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_____________________________________________________________ H-DIPLO ROUNDTABLE Arnold Offner, _Another Such Victory: President Truman and the Cold War, 1945-1953_ (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002). Roundtable Editor: Thomas Maddux Reviewers: Mark Byrnes, Carolyn Eisenberg, Eduard Mark, Andrew Rotter, William Stueck, Vladislav Zubok ________________________________________________________________ Response by Arnold Offner, Lafayette College I have always regarded H-DIPLO as a useful means to stay abreast of scholarly discussions. I was pleased to have H-DIPLO post my SHAFR presidential address "'Another Such Victory': President Truman, American Foreign Policy, and the Cold War" (_Diplomatic History_, Spring 1999) and to have Walter Hixson find my "parochial nationalist" characterization of Truman to be a "badly needed corrective to recent runaway Truman historiography." Hixson said my "compelling evidence" made a "devastating case" for perceiving Truman as a man who narrowed rather than expanded options, and whose "unquestioned faith in his own nation's moral superiority blinded him to the legitimate perspectives of other peoples and leaders." Hixson noted I assigned "substantial responsibility"-not exclusive blame-to Truman and the United States for the collapse of East-West relations, and commented on how I demonstrated Truman's influence on critical policy issues. Hixson added his own view that the tendency of "triumphalist" scholars to use recent documents from the Soviet archives to blame the Cold War "more or less exclusively" on Stalin and the USSR revealed their "parochial nationalism." Given that my SHAFR address was a preview of my forthcoming book, I was pleased to agree to Tom Maddux's request to have _Another Such Victory_ critiqued on H-DIPLO. I hoped that reviewers would recognize that my intention was to provide a thorough scholarly reassessment of Truman's stewardship of U.S. foreign policy and the origins of the Cold War and spur what I saw as needed scholarly exchange of ideas. The reviews of Andrew Rotter, Carolyn Eisenberg, Mark Byrnes, and Vladislav Zubok indicate that I have succeeded in my main purposes. In Rotter's view, _Another Such Victory_ provides a "superb corrective to the misty-eyed nostalgia" that has predominated since David McCullough's _Truman_ (1992), and while I may not have "solved Truman in all ways and for all time," I have "done more than anyone else to make us understand the foreign policy of this mulish man from Missouri." Rotter finds my study "impressively documented," notes my use of recently translated Russian materials, properly contextualized within the larger body of evidence derived from American and British sources including, I should add, the voluminous British Foreign Office and Cabinet records and papers of Ernest Bevin. Rotters's initial sympathies towards my views have become "convictions." Rotter finds legitimacy in my contentions about how Truman helped to shape the Cold War by pursuing militant containment policies toward the Soviet Union, turning local conflicts in Greece and Korea into international confrontations, and pursuing an ideological hard line in China. At the same time, Rotter notes that I give significant credit to Truman for the Marshall Plan ("perhaps the most enduring and inspiring foreign policy initiative of his administration"), his handling of the Berlin Blockade, and his decision to preserve a non-communist South Korea in 1950. Older issues remain to be debated, of course, and newer ones to be explored. For example, Rotter questions whether there was much of a "lost chance" to establish relations with Mao and his incipient People's Republic of China in 1949. Surely full and friendly relations were unlikely, but my reading of the works of many China scholars and translated documents has led to my belief that there was a prospect for de facto, or working, or back channel relations if the U.S. had been willing to recognize the right of the Chinese communists (CCP) to rule their country (on their terms) and cut off aid to the hostile Guomindang (GMD) regime. In fact, in May 1949 Acheson proposed to apply only traditional criteria for recognition: control of nation, fulfillment of obligations, and general public acquiescence. But Truman's animus and hard line toward Mao and the communists negated efforts to take up or generate CCP overtures to talk or to try to come to grips with China's new realities. Leaders cannot foresee the future, of course, but it seems fair to say-I am certain Rotter would agree--that de facto or working relations might have helped to avert the great Sino-American clash that came after the start of the Korean War in June 1950. Rotter also finds that the "fullness" of my evidence invites speculation about issues (outside the scope of my book) such as the impact of psychology, race, or gender on presidential policymaking. I would welcome exchanges with him or any other interested scholars. Finally, I appreciate Rotter's effort to locate my work within the various "schools" of thought: a good deal more critical of Truman's foreign policy than "orthodox" historians such as John Lewis Gaddis, more critical than Melvyn Leffler, but less harsh than "radical revisionists" such as Joyce and Gabriel Kolko, Gar Alperowitz (on the atomic bomb), and Bruce Cumings (on the Korean War). Rotter concludes I fit most comfortably with "moderate revisionists" such as William Williams, Walter LaFeber, Lloyd Gardner, Barton Bernstein, and Thomas Paterson. In fact, I have benefitted greatly from the works of all of these scholars, and wherever I might be placed, I am honored to be mentioned with this group. Carolyn Eisenberg welcomes _Another Such Victory_ as the first large-scale, broad study of Truman's foreign policy that takes account of newly available Russian and Chinese sources and makes "extensive and judicious" use of the recent scholarly literature these records have inspired. She views the book as a "formidable" and "nuanced" account that reveals the "nonsense" underlying Truman hagiography and poses a powerful challenge to triumphalist writers. She finds the book's "strongest aspect"-albeit the one most likely to elicit controversy-to be my view that U.S. policy made the postwar world more bloody and dangerous than it needed to have been. But she concludes that I have made a "convincing case" that the U.S. might have played a more constructive role if it had more constructive leadership. It is evident in my analysis of U.S. policy regarding Germany that I have profited from Eisenberg's superb _Drawing the Line: The American Decision to Divide Germany, 1944-1949_ (1999), which demonstrates the extent