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Background and the Foundations of US Foreign Policy
Kennan, the "Long Telegram" and Containment
George Kennan worked in US Embassy in Moscow.
February 1946 sent out telegram.
It said Russian rulers were weak and lacked support from the Russia people. To try
and gain support the Russians made an enemy…

Page 2

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In April 1950 Rhee is forced to have elections and he loses!!!


Importance of Japan
Japan surrender in 1945.
Allowed to keep Emperor Hirohito but was subject to military occupation and US
domination.
George Kennan believed in the world there were "five centres of industrial and
military power". These were…

Page 3

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Truman could claim to be acting on behalf of victim and in accordance with
international law.
Did the US only use the UN because they knew resolution would be passed
though a way to justify US intervention?
Evidence of dissent from UK, France and Egypt.
League of Nations had not…

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In a letter to Truman in March 1951 he said that Europe would not have a chance if
the US let Asia fall to communism.
December 1950 Truman ordered a restriction to comments to the press, but
MacArthur continued making comments about his discontent.
MacArthur had been critical of Ridgway's…

Page 5

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Truman briefly considered using atomic weapons but he was aware this could
result in WW3.
MacArthur wanted to use weapons as early as 1950.
Ridgway also supported use of nuclear weapons, but only as a least resort.

Negotiations over Prisoners of War etc
US concerned if PoW sent back then…

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ANZUS Pact in September 1951 built anti communist alliance between the USA and
Australia and New Zealand.
NATO extended to include Greece and Turkey and US aid to NATO increased
(between 1951 and 1955 $25 billion).
These two pacts enlarged the USA commitment to the Far East.

US-Sino-Soviet relations in…

Page 7

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France were often lazy and severely underestimated the Vietminh. The French
ranks drunk a lot and loved prostitutes.
The French military tactics were very old fashioned, especially used in the jungle
terrain. The Vietminh's guerrilla tactics were far better suited.
The Vietminh were FANATICAL and were more than willing to…

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Reasons against intervention: nothing for the US to gain in intervening; partial
involvement would not be effective; is the domino theory actually realistic? Will
such a small country make any difference; after Korea, can the US really afford
any more troops; Republicans had focused on "new look" which emphasised
nuclear…

Page 9

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Supporters of Ho in South called National Liberation Front, or nicknamed by Diem
Vietcong (VC). Not sure whether these supporters of Ho were from the South, from
the South moved to the North and then came back to the South or were just
originally Northerners.
From 1958 violence escalated in…

Page 10

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McNamara visited Vietnam in 1962 and he reported that the war was being won.
Others were more wary of getting more involved in Vietnam. The French President
warned Kennedy that getting more involved would result in "bottomless military
and political quagmire". Rusk felt getting involved would result in Hanoi and…

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