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November 07, 1954 - Image 1

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Foreign Policy in Perspective: 1952-54

Visiting t Asstant 'rote,r
Department o Politial Science
LEADING Republicans have said that
their "dynamic, new, foreign poicy"
has "eliminated war," ended appease-
ment of the Communists, created a strong
Asian policy and "laid it on the line" tc
our European allies in order to compel
them to carry their full load in the st rug-
gle against the Soviets.
Former President Truman has noted
"blunder after blunder" in the conduct
of our foreign affairs since 1952, while
other Democrats have charged the Ad-
ministration with complete confusion,
war mongering and total ineptness.
Amidst all this sound and fury, bluster
and bravado-intensified of late by pant-
ing politicians frantically charging to-
wards the electoral finish line-what ba-
sic significance can be found in the course
of American foreign policy during the
last two years? What sort of reasonable
objective analysis can be made?
To begin with, one must realize that,
in the policy conflict between isolation-
ism on the one hand and some form of
collective security. support, for interna-
tional organization and participation in
balance of power politics on the other,
isolationism has gained only miccority
political support in the United States
since 1932. The reasons for this derive
from the very nature of the Twentieth
Century and America's position in it.
The mass of the population and its
leaders have found it extremely difficult
to ignore the fact that technology has
almost destroyed the relative insularity
of Nineteenth Century America. Know-
ledge of the existence of Soviet bombers
capable of reaching us in some half doz-
en hours across the Arctic has forced
most Americans into an awareness of the
fact that the world is really round-that
Europe and Asia are not just remote
continents on the other side of vast ex-
panses of water which function as im-
pregnable defenses for the U.S.
Frequent headlines which describe
American dependence for vital resources
on areas outside the Western Hemisphere,
the degree of popular, physical, psycho-
logical, and material participation in the
struggle to defeat Germany and Japan,
and the post-war position of leadership
thrust upon us have all served to height-
en American insight into the nature of
our involvement with the rest of the
world. One must indeed be living in an
ivory tower to be able to ignore the ex-
tent to which isolationism, today, rep-
resents no more than meaningless nega-
tivism incapable of resolving any of our
foreign policy problems but fully capable
of promoting our collective assassination
THAT SUCH was realized by all major
post-war points of view was clearly
demonstrated during the "great debates"
which raged from 1947 to 1952. For in
the course of those widely publicized ex-
changes concerninog the definition and
propriety of the Trman Administration's
containment policy, both of the leading
critics of elaborate U.S. involvement in
global leadership-former Senator Taft
and ex-President Hoover-insisted with
some measure of validity that they were
not traditional isolationists, either. Sen-
ator Taft thus argued in behalf of ex-
tremely limited American military aid to
Europe and avoidance of military en-
tanglements on the Asian mainland un-
less and until the Europeans could them-
selves produce armed might capable of
stopping the Russians in the event of an
attack. Even Mr, Hoover, however-whose
position was more extreme than Taft's-
emphasized the importance to American
security of a friendly British bastion
while agreeing with Senator Taft on the
necessity for great air and naval power
based outside what he felt to be our'
Western Hemisphere Gibraltar.
In effect then, by 1952 the cause of full
blown isolationism was pretty dead, The
real foreign policy alternatives Invoved
either the perpetuation of some combina -