to which U.S. officials took the initiative in political and economic decisions regarding Germany that led to that country's division. But she does raise an important question: whether responsibility for decisions that led to Germany's division rested chiefly with Truman or with his State and Defense department subordinates, and if the latter, does that undercut my emphasis on Truman's role as policymaker? The answer, I believe, is that Truman as president played a significant role, directly and indirectly, in shaping U.S. policy toward Germany by virtue of his own views, his standing at the pinnacle of the diplomatic and military establishment, and his choice of advisers (who often anticipated his preference for "black and white" explications, as White House counsel Clark Clifford later said). Further, because negotiations over Germany so directly involved the Soviets, Truman's views of the latter influenced thinking about the former. At the same time Cabinet officers and senior officials in the bureaucracy inevitably played important roles by pressing their views and drafting position papers for negotiations and the "selling" of policy to Congress and the public. Truman, who took far less of a "retributive justice" attitude toward Germany than FDR, quickly made clear his resistance to the Yalta accords' proposed payment of an approximate $20 billion (with half to the Russians) in reparations taken from all of Germany. He replaced FDR's reparations negotiator with the conservative Edwin Pauley, who dismissed the Yalta accords and State Department estimates that Germany could pay about $12-14 billion, and proposed a "first charge" on current production reparations that gave preference to payment of occupation costs, foodstuffs, and imports over Russian reparations. Truman also accorded with Secretary of War Henry Stimson's emphasis of traditional U.S. belief in the centrality of revived German trade to a healthy world economy, and at Potsdam sided with Secretary of State James Byrnes' hard line zonal reparations policy (and determination to deny Ruhr access to the USSR) that was a harbinger of economic-political division of Germany. And as Eisenberg has demonstrated in her book, U.S. refusal to settle on any fixed sum of reparations cut deep with the Soviets for reasons of security, national pride, and material necessity. (Norman Naimark offers a similar view, albeit from a different perspective, in his excellent _The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949_ .) Truman also approved Byrnes' Stuttgart speech in September 1946, which made clear that if the Russians balked at American terms for German unification, the U.S. would unify the western zones and might reconsider its de facto acceptance of Poland's expansion of its border with Germany to the Oder-western Neisse rivers, thus forcing the Russians to choose between their Polish allies or German Communists. Perhaps Truman missed the subtlety of this latter aspect of Byrnes' maneuver, but he cheered his having called the Russian "bluff" and forced Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace to resign for publicly dissenting over Byrnes' action and U.S. policy in general. Truman influenced U.S. negotiations at the critical foreign ministers' meeting in Moscow in April 1947. When Secretary of State George Marshall, at the advice of the U.S. Military Commander in Germany, General Lucius Clay, proposed to offer current production reparations to induce Soviet agreement on German unification, Truman vetoed the idea, causing even the extremely respectful Marshall to complain about lack of "elbow room," while Clay quit the conference to return to Berlin. Meanwhile the president reiterated to his Cabinet that he was "solidly against" reparations and did not think there was need for further talks. I also credit Truman with positive influence on policy, including his willingness in 1948, when he was presumed to be a "lame duck" president and under "bipartisan" fire on civil rights, labor, and taxes to expend his limited political capital mustering support for passage of the European Recovery Program, or Marshall Plan. This complex program spurred American-European trade and economic recovery, brought France somewhat into camp with Germany, and revived but contained the 1930s "German colossus" that Truman and his aides feared to recreate. Further, while I agree with Eisenberg that the Marshall Plan and formation of a West German state spurred European division and, as she points out in _Drawing the Line_, that the president did not seem to grasp the link between U.S. support for the London Plan (that presaged West Germany) and the Stalin-initiated Berlin blockade, I credit Truman for making clear to his advisers his determination to avert military conflict and to keep his control over atomic weapons. (After the crisis he insisted that military requests for atomic weapons should come first via the National Security Council, thereby protecting himself from immediate pressure of high ranking military officials.) And while Eisenberg rightly notes that Truman did not challenge his advisers during the Berlin crisis, that was because he agreed with their view about the necessity of integrating a West German state into an American-Western European political-economic orbit. Thus while I would not claim that Truman kept abreast of every critical matter relating to postwar negotiations over Germany, I think from the outset he set a meaningful tone and played a significant role, although Eisenberg's comprehensive _Drawing the Line_ goes into far greater detail and puts greater emphasis on how the major diplomatic and military figures and the bureaucracies they headed served to shape U.S. decisions regarding Germany during 1944-1949. (I could not match this rich detail in a book that covers many other subjects during 1945-1953.) What is most important, however, is the extent to which Eisenberg's and my views are in accord about how and why Germany came to be divided and the Cold War implications of that division. (I will discuss Truman's impact on policy in China and Korea shortly.) Mark Byrnes' review praises my "judicious" and "consistently fair" treatment of Truman's foreign policy, and kindly opines that I am too careful a scholar to lay sole blame on Truman and the U.S. for the Cold War. He notes that I distinguish between Truman's European diplomacy, which heightened Soviet-American conflict and hastened division of the Continent, and what I perceive as tragic American intervention in Asian civil wars which led to immense loss of life and physical destruction and a generation of Sino-American enmity. (Some scholars would say this ultimately led to the Vietnam War.) Byrnes does contend that Truman's impact