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The Impact of the Korean War on the Cold War

Robert Jervis
The Journal of Conflict Resolution
Vol. 24, No. 4 (Dec., 1980), pp. 563-592
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/173775
Page Count: 30
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The Impact of the Korean War on the Cold War
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Abstract

Theories of the cold war that stress the imperatives of the American domestic politico-economic system or the requirements of bipolarity are undermined by the argument that the Korean war strongly influenced international history and indeed brought about most of the characteristics which we associate with the cold war. Without Korea, U.S. policy would have been very different, and there were no events on the horizon which could have been functional substitutes for the war. The international or the American domestic system may have "needed" high defense budgets, the globalization of American commitments, and the militarization of NATO, but these patterns arose only in the wake of Korea. To explain the cold war in terms of such requirements is therefore inadequate.

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