Roosevelt's Wartime Diplomacy

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Roosevelt's Wartime Diplomacy

There were many successes and failures in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's wartime diplomacy. His policies were successful in that they led to the end of the war with Germany and Japan. However, they failed in that his actions led to an overall mistrust of Russia and Stalin and the postwar conflict that followed known as the Cold War.

Roosevelt could see no way to prevent the Russians from dominating Europe. His 4 Policemen strategy would act as trustees for colonial societies not ready for full independence and that the great powers were the only ones who could "police" Europe after the war was over. FDR was determined that "something 'big' would come out of this war; a new heaven and a new earth." He was convinced that only the United States could offer any innovative thinking in intervention. He presumed that the Soviet Union's need for postwar economic aid would give the United States continued leverage. Although he didn't factor in the Soviet Union's industrial performance. Also, he could not find a way to prevent the Russians from dominating Eastern Europe after the war. One thing that was agreed on by all three powers was that they would only accept the unconditional surrender of Germany and of Japan. FDR avoided the specifics about what reparations that would be applied to post war German because he was unsure of what to do. His strategy in dealing with Stalin was to avoid tension and confrontation. The resulting Yalta peace summit created an era of peace that lasted for the next 50 years. This is why his diplomacy is viewed as successful.

Many view FDR's policies are a failure. His ideal post-war Europe was a fragmented continent divided between Great Britain and the Soviet Union. His secret dealings with Churchill demonstrated his lack of trust for Stalin. While in reality, Churchill and Roosevelt weren't as close as they appeared to be. In addition, there was a lot of confusion surrounding the 4 policemen and their decision making capabilities. Also, his decision to not inform Stalin of the atomic bomb further demonstrates his mistrust of the Soviet Union. In actuality, FDR wanted the United States to have the monopoly in the atomic bomb knowledge. It was this mistrust and lack of cooperation that led to the confusion that turned into the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.
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