on U.S. foreign policy was arguably less important than that of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, and that Truman's key advisers such as Acheson and Marshall were sophisticated, not parochial. Hence Byrnes wonders how much Truman or his parochial style affected policy. My answer is a great deal. As noted in my commentary on Carolyn Eisenberg's review, presidents affect policy directly and indirectly just by virtue of their office. Truman, with great assist and/or instruction from Secretary of State Byrnes (who was quite nationalist, parochial, and inexperienced in foreign affairs), quickly moved away from FDR's finesse-style diplomacy at Yalta in February 1945 towards a more confrontational approach at Potsdam that July. This was evident in the Americans' insistence on zonal reparations, nonrecognition of Eastern European governments, and even Truman's refusal to inform the Soviets in any way about U.S. readiness and intent to use atomic bombs against Japan. (Truman's reference to Stalin on July 24 about having a new weapon of great power was not a wise or effective deception.) Most important, I think the evidence in my book (drawn from numerous primary sources indicating Truman's and Byrnes' belief that they had an "ace-in-the-hole," or "dynamite," that would be "controlling" in negotiations) clearly shows that during the Potsdam negotiations they were tempted to engage in "atomic poker"-but not "atomic blackmail"-in an effort to "out maneuver" (as Byrnes said) the Soviets in China, Japan, and in Europe. Other instances that reflect the impact of Truman and/or his nationalism on policy are his "Give Em Hell" support for Secretary Byrnes' "bomb in his pocket" diplomacy in London in September 1945, and his support that autumn during Cabinet debates about whether to approach the Russians with respect to international control of atomic power, a step favored by-among others-Stimson, Under Secretary of State Acheson, and Vannevar Bush, the president's scientific adviser and head of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. Instead, Truman favored the "ultranationalism" (to use Acting Secretary of the Interior Abe Fortas' term) and weak analogies as expressed in the views of Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson, Treasury Secretary Fred Vinson, and Senator Kenneth McKellar, who persisted that America's lead in technology and automobile production assured permanent atomic supremacy. Truman held that the U.S. was the world's atomic "trustee" and other nations had to "catch up on their own hook." Then in 1946 he undermined the Acheson-David Lilienthal plan for international control of atomic weapons and resources by naming Bernard Baruch chief negotiator and supporting, over Acheson's and Lilienthal's objections, terms (close inspections, sanctions, no veto, and indefinite U.S. monopoly) that virtually assured Soviet rejection of the U.S. proposals. To be sure, David Holloway has skillfully shown in _Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956_ (1994), that agreement was improbable in 1946 given that U.S. and Soviet proposals derived from entirely different negotiating perspectives and that Stalin was unlikely to make an agreement until he secured atomic bomb parity. But my point remains: the U.S. did little to close the negotiating gap and Truman evidently believed, as Baruch said, that the bomb provided a "winning weapon." Or as Holloway has concluded, "neither Truman nor Stalin saw the atomic bomb as a common danger for the human race." (The same could be said about their development of the hydrogen bomb.) There are numerous other issues I might cite where Truman heightened Cold War conflict. This ranges from the global, absolutist rhetoric he used in announcing the Truman Doctrine in 1947 to his (previously noted) disdainful attitude toward the Chinese Communists that shut off every prospect for conversations. His belief that the PRC leaders were "complete satellites" of the Soviet Union and bent on conquering Korea and Southeast Asia was not only gross exaggeration but revealed his incomprehension of Chinese and Asian nationalism and the complex nature of China's relations with old Russia and then the Soviet Union. Further, Truman's decision to engage in "regime change" in North Korea in autumn 1950 rested in good part (there were political pressures, of course) on his Biblical belief that "punishment always follows transgression," as well as Acheson's imperial outlook that Korea would serve as a "stage to show the world what Western Democracy" can do for "underprivileged countries." Then Truman's personal diplomacy during the Korean War armistice negotiations led the U.S. to brush aside both its commitment to the 1949 Geneva Convention and standard military practice-which called for "all for all" compulsory exchange of POWs-and to insist instead on voluntary repatriation. To be sure, Truman acted partly for moral reasons: he deplored the Soviets' brutal treatment of their returning POWs after 1945. But he also believed that he could embarrass the PRC and North Korea and gain his way by bombing the Chinese and North Koreans into submission or by offering to limit the bombing. Ultimately the settlement that President Dwight Eisenhower's administration concluded in July 1953 afforded Truman belated victory, as I state in my book: nonrepatriable POWs were turned over to a neutral nations' commission for ultimate release as civilians. But the price of Truman's policy, aside from discard of standard policy on POWs, was to delay the war's end by about twelve to eighteen months and to add greatly to the already vast human and material costs for all involved nations. Finally, I concur with Byrnes' conclusion that many senior officials shared some of the less appealing characteristics (e.g., insecurity or arrogance) that I ascribe to Truman but that these traits were masked by the officials' more polished manner, and that the administration's mistakes (and successes) were bigger than one man or one group. These are valid points. But truth to be told, I set the bar higher and expect more from the person at the head of our government, and attribute responsibility to that person for the actions of his administration. I am also pleased to see the assessment of Vladislav Zubok, whose study with Constantine Pleshakov, _Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev_ (1996), has offered a stimulating analysis of how personality, ideological and geopolitical influences (the "revolutionary-imperial paradigm"), U.S. actions, and power politics have shaped Soviet policy. Zubok agrees with numerous of my major contentions, disagrees with others or interprets or emphasizes events in different fashion, and yet concludes