Chapter Ten
The Limits of Tradition:
American Leadership in World War Two Reconsidered1

Maurice Matloff

In the post-war debate over the American direction of the war, two extreme views have been set forth: one that the military ran the war with President Franklin Roosevelt simply ratifying their decisions; the other, that the President manipulated and bent the staff to his will. The controversy, fed by the disillusionment and frustrations of the post-war years, extends not only to who played the dominant role but also to the resultant strategy and policy. On the one hand, FDR was accused of blundering into war, bungling its conduct, and losing the peace. This school of thought emphasizes blunders and mistakes, and on this list Pearl Harbour, the unconditional surrender policy, and Yalta Conference, and the Russian issue have usually been singled out for special criticism. An opposing school, viewing this approach as an exercise in hindsight, portrays a President who was drawn into a war he did not really want, rallied the free world, won a great victory, and moved the United States to the center of the world stage. Nor did the American military staff escape. Especially heavy criticism was leveled at the American strategy for the war in Europe. Churchill struck out at "large-scale mass-production" thinking. J.F.C. Fuller, the British analyst, at "iron mongering." Out of the popular writing of Chester Wilmot, an Australian journalist, emerged a sharp contrast--a naive Roosevelt versus a prescient Churchill, a politically oriented British strategy versus a narrow doctrinaire American military strategy. To paraphrase Wilmot's view, the Americans put their faith in a kind of Sears Roebuck strategy--in fashioning a gigantic "military steam-roller" in their camps and factories that they propelled across the Atlantic to crush the Germans by a massive frontal assault without much thought for political consequences.2

To do justice to all facets of American wartime leadership, and to the charge and countercharge about American policy and strategy, would take one too far afield. Instead, three main points about the war time relationship of the President and his military advisers will be examined: its historical context, its nature, and its significance. Stress will be on institutional and conceptual factors, rather than on the personal side of the relationship, important as that was, and the subject shall be approached in the perspective of the years that have elapsed since the end of the fighting in that great, global, coalition war.

First, what was the legacy the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the body he created soon after Pearl Harbour, inherited, and how did that legacy colour their roles during the war? To understand their heritage it is necessary to go back briefly to World War One, the great divide in the history of civil-military relations for the western world. In underscoring civilian control over the military, that conflict only corroborated US traditions that stemmed back to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution. Participation in World War One, in which the US served as a junior partner to the allied coalition, confirmed the American principle that the President determined the "what" of national policy and the military the "how." It also left a legacy of ideas and institutions, of intellectual baggage inherited by American leadership on the


eve of World War Two. For the American military World War One confirmed the doctrines of concentration, of fighting for complete victory, and out of the battlefields of Europe came the foundations of strategic faith that military leaders like General George C. Marshall later sought to apply in the multi-theater context of World War Two.

As has happened so often in American history between wars, the military after a brief moment of glory on the national stage retreated from society amid public indifference to follow technical pursuits and cultivate professionalism. A succession of Presidents became preoccupied with other concerns--with the pursuit of security in non-military terms, domestic problems, and the Great Depression. In this atmosphere during the period 1919 to 1939, the military gave little if any thought to the larger questions of war and peace, to a new world after another war; they were not encouraged to think in global, political, or coalition terms. No close coordination existed between the military and the Presidents. The Presidents stayed out of technical military matters. This gap, added to the traditional separation of political and military spheres in American national policy, would show up later in World War Two.

The important question in civil-military relations was whether in a period of isolation from American society the military would take refuge in a narrow or broad professionalism. Fortunately, the period proved to be for the American military an era of gestation, of experimentation, and of broad professionalism. But American strategic theory and planning developed essentially along individual service lines. The Joint Board, the predecessors of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that had met only twice during World War One and re-emerged after that conflict, straddled strategic issues that might have created controversy between the services; most of the plans evolved by the joint service planners were academic exercises.

While in the context of the times official policy stressed the defensive, offensive notes, stimulated in part by currents in European theory, crept into the strategic thought of the services. On the eve of World War Two, the army fashioned its theory of war around the infantry and a heavy concentration of ground forces--Clausewitz with refinements; the navy put its faith in the capital ship and a powerful sea offensive, especially in the Pacific--Mahan updated; and a vigorous group of theorists in the fledging air force, advancing a more revolutionary approach to war, and reflecting the influence of Douhet and Billy Mitchell, built its concepts around the long range bomber and strategic air bombardment. In effect three distinct theories of war emerged from the quiet revolution in service strategic thinking between the wars. In classical military fashion, the military continued to recognize sharp distinctions between policy, the realm of the statesmen, and strategy, the preserve of the military, a corollary of military subordination to political control.

