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The Road to Offensive Realism: The Evolution of US Grand Strategy in the Early Cold War, 1945– 50

The Road to Offensive Realism: The Evolution of US Grand Strategy in the Early Cold War, 1945– 50

Chapter:
(p.50) 3 The Road to Offensive Realism: The Evolution of US Grand Strategy in the Early Cold War, 1945– 50
Source:
Grand Strategy from Truman to Trump
Author(s):
Benjamin MillerZiv Rubinovitz
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226735153.003.0004

This chapter explores the evolution of US grand strategy toward the Soviet Union in the formative years of the Cold War (1945-1950). Within five years from the end of World War II, the US changed its grand strategy twice. The strategy of offensive realism that emerged in 1950 continued to guide the US throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. These significant successive shifts in grand strategy between 1945 and 1950 and their timing provide a major historical and theoretical puzzle in need of explanation. The explanation is based on our theoretical model.

Keywords:   Cold War, Korean War, Soviet Union, international system, Truman, Roosevelt, worldwide commitments

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