Eisenhower and the Cold War by Robert A. Divine

By Robert A. Divine

A really apt and cogent vindication of Eisenhower's prudent and reasonable behavior of statecraft in the course of his phrases.

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He supported the appointment of Ngo Dinh Diem, a fiercely anti-Communist Vietnamese who had spent several years in exile in the United States, as the new Premier of South Vietnam under Emperor Bao Dai. He saw in the new regime in Saigon the best hope for the future. "26 The key to the new policy was for the United States to take the place of a defeated France in Southeast Asia. " The National Security Council agreed with this analysis, and on August 20, 1954, President Eisenhower approved a new threefold American policy in Southeast Asia.

It was rich in raw materials like tin and rubber; its geographical location placed it at the crossroads of Southeast Asia; its millions of people deserved to live in freedom, not Communist domination. But above all else, the fall of Indochina to Communism, he believed, would lead to the loss of all Southeast Asia. "10 Despite the importance of this region, the French, Eisenhower's second assumption argued, had proved irresponsible. Instead of meeting the legitimate desire of the Vietnamese for independence and self-government, they had refused to give a firm pledge to end their colonial rule.

He left himself complete freedom of action in dealing with the Korean conflict as President. Pie had thus been able to take political advantage of the Korean War without committing himself in advance to any specific course of action. Ill After Eisenhower's decisive victory at the polls over Adlai Stevenson, most observers assumed that one of his first acts as President-elect would be to appoint John Foster Dulles as secretary of state. Instead, Ike delayed the appointment for several weeks while he canvassed the field.

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