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Effects Of Nuclear Weaponry On American Foreign Policy Background Essay

To end the next World War, American president Truman decided to drop the atom bomb on Japan; it was the wish of the leader that device would bring an instant end to the conflict. With such amazing electric power in the hands of america, it is undeniable that the atom bomb-and later, other nuclear weapons-would play a significant role in shaping American international policy. Was the United States able to achieve its overseas insurance plan goals through this recently acquired electricity?

To come to a summary to the question, considerable research on the overseas coverage of the Soviet Union and of america were examined and compared. Once the atomic bomb was first created, america sought to make use of its newly gained capacity to limit Soviet expansion. This policy was commonly known as "containment. " Through analyses of several options from other historians, this essay endeavors to answer these question. This article focuses on the first eight years of the cold warfare (1945-1953) as this is a vital timeframe where historians are able to see the radical change in American foreign policy due to the bomb.

It seemed that this new policy failed and that the atom bomb was unsuccessful in undertaking American foreign insurance plan goals. There were numerous factors that deemed the actual implementation of the bomb in conflicts inappropriate. For example, using the bomb in virtually any hot discord would bring moral disgrace to America and put pressure on the relationship with its allies. Generally, the plan to work with the bomb as a leveraging tool acquired backfired as the Soviets became ever more difficult to negotiate with. In addition, with the Soviets exploding their own atom bomb in 1949, America had lost its ability to politically maneuver as it previously experienced before.



Towards the end of the next World Conflict, the Allied powers were desperate to find a quick end to the conflict in the Eastern theatre. The previous few battles in 1945, fought against the Japanese, including the challenge of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, were specifically bloody and win cost the lives of several American troops. These battles confirmed the Western Capabilities that an all out invasion on Japan would be too costly indeed, and that any assistance by additional nations would be desirable.

In the Yalta discussion which took place in February 1945, negotiations occurred for Soviet soldiers to enter into the war against japan privately of the Allies. At the time of the Yalta discussion, Soviet participation on the Allies aspect of the battle felt necessary. It appeared that favorable relations with the Soviets were vital for the Allies to avoid an expensive invasion of Japan. Inside the convention, Churchill and Roosevelt made concessions to persuade Stalin to enter into the battle against Japan. Stalin accepted simultaneously, as he was to be given considerable territorial concessions in exchange.

By enough time of the Potsdam seminar in July 1945, however, United kingdom and American frame of mind had evolved towards Soviet involvement against Japan. First, Roosevelt was no longer leader, and Truman, who was simply regarded as less of appeaser when compared to Roosevelt, required his put in place this conference. More importantly, the People in america were successful in undertaking their top-secret Manhattan Job, in which the United States was able to perform a successful atomic bomb test on July 17, 1945. This new weapon of such overpowering power, which could wipe out large populations of men and women with substantially less effort than a full scale invasion, would permanently shape the course of American Foreign insurance plan and the development of the Cold Conflict.

This essay attempts to analyze the way the atomic bomb got drastically transformed American foreign insurance policy through research of the first eight years where the Americans experienced the atom bomb. This timeframe is very important as it demonstrates American foreign policy had altered at the initial stages where the Americans had purchased the bomb. This paper will check out how America would attempt to use the bomb with their political advantage, the implications of utilizing a bomb with such a harmful drive, and overall, set up bomb helped to advantage American foreign policy.

Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Rapid advances in technology, and especially physics, lead to the eventual creation of the atomic bomb. By 1942, the majority of the great capabilities, including Germany, Britain, Japan, USSR, and america got launched programs to build create bombs of "awesome harmful power. "However, only the United States could continue the program without negatively impacting on their war work. In 1944, not certain that the bomb would work, the Americans searched for help from the Soviets in the warfare effort against Japan.

