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Worse Than a Monolith by Thomas J. Christensen

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Chapter 2GROWING PAINS: ALLIANCE FORMATION AND THE ROAD TO CONFLICT IN KOREA

This chapter will discuss how problems and politics in the nascent alliances and alignments in both the communist and anticommunist camps affected security relations between the two camps in the first years of the Cold War. The uncertain and poorly defined nature of the U.S. commitment to its partners in East Asia undercut the credibility of the nation’s near-term threats and long-term assurances in coercive diplomacy. This combined with political maneuverings in the formative stages of the East Asian communist alliance allowed Kim Il-sung to convince Stalin and then Mao to support Pyongyang’s attack on South Korea. The communist aggression that started the Korean War ...

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