on a note of concern-which I share-that in year 2002 American foreign policy seems to be influenced "by the parochial culture and ideology that had driven Truman," with results that will be mixed. Zubok -like Rotter, Eisenberg, and Byrnes- agrees that no one leader or nation caused the Cold War, and adds that it is "too simplistic" to blame it all on Stalin. Zubok states as well that I am "absolutely right" that Truman and his advisers greatly exaggerated Stalin's aggressiveness and that it is "hard to disagree with the list of mistakes, errors, and misjudgments, small or large" of the Truman administration that appear in the conclusion of _Another Such Victory_. Zubok is in accord that in 1945 Stalin's goals were limited (unlike Hitler, he did not want to risk war) and he agrees "emphatically" that "Stalin put Soviet state interests ahead of his desire to spread communist ideology." Zubok has also written in _Inside the Kremlin's Cold War_ that Stalin believed he needed years of peace to enable the USSR to recover from the wartime destruction and that he sought to avoid confrontation with the West, although he did misperceive or overreact to events, or miscalculate, and bring on Cold War conflicts he presumably sought to avert. Zubok dissents from my emphasis on Truman's role in the Cold War by contending that it was not just the "parochial" Truman but also more liberal and sophisticated officials who took early hard line stances toward Stalin and the Soviet Union, and that derived in good part from recent (bad) memories of "appeasement" of Hitler and the handicap of operating in Cold War "fog" without intelligence that could correct Truman's instincts and misperceptions regarding the Soviets. Zubok also doubts that any U.S. concessions could have transformed Stalin into a "gentleman," and that he was unlikely even to have agreed to the Acheson-Lilienthal-Plan, while the U.S. could not have voluntarily given up its hegemony over atomic weapons. This line of argument is fair but we need to probe more deeply to understand U.S. policy and to see how and why Truman and his administration made conflict in the postwar era far more ideologically virulent and politically and militarily confrontational-and "bloodier"-than it needs to have been. Thus with regard to atomic power, no one ever proposed to relinquish that advantage voluntarily, but in September 1945 Stimson and Acheson proposed a direct approach to the Russians regarding international control. Truman refused, however, because he believed that the bomb was America's "sacred trust," that there was a real atomic "secret," and he sided-as noted earlier-with the "ultranationalists" who thought the U.S. could maintain permanent superiority. Shortly he gave way to British pressure to try to establish an atomic-scientific exchange program through the UN, and Byrnes got Stalin's accord at the Moscow CFM in December 1945. Acheson and Lilienthal then developed their program for UN control of atomic resources, but Baruch pressed his too stringent terms, while Truman-the poker player-urged him to "stand pat," and persisted that "we should not under any circumstance throw away our gun . . . ." This despite Acheson's insistence there could be no agreement if the U.S. continued its atomic bomb production, to say nothing of the Bikini Island test on July 1, 1946, at a critical juncture in negotiations. Similarly, Interior Secretary Harold Ickes said the U.S. atomic program and acquisition of global bases made it appear the U.S. was "preparing to win an inevitable war." Not surprisingly the Soviets balked at any accord; they did not have parity. Thus the nuclear arms race would continue without cease until the late 1960s, when the Soviets gained parity and both sides found utility in at least limiting their nuclear weapons. Hence the 1972 SALT and ABM agreements. Or stated otherwise, successful negotiations are far more likely when the two sides are at parity; otherwise, the law of power politics seems to be that the side ahead seeks to preserve its lead, while the other side resists any agreement that leaves it at a disadvantage. To say nothing of the fact-as per Holloway-that neither Stalin nor Truman understood the threat of atomic weapons to civilization. Stalin certainly blustered over Iran and Turkey, but it is possible that again "parity" was an important issue: desire for an oil concession in Iran to match the Americans and British, and long-promised revision of the 1936 Montreux Convention to allow the Russians a share in control of the Turkish Straits. Stalin's precise aims remain unclear but Wallace Murray, U.S. Ambassador to Iran, and British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin, thought Stalin's goal in Iran was an oil concession to gain equal footing with the U.S. and Britain. And no one-including the Turkish government-thought the Soviets intended to attack Turkey. Meanwhile the U.S. was planning to integrate Turkey into its strategic planning as a base of operations in case of war with the Soviets and to establish a predominant naval command in the Mediterranean. As Admiral William "Bull" Halsey said in August 1946 when asked about movement of the Sixth Fleet into the Mediterranean, "It's nobody's damn business where we go." One should also remember that it was in September 1946 that Clark Clifford prepared his famous "Russian Report"-which included the bogus "Last Will of Peter the Great"-for Truman that was comprised of little more than hasty apocalyptic projections of Soviet intentions to conquer the world by military force and subversion. Truman confined the report to his desk, but he also believed it. And as Clifford later said, it was a short step from the Russian Report to the Truman Doctrine-and intervention in the Greek civil war, which was not Stalin's baby. But the Truman Doctrine locked the U.S. into an ideological-global conflict with the Soviets (an "ideological straitjacket" for U.S. policy, John Gaddis once rightly wrote) and a policy in Greece that substituted annihilation of the enemy over reform of political and socio-economic conditions that had prompted civil war. U.S. policy also sustained right-wing repressive governments in Greece over the next three decades. Then there's the German issue. I agree entirely with Vlad Zubok that it would have taken more than $10 billion in German reparations to change Stalin into a "gentleman." But as Carolyn Eisenberg and Norman Naimark have shown in their books, U.S. failure-really, unwillingness-to reach agreement with the Russians at Potsdam in 1945 cut deep with the Soviets, who had suffered incredible ravages from German invasions during the two recent world wars. Thus Stalin could do little but recognize the "correlation of forces" and