When the first atomic bomb test was performed on July 1945, Truman no more noticed the Soviet entry into the warfare as necessary. Furthermore, the Red Army's entrance into the war with Japan would make postwar occupation programs for Japan much more complicated, and allows the Soviet expansion of its sphere of affect in the East. A rapid defeat of Japan would prevent all these troubles. Although many historians still dispute the true explanations why the bomb was fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Leader Truman announced that it was for one simple and straightforward purpose. He announced in his memoirs an invasion of Japan would cost approximately half a million lives of American military alone.

However, considering the strained relationship between the Us citizens and the Soviets, it would not be in minimal unjustifiable to feel that the bomb was used to win over and intimidate the Soviets. Some historians claim that Truman recognized Japanese surrender was inescapable, so the bomb was lowered entirely to intimidate the Soviets. Soon after the consecutive bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Truman encouraged Soviet officers to examine the damage left behind by the atomic bomb. Truman hoped that the bomb can be utilized as a show of capacity to quench any future Soviet aggression and expansion.

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in terms of American foreign policy towards Soviets, could be observed as a show of vitality and control. It had been a start of a fresh time, nuclear diplomacy, where the United States consistently used the bomb as a potential icon of destruction up against the Soviets. The successful test of the bomb allowed Truman to truly have a more aggressive position towards Stalin in the Potsdam Conference. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki only fortified Truman's hostile stand in working with the Soviets. This strong hostility would be offered in the varieties of the Truman doctrine and the Marshall plan.

American and Soviet Views on Nuclear Monopoly

After the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Us citizens generally followed two viewpoints on the bomb. Numerous North american policymakers, such as Wayne Byrnes and Chief executive Truman himself, believed that America's nuclear monopoly allows the Us citizens to gain concessions from the Soviets. They thought that it could allow them to look at an insurance plan of containment where they endeavored to avoid international communist development. However, the proceedings at the London Convention of 1945 proved them incorrect. For the next few weeks at the conference, little or nothing on the diplomatic level was accomplished. If anything, the Soviets have grown to be even harder to manage than they were ever before. Actually, the following year or two for American foreign policy noticed a Soviet Union that was more hesitant to cooperate than previously.

While most American policymakers adopted an aggressive position against the existence of the atomic bomb, there have been some, including Dean Acheson and Henry Stimson, who found America's monopoly as more of a threat to international tranquility. Although Truman referred to the bombing of Hiroshima as "the best thing in history, " Acheson described "the news headlines of the bomb is the most terrifying yet. " Acheson preferred the internationalization of the bomb. He thought that the monopoly would blend up Soviet distrust towards america. Moreover, he assumed, unlike Truman, that the Soviets would quickly have the ability to build their own bomb. As we have now know, Acheson was right. With all the Soviet obtainment of the atomic bomb in 1949, it became much harder to seize international cooperation of the bomb.

A couple of weeks later, Byrnes noticed that he could not make obtain concessions from the Soviets through the existence of the atomic bomb. He quickly sought in 1946, without Washington's agreement, the internationalization of the bomb, the proposal of the Baruch plan, and the UNAEC. But already, the Soviets had decided to have a harsh stance up against the Americans and declined the proposal.

Nowadays, it is most uncommonly identified by scholars that there is an increasing amount of co-operation from the Soviets between the years of 1945 and 1946. Indeed, there is substantial evidence that indicate that Stalin didn't desire a Cold War. Yet, what stirred up Soviet hostility which in turn elevated in to the Cold Warfare?

Even though Stalin did not show it publicly, it was visible that he feared the power that the People in america possessed so long as they had the nuclear monopoly. In the Yalta Discussion he offered his best needs for the bomb to be used against the Japanese to get rid of the conflict, in a fairly quiet manner. However, immediately after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he complained that "war is barbaric, but using the A-bomb is superbarbarity. " In addition, he bought a gigantic accumulation program to create a Soviet version of the atomic bomb at a high cost to his country's war-shattered current economic climate.

In community, Stalin hid his worries of the atomic bomb. He was able to remain so relaxed about the news headlines of the bomb was because the Manhattan Project was not secretive enough to safeguard its information about the weapon from Soviet cleverness. Hence, Stalin had probably known about the weapon's lifetime even before Truman himself have. The fact that Stalin thought we would spy on his allies even through the war demonstrated his distrust of the People in america. The building of the bomb and the fact that the Us citizens did not notify Stalin about the bomb themselves definitely worked to intensify this distrust.