Thus, on the eve of World War Two, institutionally and conceptually, no meshing of political and military factors into a grand strategy for the United States had taken place, nor had a suitable mechanism for developing grand strategy in the event of war evolved. Basically the services were still co-equal sovereignties. While they still had no plans for global, coalition war, beneath the surface of official planning and doctrine the trends in military tactics, technology, and strategic theory between the wars were reinforcing earlier national experience in large-scale warfare and predisposing them toward decisive all-out offensive war overseas in the event of a future involvement.


On the eve of World War Two President Roosevelt, too, was being molded by his own experiences and reading of the recent past. Like the military, he also fell heir to the American tradition that saw war and peace in absolute terms and in distinct compartments. Assistant Secretary of the Navy in World War One, he had been an observer at first hand of President Woodrow Wilson's experiences with Congress, the military, the allies, and the enemy. The legacy of World War One had confirmed to him that victory had to be won on Capitol Hill -with Congress--as well as on the battlefield.

A naval enthusiast from his youth, he had supported naval appropriations, but had largely ignored the army and its air arm down to Munich. He then extended his knowledge of military affairs to ground and air matters. A new phase began to develop in his relationship with his military staff, as he drew the Joint Board closer to him--no longer did they have to go through the Secretaries. He encouraged them to lay aside their academic exercises, to widen their horizons and to gear their plans for global and coalition war. He fostered staff talks with the British out of which emerged the crucial "Europe first" principle. The military began to appreciate that he would play an important and independent role in strategy and policy. After Munich, he rejected army views for a balanced ground-air rearmament in favour of more aircraft. He also refused to accept the staff's fear that Britain and the Soviet Union might not survive the German onslaught. To help sustain them, he introduced his own creative strategic innovation--lend-lease.

In line with its traditions, the staff stayed aloof from the debate over national policy, and consistent with the tradition of the "how" and the "what," the Joint Board did not seek to ascertain the larger objectives of possible American involvement in war abroad. Clearly, in the realm of higher objectives, the President showed even before Pearl harbour that he would wage his own war, and served notice that he would be his own Secretary of State. Army strategic planners, in keeping with the traditional American notion of a "sharp and decisive" war, showed a disposition to think in terms of meeting the German armies head on--and the sooner the better. To that notion--the core of the American theory of a war of mass and concentration -they would hold steadfast throughout the war. For all the uncertainties in the quickening pace of 1939-41, the relationship between the military staff and the President became closer and the spheres for each more clearly delineated. For the first time in American history a President and his military advisers entered a war with considerable strategic thinking having been done beforehand on how to fight it. The sum total of doctrines to which the wartime JCS fell heir tended toward an American approach to war--total style--but there is no conclusive evidence that their pre-war thinking or values gave them a concerted view of the larger objectives of the war ahead that might have led to the pursuit of a different type of war and peace. Although the President and his military advisers drew closer in 1939-41, the gaps in grand strategy--both institutional and conceptual--had not been closed.3

So much for the legacy--a blend of old and new--by the time of Pearl Harbour. Now what about the roles of the JCS and the President with relation to strategy and policy under the impact of war? Basically the pattern that began to emerge between 1939-41 held throughout the war--an active and independent commander-in-chief in a loose but working partnership with his military advisers--one that suited his methods and purposes. He could work through them, he could work around them. As usual, he used any and all instruments at hand. But the JCS did


