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Army Diplomacy

Army Diplomacy: American Military Occupation and Foreign Policy after World War II

Walter M. Hudson
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 416
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  • Book Info
    Army Diplomacy
    Book Description:

    In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the United States Army became the principal agent of American foreign policy. The army designed, implemented, and administered the occupations of the defeated Axis powers Germany and Japan, as well as many other nations. Generals such as Lucius Clay in Germany, Douglas MacArthur in Japan, Mark Clark in Austria, and John Hodge in Korea presided over these territories as proconsuls. At the beginning of the Cold War, more than 300 million people lived under some form of U.S. military authority. The army's influence on nation-building at the time was profound, but most scholarship on foreign policy during this period concentrates on diplomacy at the highest levels of civilian government rather than the armed forces' governance at the local level.

    InArmy Diplomacy, Hudson explains how U.S. Army policies in the occupied nations represented the culmination of more than a century of military doctrine. Focusing on Germany, Austria, and Korea, Hudson's analysis reveals that while the post--World War II American occupations are often remembered as overwhelming successes, the actual results were mixed. His study draws on military sociology and institutional analysis as well as international relations theory to demonstrate how "bottom-up" decisions not only inform but also create higher-level policy. As the debate over post-conflict occupations continues, this fascinating work offers a valuable perspective on an important yet underexplored facet of Cold War history.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-6099-3
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-26)

    In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the US Army became the principal executor of American postwar governance policy throughout the world. It administered the military occupations of not only the defeated Axis powers of Germany and Japan but also of Austria, Korea, and many nations liberated by American military forces in their drives across Europe and the Pacific. At the height of the army’s responsibilities, more than three hundred million people around the world were under some form of US military government authority.¹ According to Cold War scholar Melvyn Leffler, of all the services, the army had the...

  5. 1 Military Government Planning prior to 1940
    (pp. 27-60)

    The army’s dominance in the planning and execution of post–World War II governance has its origins in practices dating back to the midnineteenth century, including its internal adoption of laws regulating treatment of civilians and its acceptance and application of laws of international conflict, in particular the Geneva and Hague Conventions. The army had gained practical experience throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with occupations in Mexico, the Reconstruction South, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. And while army officers often lauded their own achievements, in reality the long-lasting achievements of American occupations were ambiguous in almost every...

  6. 2 Military Government Doctrine, Training, and Organization, 1940–1941
    (pp. 61-92)

    An institution is as limited as an individual is in its capacity to process information, and its rationality is, as anthropologist Mary Douglas points out, just as inherently bounded. As there are limits to an individual’s abilities to act as a purely rational choice-making agent who seeks to maximize interests based on a straightforward cost-benefit analysis, there are likewise limits to an institution’s abilities to so analyze and calculate. Rather, both individual and institution are bounded by norms, societal contexts, and historical precedents.¹ And not only is the institution bounded by its norms, by its place in society, and by...

  7. 3 FDR, Interagency Conflict, and Military Government, 1941–1942
    (pp. 93-128)

    The army’s rise to preeminence and ultimate predominance in matters such as postwar governance came with the nation’s move to a wartime footing. According to Randolph Bourne, in a modern nation-state a total commitment to war links together societal activities with great speed, and the government is able to arbitrate and even determine matters of private enterprise as well as public opinion and societal attitudes in a much more total way. In such an environment, military solutions are often preferred and even presumed: “The inextricable union of militarism and the State is beautifully shown by those laws which emphasize interference...

  8. 4 North Africa and the Establishment of the Civil Affairs Division, 1943
    (pp. 129-156)

    Relatively little planning for postconflict administration was done for the North Africa campaign, begun in November 1942 with Operation Torch, the invasion of French Morocco and Algeria.¹ No doubt some of this was due to poor planning assumptions that included the expectation that the French in the occupied areas would warmly welcome the Allies as liberators, thus making the question of military occupation irrelevant.² But the situation was further confused by Roosevelt’s uncertainty as to who should take the lead in occupation responsibilities. French North Africa, with its Vichy government, only added to the complexity. Robert Murphy, Eisenhower’s political adviser...

  9. 5 Planning and Implementing Military Government in Germany, 1943–1946
    (pp. 157-200)

    The origin of the Cold War is often presented as a series of grand strategic moves in the form of policy decisions followed by actions that revealed either subtle or dramatic shifts in superpower behavior. There is utility in such a presentation as historical shorthand for highly complex events. However, if not recognized as only partially explanatory, such presentations are historical examples of the intentional fallacy of attributing events solely or predominantly to high policy. The postwar American occupation of Germany, in contrast, points out how often significant actions were driven from mid or lower military levels.

    Germany was crucial...

  10. Photographs
    (pp. None)
  11. 6 Planning and Implementing Military Government in Austria, 1943–1946
    (pp. 201-228)

    Austria was by no means as important as Germany was to the United States or Soviet Union geopolitically, and therefore neither nation was as concerned about Austria falling into its respective sphere of influence. Accordingly less studied than the more famous occupations of Germany, Japan, or even Korea, the American occupation in Austria nonetheless proved highly important for that country’s future. In particular, Gen. Mark Clark’s insistence on recognizing the provisional government of Karl Renner was essential to Austria’s eventual disengagement from the Cold War. Power was returned to the Austrian people relatively soon, and the establishment of a unified...

  12. 7 Planning and Implementing Military Government in Korea, 1943–1946
    (pp. 229-260)

    Some historians have viewed the 1945–1950 period in Korea as a time of superpower strategic miscalculation at the expense of the desires and needs of the Korean people themselves. Bruce Cumings, for example, notes the confrontational Truman administration, which sanctioned the establishment of boundaries between American and Soviet spheres of influence and, as required, the use of military force.¹ Yet, as at least the example of Austria shows, Cold War confrontation did not inevitably lead to war or to permanent partition in occupied territories. While the attitudes or supposed interests of the superpowers are often studied to determine how...

  13. Conclusion: The Postwar Occupation Experience and Its Lessons for the Army
    (pp. 261-284)

    Military government did not end as rapidly as army or civilian leadership wanted. By 1947, both army and civilian leaders saw the need to do so. In July, Assistant Secretary of State John Peurifoy stated before the House Executive Expenditure Committee that while the army would maintain constabulary forces until peace treaties were signed with the occupied nations, all other occupation activities would be turned over to the State Department. Secretary of War Kenneth Royall told Lucius Clay that he was trying to “induce State to take over Military Government” and that he expected an answer from new secretary of...

  14. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 285-286)
  15. Notes
    (pp. 287-350)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 351-374)
  17. Index
    (pp. 375-396)