It would therefore appear weird that Stalin, who feared the bomb much, would reject America's proposal for internationalized control of the bomb. The Baruch Plan of 1946 would give above the control of all fissionable materials to the US. In addition, it could force the United States to ruin its complete nuclear arsenal. If both gatherings approved, and arrangement could have been come to, to the advantage of the Soviets, removing nuclear weapon solutions from both nations. Yet, Stalin dropped. Scholars maintain that he declined mainly due to two reasons. First, the Baruch Plan needed regular inspection of both territories by the United Nations. Stalin was fearful that the Americans would call a preemptive attack to eliminate Soviet atomic bomb making facilities. Subsequently, he experienced that the Baruch Plan was another method for the Americans to lengthen their hang on the nuclear monopoly so when the weapons were eventually removed, the People in america still experienced a monopoly through the fact that that they had the knowledge of earning an atomic bomb.

Thus, the American monopoly of the atomic bomb was an important catalyst to the Cold Warfare and a root cause for its buildup. The inability to internationalize nuclear technology would pressure the Soviets to generate their own bomb which in turn lead to a nuclear forearms contest when the Soviets exploded their own bomb in 1949. Historian David Holloway sums up the result of nuclear arms quite effectively when he said "it probably made the Soviet Union more restrained in its use of push, for concern with precipitating war. It also made the Soviet Union less cooperative and less prepared to compromise, for fear of seeming poor. " Rather than gaining international cooperation and peace, america had ruined it.

The German Question

As shown by discussions in the Yalta Seminar, American leaders observed that it was necessary to maintain a peaceful co existential point out with the Soviets even after the Second World Conflict ended. Roosevelt sought to create a European tranquility in assistance with the Soviets through the division of Nazi Germany. This is achieved by splitting Germany into four profession zones each occupied by People in the usa, British, People from france, or Soviets. The Soviets managed the East aspect of Germany, whereas the Traditional western powers manipulated the West side. This was to avoid the reconstruction of a strong and ambitious Germany. Stalin, who was simply especially pessimistic about the probability of a solid Germany in the future, wanted to use Eastern European countries as a buffer area between the USSR and Germany. The German question - the disagreement between the USSR and the Traditional western powers on the best method of handling the future of Germany, is said by multiple historians to be always a main factor in the introduction of the Cold Battle. A significant factor for the growing tensions of the Cool war was directly related to the shortcoming of both Soviets and america to come quickly to an arrangement at Berlin.

With the successful test of the atomic bomb, American policymakers understood that they could react with their own interest and disregard the interest of Soviet security. The good thing about the nuclear monopoly allowed the Americans to recreate a rearmed Germany that may resist Soviet enlargement. The initial matter with a solid Germany was that it could, in the foreseeable future, promote another issue, as it already experienced twice before. However, now that America experienced nuclear arms, it could adopt a policy of "double containment" in which a strong Germany could be utilized both to contain both Germans and the Soviets. Using its atomic weapons, it could deter any future German belligerence and with a strong Germany. Then, America could include Western world German into a EUROPEAN military alliance and its own nuclear arsenal to limit the Soviet sphere of influence.

The rearmament of Germany was a very audacious political move for Truman. It ought to be observed that the Nazis, were responsible for the deaths of a large number of American military just less than this past year. It would be domestic politics suicide to try and rearm a region where one's own country was recently preventing a warfare against. This is reflected by the fact that your choice to rearm Germany was confronted by numerous objections by the American people. Furthermore, in a overseas political field, the rearmament of Germany was fulfilled with large opposition from other European nations who also struggled the Nazi regime in the next World Warfare. Third, soon after the Second World Battle, the American general public began to demand a global demobilization of American soldiers. In 1945, the United States acquired deployed more than 12 million Us citizens under arms internationally. By 1946, this amount was significantly reduced to a mere 3 million and then to 1 1. 5 million by 1947. In case a German battle machine was to ever before rise again, the United States would not have a decent number of military personnel to carry down German aggression, that is, through normal warfare.