give his administration an orderly touch that was often lacking in other parts and without which it is doubtful that he could have played his independent political role. At the international conference they carried the burden of debate with the British, allowing the President to play his favourite mediatory role. In many ways they served for Roosevelt in the multi-theater conflict as Generals Pershing and Bliss had served for President Wilson in the essentially one-front war. The day to day running of the war--the hammering out of those numerous decisions to keep a global, coalition war running on the track--fell to the JCS, and permitted the President to concern himself with the larger ends of the war. Not that he did not on occasion interfere with military affairs and pull the rug out from under them. The timing and choice of important decisions he reserved for himself. In this connection, much has been made of the number of times he overruled the staff. Yet, there are literally hundreds of decisions in the military running of the war where the President did not interfere. What is important is the area of the differences. And here, of fundamental importance were the president's political objectives--to help faltering friends, Britain and Russia, to treat China as a great power, and to preserve the Grand Alliance through the war and house it in the United Nations. Note how rarely he interfered in decisions involving the Pacific theater--an area of American and JCS responsibility. He normally dealt with the commanders in the field through formal channels and only met with General MacArthur once during the war, at Pearl Harbour in July 1944, and even then it does not appear that he intervened in the strategic decisions that were pending in Pacific strategy.

Did he have strong strategic convictions? On the basis of the evidence he had predilections, rather than firm beliefs, and took pride in what he felt to be his strategic flair.4 To FDR, committed to no strategic doctrine except decisive victory, strategy, like politics, was the art of the possible and he was apt to chide the staff for its conservatism. At times he was more in agreement with Churchill than with his own staff. He could bend to strong staff urgings even as he could overrule them. While he did not always see eye to eye with his military professionals, his respect for them grew as the war wore on. But, by and large, as in 1939-41, whatever political objectives he had in the international arena he kept to himself and did not discuss fully and freely with his staff. The unconditional surrender concept that he announced to his staff shortly before the Casablanca Conference in January 1943 and that fitted so well with the basic military doctrine of a war of mass and concentration served further to close off political discussion with the staff.

Now what about the Joint Chiefs of Staff as strategists? Did they prove to be as narrow and doctrinaire as charged in post-war literature and did they thereby mislead the President and the west? It is important to recognize that the strategy they espoused evolved in response to changing pressures, internal and external, and that the American military matured in military diplomacy as the war progressed. It is not generally realized that, after the American disappointment at the Casablanca Conference, the JCS system underwent a fundamental reorganization in the spring of 1943 as military planners and chiefs sought to cope more effectively with the President and to present a more united front vis-a-vis the British at the international conferences.5 Needless to say, the major cross-channel operation, OVERLORD, finally agreed upon at the Teheran Conference at the end of 1943, represented a compromise between American and British views--a compromise that was two years in the making.

In holding to their strategy against Germany for a war of concentration and in


regarding target dates as sacrosanct, the American military were entirely consistent with their traditions and strengths. As the arsenal of democracy, they regarded a major cross-channel attack as the pivot of the global plans. They were anxious to get on with the war against Japan, in which they bore the primary responsibility. They feared the ultimate costs--in men, money and time -- of a long war of attrition so foreign to the American approach to war and summed up so succinctly by General Marshall's injunction that a democracy cannot fight a seven years' war. Critics of the American case tend to minimize their maturation as strategists in mid-war, the global context of their planning, the war of opportunism they fought in the Pacific, not unlike that advocated by the British for the Mediterranean. They also tend to overestimate the politico-military coherence of the British case and to forget that the strategy the Americans espoused for direct, total solutions was born of European pre-war doctrine to which they had fallen heir as well as their own traditions.

As for the American military and politics in the larger sense, the charge that the American staff was oblivious to political considerations needs to be examined closely. As the war advanced, General Marshall and his planners increasingly recognized that military planning was inextricably involved with foreign policy, and the military chiefs showed growing concern with political considerations. While "the thought of political matters" was "necessarily" continuously on the minds of the JCS, as General Marshall reported to a Senate subcommittee in the spring of 1943, they continued to leave those matters for the President to decide.6 The fine line between foreign and military policy became increasingly blurred, and the staff sought to close the gaps with the State Department and devise new coordinating links to handle emerging politico-military problems.7

As early as the summer of 1944 the JCS advised the Secretary of State: "...the defeat of Germany will leave Russia in a position of assured military dominance in eastern Europe and in the Middle East." "The successful termination of the war against our present enemies will find a world profoundly changed in respect of relative national military strengths, a change more comparable indeed with that occasioned by the fall of Rome than with any other change occurring during the succeeding fifteen hundred years. This is a fact of fundamental importance in its bearing upon future international political settlements and all discussions leading thereto." "After the defeat of Japan, the United States and the Soviet Union will be the only military powers of the first magnitude."8

Post-war writers who have stressed the complete absence of political sophistication on the part of the US staff have overdrawn the case. But it is also apparent that from the beginning the staff accepted constraints on their non-military thinking. Whatever modifications the military may have wished for example, on the application of unconditional surrender, they never pushed for them with the vigour with which they argued for a cross-channel operation on a definite target date. Whatever predilections they might on occasion have exhibited in the secrecy of their staff memorandums or the privacy of their own thinking, they left politics to the President and never developed a coherent politico-military strategy of their own.