accede to Byrne's zonal reparations plan. Later in April 1947 Truman refused to permit Marshall and Clay to try to reach a critical reparations accord that they perceived might serve to effect four-power agreement on Germany. Indeed, the growing gulf between the U.S. professed intent to seek a unified Germany and the stance the U.S. took in negotiations was clearly recognized by Walter Bedell Smith, U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, when he wrote to General Eisenhower in December 1947: "The difficulty under which we labor is that in spite of our avowed position, we really do not want nor intend to accept German unification in any terms that the Russians might agree to, even though they seemed to meet most of our requirements. . . . However, this puts us in a somewhat difficult position, and it will require careful maneuvering to avoid the appearance of inconsistency or hypocrisy." (See Jean Edward Smith, _Lucius D. Clay: An American Life_ (1990), p. 447.) The Americans, of course, now intended to use the three western zones of Germany as the basis for the Marshall Plan and to establish a West German state. This in turn spurred (as Kennan predicted) Stalin's clampdown in Eastern Europe and then his Berlin blockade, which-as Zubok has shown in his book-served not to undermine Western policy but to cause Western Europe to gravitate closer to the U.S. for protection from the "red menace"-including use of West Germany as the basis for NATO. Seen in retrospect, perhaps four power agreement on unification of Germany was not possible in the post-1945 world. Certainly the U.S. was not going to grant the Russians their reparations or access to the Ruhr; and belief was pervasive in Washington that the Soviets, or their communist agents, would use the machinery of a central government to subvert the state to their will. And on the Soviet side, it is questionable as to how much political independence or freedom the Soviets would have permitted, to say nothing of the protracted battles over denazification, demilitarization, and economic structure that would have to have been resolved before agreement on a new German state could have been finalized. Perhaps then both sides, each fearful that the other would seek to pull a unified Germany into its camp, really opted for the division of Germany as a means to maintain a balance of power, or parity, that seemed less risky than losing the whole of Germany to the other side. And for all its attendant consequences, this was the unspoken arrangement-as A. W. Deporte pointed out years ago in _Europe Between the Superpowers: The Enduring Balance_ (1979)-that kept the peace (at least between the U.S. and USSR). But to say this is to say something quite different from the traditional American argument that the Soviets deliberately aimed at the division of Germany in order to build a base to overrun the rest of Western Europe. Two final points, one about Asian policy, the other about current policy. I wish Zubok had dealt with my chapters on Asia, if only because his own book indicates that Stalin regarded Mao and the Chinese Revolution as intruders on his plans to deal with the U.S. for concessions in Manchuria and northern China, and Stalin did not even invite Mao to Moscow until after he proclaimed the People's Republic in 1949. This only underscores my own emphasis on U.S. failure to distinguish the Chinese revolution from the Soviet-American cold war and to "play for a split" (to use Acheson's term) between the PRC and Soviet Union. Zubok also notes that Stalin seriously erred when he gave arms and license to Kim Il Sung's regime to invade South Korea, but that ultimately Stalin the realpolitiker was prepared to allow North Korea to be crushed rather than have the USSR fight advancing U.S./UN forces. But Chinese intercession-at Stalin's urging-resolved his dilemma, and also led to lasting Sino-American animus and made the PRC more dependent than ever on the Soviets. But if the U.S. had heeded China's warnings and not gone north of the 38th parallel, the Cold War would have been far less bloody and Sino-American relations need not have been so poisoned and led to such long-term and dire consequences. Finally I greatly appreciate Vlad Zubok's noting that _Another Such Victory_ reminds him of the "cultural and ideological similarities between Texan [George] Bush and Missourian Truman" and between the foreign policy consensus that guided the Truman administration and the current administration. I also appreciate what I read as an expression of concern that neoconservatives will dismiss my book as "liberal wishful thinking." So be it. In fact, I wrote the book before Bush "won" the 2000 election so any similarity between his administration and Truman's is of Bush's making, not mine. But more important-and without becoming embroiled in a debate over current policy-I do see in the Bush administration (even more than in Truman's) a form of ultranationalism (or perhaps unilateralism masquerading as internationalism), a belief that the U.S. can just walk away from such things as the Kyoto protocol on global warming, the ABM agreement, the Middle East peace process, and the International Criminal Court, and still proclaim that it is the leader of the international order. Similarly, the new U.S. national security doctrine of September 2002 virtually proclaims all other nations must follow or adhere to U.S. political and economic principles, and any nation that attempts to match the U.S. arms build-up faces a prospective U.S. first strike. This strikes me less as leading the international order than proclaiming world hegemony, with little effort made to understand or come to grips with the vastly different realities and beliefs that exist among so many people and in so many places on the globe. The results of this policy, I fear, will ultimately be worse than "mixed"; they will be tragic. We may inflict military defeat on a few of the more obvious "evil" foes, but the long-term results of our cultural hubris will bring only pyrrhic victories. I find the comments by William Stueck and Eduard Mark, to be puzzling, to say the least. They are, of course, entitled to express their extreme orthodox (or perhaps "ultranationalist," to reference Fortas) views about U.S. foreign policy, and to put more or less exclusive blame on Stalin and the Soviet Union and Mao and the PRC for the escalating the Cold War during 1945-1953. Stueck and Mark may also insist that ideology was the determining force in Soviet and Chinese leaders' policy choices, and contend that whether Stalin was in a confrontational or cooperative mode, the goal-without reference to any known timetable-was to expand the area of communism as far as possible. (The logic of