Origins of the National Security State and the Legacy of Harry S. Truman

Truman Legacy Series

Book 11
Truman State University Press
Free sample

The Cold War profoundly transformed American society, perhaps most significantly through the development of national security institutions that are very much alive more than two decades after the end of the Cold War. The essays in this volume explore the highly charged political environment in which the national security state was created and assess its broader implications for society, both civilian and military. In the complex world of policy making, the executive and legislative branches of government, as well as the branches of the military, struggled with questions of control of national security institutions, constraints on presidential power and civilian control of the military, and long-term implications of policy decisions made in the uncertain post–World War II years.
In his efforts to balance the need for security with the ideals of freedom and individuality, President Truman played a major role in creating and shaping the modern national security state, and the decisions he made at the dawn of the postwar era still echo today.
 
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Publisher
Truman State University Press
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Published on
Apr 3, 2015
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781612481258
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 20th Century
Political Science / Security (National & International)
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This content is DRM protected.
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Many historians of U.S. foreign relations think of the post-World War II period as a time when the United States, as an anti-colonial power, advocated collective security through the United Nations and denounced territorial aggrandizement. Yet between 1945 and 1947, the United States violated its wartime rhetoric and instead sought an imperial solution to its postwar security problems in East Asia by acquiring unilateral control of the western Pacific Islands and dominating influence throughout the entire Pacific Basin. This detailed study examines American foreign policy from the beginning of the Truman Administration to the implementation of Containment in the summer and fall of 1947. As a case study of the Truman Administration's Early Cold War efforts, it explores pre-Containment policy in light of U.S. security concerns vis-a-vis the Pearl Harbor Syndrome.

The American pursuit of a secure Pacific Basin was inconsistent at the time with its foreign policy toward other areas of the world. Thus, the consolidation of power in this region was an exception to the avowed goal of a multilateral response to the policies of the Soviet Union. This example of national or strategic security went much further than simple military control; it included the cultural assimilation of the indigenous population and the unilateral exclusion of all other powers. Analyzing traditional archival records in a new light, Friedman also investigates the persisting American notions of a Westward moving frontier that stretches beyond North American territorial bounds.

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