These factors produce an overpowering opposition against Truman's decision to reform Germany's military. Despite having the living of the ownership of atomic bombs, it was difficult to perform such an activity. It would therefore be impossible for Truman to impose such a reformation with no ownership of atomic weapons. Thus, aggressiveness of American foreign policy in Germany is seen as a finish result of the American possession of a nuclear arsenal. The antagonistic behavior within Berlin between the People in the usa and the Soviets were the direct result of American ownership of the atomic bomb.

1949 - Soviets build their own atom bomb

When the Soviets were able to explode their own bomb in 1949, the problem had drastically altered for the Us citizens. America no more organised a nuclear monopoly, and for that reason could not force the Soviets around as it had attempted to for the last few years. It closed down off, at least for the mean time, any method of internationalizing atom bomb technology. The Soviets, who have just obtained their own bomb, would be reluctant to forget about it.

When the news first reached Truman, he was uncertain how to proceed as the Traditional western scientists forecasted that Soviet nuclear technology was years behind that of the United Claims'. Therefore, when Truman was pressured to do something, he was quite uncertain what to do. Because of this, he tried out to, at the same time, increase and decrease dependency on nuclear weapons. First, even though the Soviets now acquired atom bomb technology, Truman found it important that America always acquired a nuclear arsenal bigger than the nuclear arsenal of the Soviets. Truman therefore called the accumulation of the American nuclear arsenal. In addition, he also known as for the creation of an "super-bomb" which was predicated on nuclear fusion instead of fission. These steps would be the key catalysts that caused the nuclear hands race.

At once however, Truman attempted to eliminate the role that the atom bomb possessed played out in American international policy the last few years. Now that the Soviets had the bomb, it could not be desired to build up an aggressive coverage against the Soviets with the bomb any more because if completed, the issue could bring about a nuclear exchange between the Soviets and the People in america. Therefore, Truman looked for to de-emphasize the utilization of the atomic bomb against Soviet policy. In 1950, one year following the Soviets acquired exploded their own bomb, Truman drafted the NSC-68. It needed the buildup of conventional pushes. Its goal was to "increase as rapidly as possible basic air, earth and sea durability to be able to not [be] so seriously reliant on atomic weapons. " From these contradicting stances considered by the leader, one can start to see the disarray in foreign plan that the possession of the nuclear weapon experienced cast on america. Initially, the bomb was likely to bring serenity and balance, but it seemed to be doing the contrary.

Implications of the Bomb

To do that day, following the Americans had decreased atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, no other atom bombs have ever been used on every other cities on the globe. The Soviet Union's unfaltering stance against the Us citizens in foreign insurance plan even against the odds of the nuclear monopoly presents us with the idea of Stalin's theory of atomic bomb use. The bomb in a nutshell, despite its highly destructible vitality, was an unusable bomb. Stalin realized this as he continuing to takes hazards, including the Czech coup, the Berlin blockade, and permission for Kim Il-sung to harm South Korea.

America had been making strategies for a nuclear preemptive hit on the Soviet Union. An example of such an idea could be the SAC Emergency Warfare Plan 1-49 which presented the deployment of 133 atom bombs on 70 Soviet metropolitan areas. Programs like these grew in proportion to the American nuclear arsenal. Soon, plans were made to destroy "more than 100 Soviet places and towns, plus 645 armed service installations [in] significantly less than 1 day. " In contrast, the Soviet Union was far from being able to repel such large nuclear attacks. Even a little more than a decade after the Soviet scientists possessed exploded their first atom bomb, the Soviets acquired only four practical missiles. Despite a advantage for america, the Americans got never used another atomic bomb after Nagasaki.