this latter view, of course, is that the best negotiations with the Soviet Union were no negotiations.) Stueck and Mark are also entitled to quote themselves or one another approvingly in an effort to score points, and to use acerbic language to seek to bolster their contentions. They may also express their disdain for "revisionist" historians, although I generally assumed that all good historians, whether they be mining new sources or reassessing older ones, are "revisionists" of a sort as they try to work past official, or received, history in search of always elusive truth. I seriously question, however, Stueck's and Mark's misrepresentations or misstatements of my views and their use of innuendo. Let me begin with the innuendo. Stueck knows that I regard as logical and legitimate Truman's intervention in June 1950 to preserve South Korea, a UN-recognized state, from North Korea's aggression across the 38th parallel. But apparently angry that I criticize Truman's later actions-failure to seek a Congressional declaration of war, escalation of the "police action" into an international conflict, and decision to send forces across the 38th parallel to destroy the North Korean state-Stueck writes: "perhaps Offner wishes that Truman had disdained intervention in June 1950 to give all the Korean people the opportunity to experience the blessings of Kim Il-Sung's rule." I would hope that if Stueck paused to reflect on his words he would feel as greatly embarrassed as he should for having made this baseless statement. And as for my criticisms of Truman's actions or policies, I would assume Stueck knows I am hardly the only, first, or last scholar to express critical views. Stueck uses innuendo again while discussing my contention that Truman's insistence-and that of some other officials-on only voluntary repatriation of POWs derived from a sense of moral and military superiority and desire to embarrass the PRC and North Korea. Although Stueck acknowledges the dubious legality of the U.S. position under the Geneva accord and that my view of the POW matter is "plausible," he then states: "yet nowhere does he [Offner] acknowledge that Truman and his advisers were morally superior to leaders on the other side (one wonders if he would deny this, and, if so, why)." In fact, what I wonder is whether Stueck is proposing a new standard for all historians, or just those whose views he does not like, to attest to their belief in the moral superiority of American leaders as opposed to those on "the other side"? And if historians do not so attest, are readers to assume that the criticisms are not valid, or that the scholars are suspect in some way? And whose moral standard shall we use and how shall we apply it? For example, I have explicitly stated in _Another Such Victory_ that Truman and Secretary Byrnes were neither "sinners nor saints," detailed the extremely complex reasons that led to use of atomic bombs, and said that years of brutal warfare harden human sensibilities. Still, I can imagine that some people might question the morality of dropping two bombs on Japan without specific warning that they were atomic bombs, which meant greater and qualitatively different damage would be inflicted, in the short term and long term, on the civilian populations than if conventional bombs were used. Then, too, there were atrocities committed on both sides during the civil war in Greece and on both sides of the 38th parallel in Korea during the civil war and post-1950 conflict there. Further, the U.S. did engage in massive bombing of North Korea intended to disrupt spring plantings and cut off food supplies, and Defense Secretary Robert Lovett contended in 1952 that if the Chinese and North Koreans did not accept U.S. terms for the POW's "we can tear them up by air." Clearly, General Sherman was correct to say that war is hell, and John Dower aptly titled his study of U.S.-Japan conflict in the 1940s _War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War_ (1986), without, I believe, suggesting moral superiority on one side or the other. In fact, I had thought-despite Stueck's view-that we were long past the era when historians or anyone else would be asked to attest to the superior morality of their nations' leaders whether in criticism or praise of their policies. Mark also uses innuendo. He begins his comments deploring the "lamentable tendency among diplomatic historians to do little research in primary sources once their dissertations and first books are out of the way," and concludes with his opinion that _Another Such Victory_ is a book for "aging revisionists who wish it were still 1975 and that they still had honest illusions (rather than today's desperate self-deceptions) that Stalin, while a homicidal nutcase at home, was not a bad Joe abroad . . . ." I have not carefully surveyed how much primary source research other diplomatic historians do-and do not know if Mark has-but I can attest that his statement lacks any relevancy to my scholarship, past or present. As for the revisionists I know, they neither traffic in "desperate self-deceptions" nor do they long for 1975, when the U.S. was suffering from the aftermath of the wretched Watergate episode, the frightful Vietnam War was reaching its frightful end, and when New York City-my hometown-asked President Gerald Ford for federal aid, he responded, as the New York _Daily News_ headline paraphrased him: "Drop Dead." Misstatements or misrepresentations of _Another Such Victory_ are frequent in Stueck's and Mark's commentaries. For example Stueck says that (on p. 470) I "botch" my account of the end of the Korean War fighting in 1953 by "implying that it came about as a result of Eisenhower's willingness to make a compromise on the POW issue that Truman had resisted." Stueck ignores that earlier, on p. 418-in the section of my chapter that deals with the conclusion of the Korean war-I explicitly stated with respect to the issue of voluntary repatriation of POWs that the Communists "substantially accepted the U.S. terms, including final release of the POWs as civilians," and that this led Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to say that the outcome "far exceeds our most optimistic expectation." I then wrote: "The U.S., and belatedly Truman, had won on the issue of voluntary, or nonforcible, repatriation." Stueck also follows a questionable line of argument regarding Sino-American relations. He says that Mao's interpretation of international events was "heavily ideological," that he was "aggressively solicitous" of the Soviet Union, that a peaceful solution to CCP-GMD power sharing would have required arrangements neither side could have accepted, that Sino-American rapprochement in 1949 was unlikely, and that