ Situation similar to Alamo Conclusions: ● Racism on all sides: Is this natural and inevitable? ● How does racism affect conduct in war (and peace)? ● How other -isms: fascism, capitalism, socialism and liberalism function in war ● WWII’s lasting impact Cold War and Long Peace Cold War, Long Peace: ● Why another war? (3) ● Beginning, middle and end ● Leadership and Misperception ● Kennan’s “long telegram” and “containment” ● Multilateral institutions (long peace) Why War? Three Views: ● Traditional: Stalin’s fault ● Revisionist: ○ Truman’s fault ○ Capitalism’s fault ● Post revisionist: Bipolarity (structure explains both opposition and rivalry) Phases of the Conflict (6): 1. Poland and Eastern Europe 2. Land-Lease halted too suddenly 3. German reparations (again) excessive 4. No occupation zone for USSR in Japan 5. The “atom bomb” 6. Iran, Greece & Turkey Jervis/Yarhi Milo: ● How do decision makers make their decisions? ○ Their answer: method of analysis is agent based as opposed to structure ● Jervis hypotheses on misinterpretation: ○ Why do misinterpretations occur if we are rational actors ○ We can never approach a piece of information without bias ○ There is no alternative hellenistic device to processing information other than the beliefs we’ve already built in our minds Examples of Psychology in Cost Benefit Analysis: ● Classical rationalism assures: ○ Perfect information ○ Perfect ability to process information ○ Expected utility maximization (instead of the “best” we aim for just good enough “satisfying” ● Offensive Realism: ○ Every state is an expansionist; expected utility maximizer under anarchy ● Defensive Realism: ○ Not all states are expansionist, some are happy with the status quo ○ Status quo states are just “satisfied” as opposed to maximizers. Yarhi-Milo, “Eye of the Beholder”: ● How do we assess the intentions (hostile/non hostile) of our adversaries: ○ Costly signaling (behavior thesis) ○ Selective attention thesis ● If you are benign what could you do? ○ Get rid of all offensive weapons ○ Build liability through economic interdependence ○ Sign formal security alliance ● If you are hostile: ○ You would not pay any of these costs and would just do nothing ● Cost of sending the signal that you are benign if in fact you are not benign is greater than the cost of sending the signal that you are benign if you actually are benign. ● Only the benign states would send the signal by paying the cost. Nuclear Weapons (Some) Key Events: ● 1947: The Truman Doctrine ● 1949: ○ People's Republic of China ○ USSR gets the bomb ● 1950: Korean War (6) ● 1989: Fall of the Berlin Wall ● 1991: USSR gone (Surprise!) Kennan’s “Long” Telegram: ● USSR is hostile to US interests, but why? ○ Ideology: revolution must spread ○ History: we keep getting invaded ● Need enemies for scapegoating ● Kennan’s recommendations (3): ○ Educate US public ○ Coordinate with allies ○ No internal division ● Impact: containment over rollback The Long Peace: ● United States as leader (Hegemon) of the “West” ● US lends full support to establishment of multilateral institutions. ○ NATO and United Nations (security) ○ The World Bank, IMF (International Monetary Fund) and WTO (World Trade Organization) “Political Economy, Full Employment, Stable Expectations” ● International Law: ○ Nurnberg and Tokyo war crimes trials (deterrence? revenge?) ○ Geneva Conventions of 1948, 1949. Multilateral Institutions and the Long Peace ● NGOs: Amnesty International & Greenpeace ● IGOs: World Bank & United Nations ● International Law: e.g. IHL (International Humanitarian Law) ● Key Issues: ○ “Commons” problems ○ Collective goods ○ The logic of cooperation and multilateral institutions Cold War Conclusion: ● Different interpretation of why WWII allies became hostile adversaries ● US leadership intended to benefit itself (true) but its interests were tied to allies and world peace and prosperity ● Is the US led “system” that evolved from efforts to prevent WWIII unfair? Unfair to whom? (e.g. Brexit & MAGA) Gilpin: International Political Economics ● Politics versus economics? Giplin: reciprocal ● Three political economies: ○ Mercantilism ○ Liberalism ○ Marxism ● Ross: Oil / economic growth & political institutions ○ Basic argument: ■ Sexism
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