One of the reasons for the inability to make use of such a weapon was America's image of itself. America was a region in which fundamentals of morality always enjoyed an extensive role in its politics. As mentioned by American Basic George A Lincoln, "It could be desirable to affect the first blow, [but] it is not politically feasible under our bodies to do so or to stat that we will do so. " There were constant discussions of an nuclear preemptive strike on the USSR, but always in the context of the USSR breaking the peace first. Another constraint on the power of the United States to declare nuclear war was the pressure and reaction of other nations on America. For example, through the Korean War, Uk Perfect Minister Celement Atlee rushed to America - in an attempt to persuade Truman from using atomic bombs in the battle, as he feared another world battle would ensue. America did not start wars. It only struck back again at its enemies.

The early 1950s noticed an America with a much different situation at hand. In 1953, North Korea invaded South Korea, commencing the Korean Conflict. Once more, the Americans discussed whether it might be essential to use the atom bomb. This time around, America experienced the moral higher hands since it was not america that began the warfare. Nevertheless, they failed again to work with the bomb to their edge, which cost the lives of 33686 American troops. A new problem provided to the People in the usa was that the bomb was designed to get rid of large cities. There is always disagreement between your Americans concerning where to drop the bomb. Unlike Japan, Korea contains many small metropolitan areas, and bombing anybody of the small cities wouldn't normally provide America with a major strategic advantage. More importantly, by enough time the Korean War experienced initiated, the Soviets already experienced their own nuclear arsenal. The United States was much more unwilling to utilize their own nuclear arsenal in fear that the Soviets would retaliate with theirs.

By the first 1950s, American public support for the use of the atomic bomb quickly decreased. In 1945, in a poll of Americans, 70% of the populace favored the use of the atomic bomb to place down any future hostility. In August 1950, a poll was made on the question of the atom bomb being found in the Korean War. This time around, only 28% of the Us citizens approved. Over time, when scientists learned the side effects of the bomb - that radioactive elements could travel thousands of miles and injury the American people, the mindset of using the bomb to seek peace was greatly undermined. These domestic influences closely restrained the president's selections of using America's atomic arsenal. Any American head could be immediately defaced if the use of the atom bomb had opted wrong. It definitely made Truman more careful about using the bomb again in virtually any post-Nagasaki discord.

When the Soviets created their own version of the atom bomb, there is an ever increasing impression that nuclear weapons were more of emotional weapons than physical ones. The "atomic diplomacy" which had been completed by america to the Soviets the prior few years had not been physical wars. Instead, it propagate fear in the heart of Stalin himself as the weapon constantly alluded to the energy provided at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was the constant reminder of the ability to destroy much in so short amount of time that made the atomic bomb such a cutting edge weapon. As nuclear weapons became more abundant and powerful, they became a moral abhorrence in global foreign policy, and therefore, less useful. However, you might need more nuclear weapons to deter the other who also possessed them. This business lead to increasing tensions as the Soviets and United States continued to broaden their nuclear arsenal which they would never be able to use.


The introduction of nuclear weapons created a rather shaky form of American overseas policy. In one perspective, the entire world noticed American emerge into a police state - having the ability to push other nations around with its technological superiority. Ever more, the United States became more ready to put a harsh position against its aggressors through its overseas policy. That is shown by its hostile behaviour to the Soviets in numerous conditions. Also, America saw a huge removal of troops from other parts of the earth, as they could now keep understanding of control through the use of the atomic bomb. However, on the other hand, the world saw a mixed up Truman who was uncertain in what he could do with the nuclear weapons. The Korean Conflict indeed showed the earth the incapability of the United States to really use the atom bomb to shape its foreign hobbies. Because of its high destructive vitality, the bomb soon became a politics taboo. Deploying it in any conflict would be political suicide. Overall, the atomic bomb didn't allow the Americans to accomplish their foreign plan goals of containment. In fact, the advent of the atomic bomb has probably prompted Stalin to run risks, somewhat than deter him from doing this. The plan to use the atom bomb as leverage in foreign policy acquired failed. Instead, America would go on a costly nuclear arm competition and an increasingly intensive Cold Battle.

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