Mao soon negotiated "new unequal agreements with Stalin." Stueck seeks to bolster his views by reference to Chen Jian,_ Mao's China and the Cold War_ (published in 2001 while _Another Such Victory_ was already in press), although Chen Jian had already made these arguments in his earlier (1994) _China's Road to the Korean War: The Making of the Sino-American Confrontation_, and I deal carefully and respectfully with this book and its contentions-as well as with the recent works of many other China scholars. Further, it is not surprising that Mao looked to Stalin for aid given that during the civil war the U.S. continued its "double," or "two-handed" policy, as the Chinese would say, of trying to mediate while arming the GMD, and in 1949-1950 the U.S. permitted Jiang's forces to use American-marked planes to bomb China's coastal cities indiscriminately, which led Philip Sprouse, head of the State Department's Office of Chinese Affairs to say that it was "incredible" that the U.S. would allow a client state to call the turn on America's vital interests and allow it to be arraigned before the bar of Chinese opinion. In addition, everyone knows that prospects for GMD-CCP power-sharing were slim, but the U.S. at least should have tried to restrain its client, who had a long record of breaking accords. Indeed, even Marshall said upon departing China in late 1946 that GMD "reactionaries" had destroyed negotiations by their policy of force. Further, as I have noted earlier, full U.S.-PRC relations were unlikely in 1949, but Stueck ignores the extent to which the U.S. worsened chances of even limited accord with the PRC, with high ranking U.S. officials insisting that the CCP had just moved from "caves to chancelleries" and not proven they could govern, and also talking about perhaps fostering a "new revolution" that would come to a "test of arms" with the CCP. And then Acheson's letter of transmittal with the August 1949_China White Paper_ (ironically intended to show China critics that the U.S. had faithfully aided the GMD) amounted to a "diatribe" against the CCP for allegedly having forsworn their Chinese heritage and masking foreign (Soviet) domination behind the facade of nationalism. (On the "diatribe," see Gordon Chang, _Friends and Enemies: The United States, China, and the Soviet Union, 1948-1972_, pp. 36-41.) This only further antagonized Mao and undoubtedly caused him to lean even further to one side. As for the "unequal" Sino-Soviet treaty of February 1950, the Chinese got more from the Soviets than vice versa, as demonstrated in Sergei Goncharov, John W. Lewis, and Xue Litai, _Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War_ (1995). The Yalta accords were virtually negated, with the Chinese regaining control of the Manchurian railways, and the Soviets agreed to evacuate their troops from Lushun by 1952 and to withdraw from Dalny after a peace accord was signed with Japan. The Russians also assured their military support in event of an attack on the PRC by the U.S. or one of its clients, while the Chinese were obligated to give the Soviets support only on matters of common interest-not "international" issues that might arise in such far away places as Europe. Thus Mao could say he had expelled foreigners from China, gained security (as Chen Jian notes), got a far better deal from Stalin than Jiang had gotten in 1945, and perhaps now other nations would recognize the PRC and abrogate unequal treaties. The political window of opportunity for the U.S. to act was fast closing at home and abroad in 1950, as _Another Such Victory_ indicates. Still, it is worth noting that Michael Hunt, in his carefully crafted _The Genesis of Chinese Communist Foreign Policy_ (1996), has pointed out that Mao was not only a Marxist but a Chinese patriot and populist who was determined to throw off foreign domination and imperial control (dating at least from the Opium War) and restore the Middle Kingdom to its rightful place in Asia and perhaps the world. He was amenable to relations with the U.S. but not desperate for them, at least not to the point of giving up his revolution (on this point see also Thomas Christensen, _Useful Adversaries: Grand Strategy, Domestic Mobilization, and Sino-American Conflict, 1947-1958_  pp. 144-147), and he was less subservient to Stalin than the Soviet leader had expected and Truman and his aides had presumed. Mao's primary concern in 1949 was domestic reconstruction, and there is no evidence that prior to the Korean War he intended to battle the U.S. or use force, alone or in concert with the USSR, to oust the U.S. from its position in Asia. Granted that Hunt's 1996 assessment was not available to the Truman administration, it is one I think scholars who evaluate American relations with China, as well as with other Asian nations, might consider worthy of note. Eduard Mark's comments are replete with misstatements or misrepresentations of my words and ideas. A few examples will suffice. He attacks my view of Stalin as a ruthless dictator who presided over a police state and did not hesitate to imprison or kill political opponents but who also pursued a "brutal realpolitik abroad and was always ready to jettison ideology in favor of diplomatic gain." Mark then declares that the "heart" of my vision of Stalin's foreign policy is the "implicit assumption" that realpolitik and "ideology" are antithetical, and he then constructs a syllogism which he alleges represents my view, namely, that since ideologues seek aggrandizement, but Stalin was sometimes moderate, he was no ideologue. Unfortunately, I do not make any such assumption as he alleges about realpolitik and ideology, and I think the syllogism that he has invented appears to be less the construct of an inquiring historian than the rhetorical device of a Grand Inquisitor. What I have done is drawn on the works of major scholars who have studied Soviet foreign policy, added my views based on my reading of events, and then posited some conclusions. These include the view that however much Stalin was a devoted Marxist or ideologue, he did bargain in international affairs (including cynically), he treated states rather than classes as the primary actors in international affairs, he was given to weighing the "correlation of forces," and he gave preference to Soviet state interests over international revolution, which might come in the long term but for the time being-however long that proved-his primary goals were to seek recompense for the immense costs of the Second World War, to regain older imperial concessions, and to gain security against former enemies such as Germany and Japan as well as any prospective new coalition of hostile powers. I note as well that Stalin believed, as he said, that