What, then, may we conclude about the significance of the wartime relationship? The simple stereotypes and generalizations that have become embedded in post-war literature need reexamination in light of the lengthened perspective. The evidence suggests that neither the


President nor the JCS started with a fully developed blueprint. The patterns they fashioned for victory were molded by circumstances, by necessity, by trial and error, and by compromises among themselves and with their allies in the changing context of the war. Despite wartime challenges to the historic division of labour between the "what" and "how" of policy, between principal and agent, American soldiers and statesmen remained faithful to their respective traditions and roles. The successes and failures of American leadership in World War Two, it may be argued, were a product of the American system and its ingrained approach to war and peace. The relationship forged under the stress of war empowered the military to secure the decisive victory FDR wanted. It permitted them to apply the revolution in technology, tactics, and doctrine that had developed between the World Wars to the war of mass and mobility that World War Two turned out to be. Just as the President could play his mediatory role with the allies, the JCS were enabled to balance the three approaches to war with which the American services entered the conflict. Their flexibility in terms of the military strategy they forged among themselves and with their allies has been underestimated. How far the American military had come in the quarter century since World War One was reflected in the transformation of the United States from the junior partner of World War One to its large share in molding European strategy and its preeminent role in directing the war in the Pacific in World War Two. The JCS proved to be a remarkably efficient instrument in waging the first really global war in American history. In the process the military formed close ties with the civilian society and emerged from the war with greater prestige and influence then ever before.

Yet, it may also be argued that in the end the war outran the strategists and the statesmen. Gaps, conceptual and institutional, in national policy began to show up in the last year of the war. Problems of winning the peace began to come up against those of winning the war. Questions of political and territorial adjustments arose for which no solutions had been foreseen. The basic props of Presidential policy--the cooperation of the Soviet Union, the survival of Britain as a strong power, China's elevation as a great power in the near future began to be questioned. Roosevelt died without having decided what to do about lend-lease after the defeat of Germany. He had fought three wars--the wars against Germany and Japan, and in American crusading spirit, the war to end war.9 He had succeeded in the first two, but the issue in the third was still in doubt. On the military side, the JCS ended the war as they had begun it, approaching war as a technical military game. In the end American leadership sanctioned the use of the Atomic bomb, planning for which had grown up largely outside regular strategic channels, before a military theory or doctrine for it had been developed, or its place in the future of warfare or of international relations been fully comprehended, but consistent with the notion of ending the war as quickly and decisively as possible and with the fewest American casualties.

The world of 1945 was not the world of 1919 or 1939 or 1941. In previous American wars, political and military goals had meshed neatly; thrash the bully who started the war, bring the boys home, and all could return to normalcy. In World War Two, the more the immediate enemy was beaten, the more the balance was upset. The more thoroughly Germany was defeated, the greater loomed the threat of the wartime half-ally, the Soviet Union--in victory more of a question mark than ever. In this uncertain situation neither US Military doctrine nor political experience offered any real precedent. Hostage to American traditions, the President and the JCS had fought the war in terms of absolutes. To the end they saw war and peace in


separate compartments and tended to postpone middle and long range political problems for a general peace settlement that thirty years later had still not materialized.

In retrospect, a number of questions remain. Had the President and the Joint Chiefs really fought different wars--one a military struggle, the other a crusade--- in which their strategies happened on the whole to be compatible? Had the military reached the zenith of professionalism in the successful military war they fought only to find military strategy an outmoded art in the international arena emerging by 1945? Had the President come in sight of the victory he sought only to see danger signs for the brave new world he had envisaged? Was either really prepared for the changes in warfare or in international politics growing out of World War Two--changes that would affect the relations of soldiers and statesmen in the decades to follow?

