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EXAM STUDY QUESTIONS--EXAM NUMBER 3: HSTAA 212 1. What were the essential elements of America's "Cold War strategy" as it emerged in the decade after WWII? Why did this strategy emerge and how did the events in Korea affect American strategic thinking? Strategy: Nuclear deterrence and collective security. Bombs would be improved and delivery systems important to success. National Security Act. Truman Doctrine: Commits US to outside states that are being pressured by outside forces (US would aid (not go to war) and country that was being pressure by communism European Recovery program (Marshal Plan): US would approve grants to help countries rebuild their economy to keep out communism. Why: US and USSR at odds on a wide array of international issues, national interests and ideology. They saw their rivalry as a clash of principles with their own principles being successful to their national future. Battle for Europe and loss of China essential to case to beat USSR and communism. After Korea: Turned from a crisis-oriented military policy toward concepts and programs designed to last as long as the rivalry with the Soviet Union. Long haul approach. Nuclear weapons remain at the heart, strategic deterrence is essential. Creation of the “triad” and build up of alliance system to protect against soviet attacks from anywhere in the world. 2. How did the U.S. find itself at war in Korea in 1950? (What generated the North Korean invasion of the South? Why was our intervention in Korea in June 1950 a surprise to most Americans--and to North Korea--and what were the principal reasons for U.S. intervention?) North invasion of the south: felt it was the right time to unify Korea, US didn’t intervene to save Chinese Nationalist Government, Rhee looked vulnerable and Il Sung was under pressure from Hawks in the north. They thought it would be a quick (one-week war), safe grab of an area the US appeared unconcerned about and could do little to prevent. The Soviets sign off on the plan but tell Kim the Chinese will have to help. Surprise to Americans and North: Korea left outside zone of vital interest, US largely disarmed because they were depending on the atomic card and preoccupied with Soviets and Europe. Korea had been a backwater of American diplomacy and didn’t loom large as a military concern. JCS ruled out offensives in Asia and US considered Korea the UN’s responsibility. Why US intervention: Invasion seen as a proxy attack by soviets, a line must be drawn, administration must stand up to communism for itself and as well as the UN. Truman was worried about slack for losing China and felt it was the moral thing to do. At the end of WWII Korea is divided at 38 th parallel. US in charge of south, Russia in charge of north. Both sides want a unified country and once US/Russia pull out each country is looking to unify. US wasn’t talking about potential was, leaving South Korea unarmed. Kim Il Sung uses Americans lack of interest with why a quick attack should be possible.
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