Death of Isolationism
Has Led to Many Splits

pulling out of Korea or launching a new
efort to units the peninsula by force-
these two alternatives having been sug-
gested by neo-isolationists and aggressive
nationalists respectively'
The restoration to national sovereign-
ty and the remilitarization of both Japan
and Germany-commenced under Presi-
dent Truman-has been brought much
closer to complete accomplishment in a
continuation of the policy of building up
foreign power in key areas with the hope
that it will remain anti-Communist and
pro-American. The NATO regional col-
lective security system established under
Mr. Truman has been continued as a
mainstay of containment, while the same
policy has also been applied to South-
east Asia in a less inclusive and less co-
hesive SEATO.
The numbers of Americans in uniform
has remained about the same, though
Secretary Wilson's emphasis on military
economy and strength through reduced
expenditures somewhat resembles thos
views whose application eventually pro-
duced the dismissal of Louis Johnson for
shortsightedness. In addition, the Tru-
man gamble on EDC was continued and,
though it failed, did at least generate
enough pressure to produce the recent
London and Paris agreements to estab-
lish a less supra-national Franco-Ger-
man reconciliation. Finally vocal sup-
port for the United Nations has reman-
ed relatively firlm through the tendenev
since 1947 to by-pass it through resort to
multi-lateral and regional negotiations
has also been continued and expanded
AS FAR AS "new" oreic policy acti-
vities are concerned, the novel gen-
erally has been more verbal than real.
During the last two years there thus has
been a good deal of talk of substituting
"dynamism" for "appeasement," but in
the one outstanding "hot war" which did
pose a test-namely, Indo-China-it was
decided not to intervene to present the
area from falling to the Communists. As
a result, that other "new technique-
"massive retaliation"-seems to have
taken its place alongside pronouncements
about the liberation of the Communist
enslaved peoples and threats to our al-
lies of "agonizing reappraisal" as addi-
tional evidence of a much noted American
foreign policy propensity to reverse "Ted-
dY" Roosevelt's doctrine and engage in
bravado without concern for our ability
or willingness to back up the shouting a
traditional situation which Walter Lipp-
mann has described so effectively in his
U.S. Foreign Policy book).
How then should we evaluate our for-
eign policy frori 1952 to 1954? The ans-
wer would seem to be that it has remained
within the broad non-isolationist policy
outlines approved by most of the citizenry
and teadership of this era; that it has
continued our national effort to stem
the Communist tide by resort to regionaI
collective security systems in order to
deter and counterbalance the might of
our opponents; that it has sought these
objectives while simultaneously attempt-
ing economies in armed forces expecndi-
tures and emphasizing military over eco-
nomic aid to the non-Communist world;
and, finally, that while we have contin-
ued to avoid World War III, the Com-
munist world has not only retained it
pre-1952 dimensions but has expanded
beyond them. We remain on the defen-
sive, and we remain in great jeopardy'
With his first issue of the Sund'y
Magazine, The Daily takes on a
new project. Appearing every two
weeks as a regular section of the
Sunday Daily, the Magazine will in-
clude features ol music, ar, lite-
ature, movies, politics, fashions and
sports. Occasionally, an entire Mag-
azine issue will be devoted to the job
of covering one subject,

AT THE ART MUSEUM-Described as a "very good reproduction," this copy
of the famous "Victory of Samothrace" dominate, the main hall of the Univer-
sity Museum of Art in Alumni Memorial ftall.

tionl of collective security and balance of
power politics, capped by continued
thou'h no longer excessively optimistic
participation in the United Nations, or
that might be called the Taft-Hoover
THE CAPTURE of tie Republican nom-.
ination in 1952 by General Eisen-
hower settled the "great debate" as far
as official policy was concerned. For, the
Eisenhower defeat of Taft constituted one
more victory for the advocates of an
American foreign policy of active inter-
national leadership. Prior to his nomina-
tion, M Eisenhower had made it very
clear in testimony before the Senate
committees and in debate by press con-
ference with Senator Taft that he re-
garded any withdrawal from Europe or
reliance on air and naval power as an
invitation to disaster. In fact, during the
last few months preceeding the Repubhi-
can Convention, Eisenhower openly stat-
ed that he had become interested in the
Presidential nomination not so much
through opposition to the Truman poli-
cies as through fear that the neo-isola-
tionists would take over the Republican
party and then go on to capture the
White House, It was this very agreement'
on major foreign policy alternatives with
the Democrats, as well as the General's
vote-getting possibilities, which also led
so many Democrats to urge earlier that
their nomination be offered to the future
Republican President. Moreover, the mo 'C
powerful Hisenho er supporter amn
Republica "cv--GoverinMr Dc 1 ciahad h -

self clearly indicated prior to 1952 that
he was in favor of a policy of global
containment of the Soviet Union which
went beyond the Truman position of com-
mitting us to defend key areas through
partial mobilization. The stated Dewey
view was that we should draw a line
around the globe and then engage in full
mobilization in order to defend it against
any Russian incursion.
rHE PERIOD from 1947 to 1952, there-
fore, indicated quite clearly that an
Eisenhower Administration, whether in
behalf of the Democrats or the Republi-
cans, would perpetuate the T. R. Roose-
velt-Wilson-F.D.R-Truman advocacy of
U.S. leadership in world affairs. In addi-
tion, the Eisenhower-Dewey views ex-
pressed during the same period made it
a good bet that 1952 to 1954-with Mr.
Dewey's former foreign affairs advisor as
Secretary of State-would not involve any
drastic departure from the containment
policy embarked upon in 1947 by Mr.
From the hindsight of 1954, the ex-
pected has generally occurred. A foreign
policy combining aspects of collective se-
curity, balance of power, and support for
the United Nations has been conducted
with some new verbal twists but also with
a continuation of many of the same
strengths and weaknesses characteristic
of "Trumanismo"
During the last two years the Eisen-
hower Administration thus has com-
pleted the Koe an truce negotiations in-
oitaed 'Vbyis predeeaor instead of just

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