whoever occupied a territory imposed his social system on it. It is also true that Stalin did not like or was suspicious of strong-willed Communist leaders such as Marshal Tito and Mao, and he also made major miscalculations that only heated the Cold War, such as when he instituted the Berlin blockade, or believed that giving arms to Kim Il Sung in 1950 would permit him to win a quick military victory to unify Korea. Time and space do not allow me to explicate the lines of argument of the many works that have provided the basis for my views of Stalin but a brief list of some major books would include: Holloway, _ Stalin and the Bomb_, which acknowledges Stalin's view of politics as rooted in Lenin's theory of imperialism but also notes the impact on his thinking of the interwar years-and threats that Germany and Japan had posed-and sets out the realpolitik or realist framework that Stalin adopted for the post-1945-era (pp. 150-171); Naimark, _The Russians in Germany_, which notes the different intents and purposes of Soviet policy in its "security zone" in Eastern Europe and in Germany, where Stalin's plans were uncertain, opportunistic, and "hazy," (p.10) but primacy was given to gaining $10 billion in reparations by maintaining a flexible policy to accommodate to possible four-power agreement on German unification, demilitarization, and neutralism (pp. 465-466); Naimark also notes that the Soviets greatly feared German integration into an American condominium; Carolyn Kennedy-Pipe, _Stalin's Cold War: Soviet Strategies in Europe, 1943-1956_ (1995), which notes how Soviet rulers "jettisoned active pursuit of revolution" to focus on "security and survival" and pursued policies in Germany that ranged from encouraging U.S. occupation to keep Germany divided to resistance to U.S. efforts to integrate West Germany into its political-military (NATO) orbit; Zubok and Pleshakov, _Inside the Kremlin's Cold War_, who downplay their revolutionary-imperial paradigm with respect to Stalin when they note that in 1945 he "was fully prepared to shelve ideology, at least for a time, and adhere only to the concept of a balance of power" (p. 34); they note further that ideology was neither the servant nor handmaiden of Soviet foreign policy, that Stalin was not prepared to undertake unbridled confrontation with the West, that he did see better ways to extend his influence through cooperation and resolution of contentious international issues, that the Cold War "was not his brainchild," and that Soviet postwar foreign policy was "more defensive, reactive, and prudent than it was the fulfillment of a master plan"; they note too they cannot ignore other Cold War culprits, including the "choices of U.S. and British policymakers" and democracy-dictatorship distrust in an uncertain world (pp. 276-277); Zubok in his commentary also agrees "emphatically" that "Stalin put Soviet state interests ahead of desire to spread Communist ideology"; and Vojtech Mastny, _The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity: The Stalin Years_ (1996), a biting critique of Stalin which contends that in the long run his insatiable quest for security (which seems to be almost as much paranoia as ideology) would have created Cold War conflicts but concedes that Stalin did not intend to march his Red Army into West Europe nor impose communist regimes there. In sum, although these works may not be in agreement on every issue they provide significant evidence to show that Stalin-who did not want or expect war with the Western powers in the postwar era-was bent on engaging in hard, realistic international bargaining with the Western powers and able to differentiate between the Soviet Union's interests in Eastern Europe and in Germany, between issues of greater and lesser importance, and to recognize, as he did at Potsdam, that when the "correlation of forces" favored the U.S., it would be necessary to concede to certain U.S. positions, e.g., zonal reparations in Germany and admission of Italy into the United Nations in exchange for future consideration of recognition of Eastern European governments. Unfortunately, Mark completely misstates my view of the Marshall Plan by claiming that I portray it as "a political catastrophe" but-grudgingly-admit to its economic success. Certainly I have stated that for many reasons (including fear that Congress would not appropriate funds for a program involving the Soviet Union) the U.S. did not want or expect Soviet acceptance and that officials drew financial and economic requirements and maintained a negotiating posture that they knew would achieve this result. It is also true that Kennan forewarned that would this lead the Soviets to "clamp down completely" in Eastern Europe as a defensive move, and that Undersecretary of State Lovett said that "the world is definitely split in two." In sum, the price to be paid for integrating western Germany into the Marshall Plan was effectively the division of Germany (and Europe), and this would also lead to escalated Cold War tactics and policies and formation of increasingly hostile political, economic, and then military blocs. At the same time, Mark completely ignores that I conclude my chapter on the Marshall Plan by saying that it proved to be perhaps the Truman administration's "most enduring and inspiring foreign policy initiative," that it helped to restore western European production, revive trade, and limit inflation, that it established a framework to effect Franco-German accord and to foster security among West Germany's neighbors, and that it lay the foundation for a half century of political and economic stability in West Europe. Thus I would say that I have tried to render a balanced account of the complex Marshall Plan, and I find it hard to comprehend how Mark could assert that I have portrayed the Marshall Plan as a political catastrophe. Regardless, it is time for me to call a halt to my comments. I wish to thank Tom Maddux and H-DIPLO for affording time and space for discussion of my book. I also wish, once again, to thank the many scholars to whom I have expressed my gratitude in my Acknowledgments in _Another Such Victory_, Walter Hixson for his early encouragement, and Andrew Rotter, Carolyn Eisenberg, Mark Byrnes, and Vlad Zubok for their professional, thoughtful, and spirited reviews. I regard their praise, their criticisms or differing views, and their suggestions for further speculation as three vital elements that unite us in our common quest to try to understand our recent history so that we may, perhaps, confront our present and future with greater wisdom as well as humility, and with respect for the history and traditions of those with whom we or our nation disagree. Arnold Offner Lafayette College