Chapter

Longing for International Control, Banking on American Superiority: Harry S. Truman's Approach to Nuclear Weapons

S. David Broscious

in Cold War Statesmen Confront the Bomb

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780198294689
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601538 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198294689.003.0002
 Longing for International Control, Banking on American Superiority: Harry S. Truman's Approach to Nuclear Weapons

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Although Harry Truman embraced the idea of a ’nuclear revolution’, he also remained convinced that, despite this revolution, other environmental factors still held force – namely, international anarchy, aggression, and the need to defend against aggression. In short, there was a clash within Truman's mind between the imperatives of the nuclear age and of the anarchic international system within which the nuclear revolution evolved. While hoping that an international control system could eliminate the prospect of nuclear war and foster the peaceful use of the atom, he was also ready and willing to rely on US lead in the field of nuclear energy to contain the horrors inherent in nuclear war. Having defined the Soviet Union as a non‐cooperative partner and as a threat, Truman accepted the need for American nuclear superiority in order to deter Soviet aggression and prevent nuclear war.

Keywords: Atomic Development Authority; deterrence; international relations; nuclear energy; nuclear superiority; nuclear weapons; Soviet Union; Harry S. Truman; USA

Chapter.  12393 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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