Introduction: Power and Ideas Chapter I Prepared by: HAFIDZ HAKIMI BIN HARON LLB (Hons.) IIUM Advocate and Solicitor ,High Court of Malaya

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Page 1: Topic 1 intro power and ideas

Introduction: Power and IdeasChapter I

Prepared by:


LLB (Hons.) IIUM

Advocate and Solicitor ,High Court of Malaya

Page 2: Topic 1 intro power and ideas


Second World War ended in 1945 claims over 60 million lives.

In Europe; begun in 1939 when Germany attacked Poland.

However in Asia; began in 1937, when Japan attacked nationalist China under Chiang Kai Shek.

Japan lose, USA and Soviet Union won.

Despite being allies in WW2, US involves in war with Soviet Union client, North Korea just 5 years later.

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Power and states in East Asia, 1945-

1950 : The surrender and occupation of


3 major events that confirmed US dominance in Asia during sept and aug 1945:

• 6th August: Atomic Bombing in Hiroshima

• 9th August: Atomic Bombing in Nagasaki

• 2nd September: Formal surrender by Japanese signed on USS Missouri; which made General Douglas McArthur as a new ruler of Japan. – Japan had became new „province‟ of Imperial America.

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Power and states in East Asia, 1945-1950 :

American Dominance in Asia Why American dominated Asia?

a) Russia devastated by Germany in WW2;

- in debt with the US for the last war effort.

-Yet to have an atomic bomb like the US

b) China devastated by Japan in WW2.

- Chiang Kai Shek‟sgovernment were corrupt.

- Heavily dependent on the US support.(except Mao‟s northern region communist government)

c) France struggling to re-impose colonial rules in Indo-China

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Power and states in East Asia, 1945-1950 :

American Dominance in Asiad) Britain lost its colonial power credibility.

- exhausted from the world war 2

- Bankrupt

- lived begging to the US!

- India achieved its independence.

e) US were new superpowers in 1945

- Infrastructures remain untouched by bombs during WW2.

- Had 2/3 of the world‟s gold reserve

- Half of the world‟s shipping industry

- More than half of the world‟s manufactured goods

- Possessed powerful and modern army, which stationed all over the world.

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The Shifting Balance of Power

In 1950; US supremacy seems still unchallenged. However there are series of developments which appeared to weaken the US global predominance:

a. Unexpected defeat of the US backed regime in China under Chiang Kai Shek by the Communist action under the leadership of Mao Zedong – new People‟s Republic of China had been proclaimed in 1st October 1949 and later signed an alliance with the Soviet Union in 1950. – Chiang Kai Shek had retreated to Formosa, forming new nation of Taiwan.

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The Shifting Balance of Power

b. In Indo-China, the

French struggling to

resist Communist/

Nationalist leadership

of Ho Chi Minh.

c. In Japan, there was

demonstrations against

American control over

the country.

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Superpower Rivalry: Relations

between the USA and the USSR After the war, US government

had cut their military spending savagely; - which makes them short of many kinds of military equipment.

But, the USSR had increased their spending on defense ; which to the some extent not just had rivaled the US forces, but also growing a gap between it.◦ For instance; USSR- 2.6 millions

army personnel and the US only had 640,000. USSR also had 30 armored division, but the US only one!

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Superpower Rivalry: Relations

between the USA and the USSR In addition to that, by August

1949, the USSR had also successfully developed its nuclear power capability. Thus, the US was not the only nuclear superpower anymore.

The paper of No.68 of the National Security Council authored by Paul Nitze had highlighted this rivalry on military spending with the USSR. He even suggested that the original budget of $10.9 Billion in 1948 should be increased to $35billion to $50billion annually – as to contained the USSR.

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Ideology and the Cold War Context

By 1950, the relationship between 2 former alliance in the WW2 – the USSR and USA ; had gone soured, which brings military and diplomatic confrontation. Why?

• First, by historical root. Previously in 19th Century there was always rivalry of Asian domination between Britain and Tsarist‟s Russia. – The USA just inherited the Britain’s role.

• Secondly, Stalin‟s Russia had become more powerful than its former predecessor, the Tsars. Previously Russian territory had always been invaded by the Western European powers (Napoleon‟s French, The Third Reich of Germany etc). Thus, by learning from mistakes, Stalin had determined to stop these invasions from pushing its border westward and installed the communist government in all nominally independent countries of Eastern Europe. - However, in the eyes of Western democracies, this perceived as threats and aggression. The West also expecting the policy of the USSR in Asian countries would be similar as they did in Europe.

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New dimension of the rivalry: The

clash of ideologies.

The rivalry between the US and the USSR were not just halted on the historical roots and political policies, but also expanded to the clash of ideologies between the two.

However this is not new; even formerly in the clash between Britain‟s and Tsarist Russia, there was also an element of a clash of ideologies.

Which back then, Britain consider herself as liberal power standing for the most advanced values of the age, while in the opposite, the Tsarist Russia was perceived as a bastion of reactionary stupidity and despotism

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The USSR: Ideology

In 1950; USSR was the champion of „Marxist Leninism‟. (Q: what is that? I would be grateful if you can tell me what it is =) )

To put insult to the injury, the Soviet regime openly proclaimed that there will be no long-term peace between capitalism and communism! + claimed that communism will eventually triumph the world.