The war's end exposed the limits of tradition in the American approach to global grand strategy--an area new to national experience. But the military instrument the President had created and the alliance he formed with it had enabled American leadership to marshal national resources more effectively than either the political dictatorship of Germany or the military dictatorship of Japan. The military remained the servants rather than the masters of the state and the tradition of civilian control emerged from the war intact. The harmonious partnership formed by a remarkable group of forceful civilian and military leaders enabled American leadership to remain faithful to the basic precepts of the Founding Fathers and to meet the greatest test in war the nation had ever faced.

In the final analysis, from the American standpoint World War Two may appear to have been the apogee of the democratization and industrialization of war, the climax of the joining of a moral crusade with massive power that let loose forces and expectations that neither American policy makers nor its strategists could by themselves control. It is doubtful if the circumstances for waging total war of the World War Two variety will ever again exist in such effective combination. The United States emerged as a global power, stronger than ever, but with its leaders more conscious than ever of the limits of power. FDR and his military advisers had built a mighty war machine and had converted the United States to serve as the arsenal of democracy. But even in waging the war they found they could not launch a major cross-channel attack as early as they wished. Nor could they support a big operation on the mainland of Asia along with establishing a second front in Europe. And at least through Yalta in February 1945 they called for Soviet help to pin down Japanese forces on the Asiatic mainland before the invasion of Japan. In contrast to the 215 army divisions the military planners had originally proposed in 1941, the nation was able to mobilize only ninety, all of which were deployed overseas at the end.10 Gaps developed between ends and means that even the world's most industrialized democracy could not supply; shortages of shipping and landing craft plagued allied planners throughout. And, of course, FDR and his cohorts were aware that Russia bore the brunt of the fighting and sacrifice in the conflict with Germany and that without continued Soviet cooperation his hopes for a new international community and a brave new world after the war would be in jeopardy.

Thirty years after the fighting, scholars, statesmen, and soldiers are still wrestling with the problems growing out of World War Two. The need to probe the meaning and legacy of


that conflict for the theory and practice of warfre and statecraft continues. Some "lessons" are clearer than others. Much war learned about raising, training, equipping, supplying, deploying, and commanding forces in action in different parts of the globe--technical aspects of warfare. As in previous wars, military theory and practice were not in full accord. For example, despite the claims of pre-war air enthusiasts the ability of air power to defeat an .enemy was not proved. After Pearl Harbour aircraft carriers, not battleships, proved to be queens of the fleet. The Germany-first concept, with which the western allies entered the conflict, was compromised by the needs of the Pacific war after Pearl Harbour--and it proved difficult to keep that war limited; the Pacific war almost caught up with the war against Germany. The planners discovered both in the Mediterranean and the Pacific that forces and resources in being had a way of generating their own strategy. Events almost as often determined strategy as the reverse and Western allied strategy was hammered out in a series of compromises on the anvil of "necessity." Reversing the legacy of World War One, the pendulum of war reverted to the offensive.

Much was learned about planning and waging coalition warfare. In many ways World War Two was a series of wars within wars--and it may be argued that the western powers fought their war and the Russians theirs; that there never was an allied strategy and the two strategies--Russian and Anglo-American--just happened to be compatible; that on a military level their efforts proved successful but their national interests and political objectives were not really meshed; and that the Grand Alliance began to break up before the war was over, when the common bond of danger that had brought the allies together in 1941 began to collapse.

Negotiations with the Russians proved difficult. Despite the postwar criticism of American wartime leadership, it is doubtful whether within the means available any different strategy or policy would have produced a faster decisive victory over Germany and Japan and put the West in a fundamentally better position vis-a-vis the Soviet Union, or surmounted the legacy of suspicion with the Soviet partner they had inherited--a legacy that remains with some added scars from World War Two. From the Soviet standpoint, while the allies postponed the second front the Russians suffered twenty million casualties, the figure they now admit. The war ended with dilemmas piling up for the President and his military staff--with political problems in Europe mounting for which neither the military strategy of victory nor the President's policy of postponing political decisions provided the answers. Germany was only half liberated and Poland and east Europe were already in the Soviet dictator's grip. Whatever virtue unconditional surrender had as a war slogan and war aim, it did not prove to be a good peace aim. It cloaked the divergence in national objectives and interests of the allies and offered no basis for reconciling them. World War Two shed no certain light on the motivations and intentions of Soviet policy, problems that have also troubled American post-war leadership. FDR staked much on using the wartime partnership to bring the Soviet Union out of its pre-war isolation. "The only way to have a friend," he once quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is to be one."11 But at the very end, wary of Russian intransigence over Poland, he advocated firmness in dealing with the Soviet Union--somewhat akin to General Marshall's urging in January 1945 on General Eisenhower a direct approach in treating with the Russians "in simple Main Street Abilene style." But at no point did FDR or his chief military advisers propose to use military power for direct and specific political purposes vis-a-vis the Soviet Union.12


In the perspective of the intervening years, it is apparent that total war brought neither total peace nor total national security. World War Two marked a watershed for American strategy and policy and a revolution in its strategic position. Traditional bases of national security were upset. Traditions have come into conflict with realities. In the uncertain international environment of the postwar world, policy makers and planners have desperately sought to close the gaps among weaponry, policy, and strategy. The quest for national security has ensued in new directions. The search for a viable system of coordinating the political and military spheres of national policy, and for informed, realistic long range planning, underscored by the experience of World War Two, has been continuing and there has been considerable tinkering with, and reshaping of the machinery of national security. Strategy is no longer the simple case of military planning it was before World War Two. Nor can it any longer be separated from national policy, or national from international security. Distances have shrunk and the Atlantic is no longer an ocean but a river. In the age of intercontinental and submarine missiles, the very air above and the sea below have become live frontiers. National security can no longer be defined in terms of American national frontiers as it could in most of the nation's history. The era of "free security", a dividend of the relatively stable balance of power in Europe and the presence of the British fleet in the Atlantic, is over.

The old approaches no longer offer practical solutions. Winning and victory, traditional objectives in American conflicts, have become questionable goals in the nuclear age, goals whose meaning is no longer clear, and whose relevance has become doubtful. Strategy and policy have become twin parts of the art and science of survival--of deterring major war as much as to fight it, should it come. We live in a period that is neither war nor peace, wherein wars are no longer declared and formal surrenders and peace treaties made, wherein problems are not solved but divided--we have two Chinas, two Koreas, two Berlins, and so on. For over three decades the world has been sitting on a tinder box--a by-product of the offensive power based on nuclear energy unleashed at the war's end. But traditions in national security die hard in the nuclear age and the desire for absolute security on the part of the American public persists.

World War Two marked the end of an epoch in the military history of the US and of the world. Under the shadow of the atomic bomb and the ensuing nuclear arms race between the US and the USSR, and the spread of nuclear weapons to other nations, warfare has returned to earlier and more primitive forms -to conventional methods and weapons, to limited and guerrilla wars--fought largely in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Whether World War Two ensured that future wars would be little, or paved the way for an eventual armageddon--or both--only the future can tell. American theorists continue to wrestle with the problem of the future of war. In contrast to its pre-war relative isolation, an aftermath of World War One, the United States has in the aftermath of World War Two become involved in all corners of the globe and has become the leader of free world coalitions. As we have noted, American strategy came into its own in World War Two. In contrast to the few influential strategists produced by the US before the war, American theorists, many of them drawn from intellectual ranks outside the military, have dominated western strategic thought and play on a global checkerboard. US military history can no longer be separated from world military history.

To put World War Two and its "lessons" in proper perspective for the soldier and state man, the historian will have to continue to search for the links between World War One and World War Two--not only for what happened in World War One and its aftermath but what American leaders of World War Two thought had happened. In a sense World War Two may


be viewed as part of the unfinished business of World War One and the post-World War Two era a carryover of the unfinished business of World War Two--a quest for the peace and security that had eluded military victory. World War Two was total but incomplete. The scholar will have to study the Second World War as more than a series of hard-fought battles and campaigns--as conflicts between societies, and the seedbed of great political, economic, technological, and military change, and of a fundamental shift in the international balance of power that would have significant impact on postwar national security planning and organization. For American leadership that war marked an important formative and transitional period, a watershed, in the history of the relationship between the President and his military advisers. It reaffirmed American faith in civilian control even as the historic distinctions between policy and strategy, between the classical realms of the statesmen and the military, became increasingly blurred. And when future historians look back on World War Two and its legacy, that war may appear, above all, as the conflict that propelled the United States into the global age, ended its innocence in world affairs, made it both more powerful and more insecure, and illustrated limits of its traditional approach to war and peace.


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