Russia saw herself as „the face of progress‟, while they labeled the US as the „bastion of capitalist selfishness‟.

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The USSR: IdeologyStalin saw the Great Depression of 1929-1933 and the victory against the Nazi Germany in World War 2 as a source of the communism credibility as the hope of the mankind. – which they don‟t deserve it.

Many intelligentsia in the west Soviet system is a cure to the western world ills.

This also influences George Bernard Shaw, which produced a film which praising the Soviet system.

There also Soviet agents in the West providing classified information of their government to the Soviet intelligence.

Communism also spreading in the west; as result of distaste for the failing of the western society; unemployment, poverty, etc.

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The USSR: Ideology

However, while Soviet Union had been celebrated as the champion of communism by western idealist, the reality in Russia was much more bitter.

In Russia there was oppressive and brutal regime, which practiced arbitrary arrest, torture, and total disregard of rule of law.

Thus, the Bolshevik Revolution 1917 had been resulted to a formation of a totalitarian regime, rather than filling its initial aspiration, freedom.

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The USA: Attitudes and ideology.

Without a doubt, there is much wrong unsolved wrong in the American society particularly racism endemic in the southern states, inequalities of wealth etc.

However there are still freedom and the rule of law existed in the US, which President Truman determined to defend against the Soviet regime.

As according to Averell Harriman, US ambassador to Moscow; “… Soviet program is the establishment of totalitarianism, ending personal liberty and democracy as we know and respect it”.

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The USA: Attitudes and ideology.

The Truman Doctrine.

Basically a speech of President Truman in front of the congress appealing for aid for Greece.

In the speech, it contains praise on Democratic values, and the importance of defending it.

Truman ask for $400 million aid for Greece and Turkey and to request American military and economic advisors be sent to those countries.

The purpose of this aid is to overcome the widespread opposition within the United States to direct involvement in Europe and to ensure that neither Greece and Turkey fell under the Soviet control.

According to Walter Lippman, the impact of this doctrine is that; “A vague global policy which sound like the tocsin [alarm bell] of an ideological crusade, has no limits. It cannot be controlled, its effects cannot be predicted‟.

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The US domestic context – the

shaping policy

-Non democratic state; the leaders only consulted senior figures in the ruling elite.

-No freedom of press

-Public opinion could be largely discounted

-Press and public opinion are influential

-Democratic country

-The US constitution expressly prohibited any sort of authoritarian rule, which invokes sharing of powers among different institution T

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Developments under President

TrumanA little bit about Harry S. Truman;

• Was the US President in 1950

• Churchill described Truman as „modest little man with much to be modest about‟

• Truman basically not an educated man, since he was never entered into university , but he was a fast learner.

• Won Presidential election in 1948

• It was during his time as a President the US involved in the Korean war.

• While wishing to avoid third world war, he was not prepared to be pushed around !

• Truman adopted „containment‟ policy on communism; where communism should be accepted where it has established itself but must be resisted if it is sought to expand.

• The success story of Truman also coincide with being surrounded by good foreign policy advisors. Among them was Dean Acheson, the Secretary of State during his era.

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National Security Act of 1947 The Act had brings the Establishments of

two new institutions;The National Security

Council (NSC)

The Central Intelligence

Agency (CIA)

• Set up to advice the

President in the new

context of Cold War

• In the first instance many

had been prejudiced to this

agency as it seems to be a

threat to American

libertarian values. But later

it enjoys an escalating

budget both for intelligence

purposes and covert


• Have army experts in

disposal, also producing

several influential policy

statements; such as NSC 68

• Highly influential, working

directly under the

secretary of defense, and

the President (Joint Chief

of staffs)

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National Security Act of 1947

However, unlike the political system in the

USSR (totalitarian system), the US

executive could not operate without the

co-operation of the Legislature.

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Mc Carthyism Named after Senator Joseph Mc Arthy of

Wisconsin – which initially voted as the worst senator by the press.

He had few friends – even in his own Republican Party.

However in 1950, he had launched a campaign against communist infiltration of the government

A month later he made a speech that claiming that he knew 205 communist had already infiltrated the State Department.

His campaign and allegations; even though much of them did not possessed evidential credibility; had sparked the awareness on anti-communism among the masses.

The Anti-Communist sentiment was also being shared by the fellow senators including Joseph and Jack Kennedy, which later influenced the Truman‟s administration to conduct stricter foreign policy in matters concerning communism.

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The Red Scare

Means the Anti-Communist hysteria, or called „the red scare‟

Why there was THE RED SCARE in the first place ?

1. There had been serious Soviet penetration in the USA in the 1930‟s and 1940‟s.

2. Russian possessed an atomic bomb.

3. China had been „lost‟ to communism

4. Even a well connected US diplomat, Alger Hiss had supplied classified information to the USSR – high ranking penetration in the US government

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Thank You