Date of Award
Master of Arts in International Relations
Direct American interest in Southern Asia began only after the Second World war as a result of three confluencing events which entirely changed the Western oriented power pattern in the whole of Asia.
One of these events was the demission in the Imperial West from all of its more important colonial outposts in Asia. Against a background of centuries of exploitation and humiliation, this parting bade fair to be permanent: i.e ., any Western return in the old style had become impossible in the foreseeable future .
The second event was of more direct concern to the United States. Before and during the Second War her strategy in Asia was centred around Japan and China, the former as a threat to be tamed and the latter as her ward and future hope, promising a vast potential for investments , trade , and cultural and religious activities. With Chiang Kai -Shiek’s defeat by Communist forces in 1949 all this changed, causing a wave of outcry by certain political forces to an extent rarely paralleled in American history. The subsequent Red Chinese intervention in the Korean War forced the United States government into an "agonising reappraisal” of its policies in the Orient.
The third event which was destined to count so much in Southern Asia, but which the Rightwing “Asialationists” were mentally unprepared to accept, was the emergence of what has been called “neutralism” in some of the key countries of the region.
All these trends had become clear by 1951. What was the reaction of the United States to these trends? How did she set about reorienting her attitude and policies during the years of readjustment?
These questions have been studied in a four-dimensional context : 1) the changing international setting; 2) the place of Southern Asia in American international and domestic policies; 3) the actual formulation of U.S. policies in this area and the manner of their execution ; and 4) the effects of United States actions on her relations with the countries of the region and on the relations of these countries among themselves.
While history cannot be ignored in studying a historical period , the approach adopted in this study is topical and analytical rather than chronological . Although reference has been made to preceding and succeeding events for the purpose of providing a perspective, the study' s focus has been on the first two years of' the Eisenhower Administration. The research findings of this study indicate that United States policies ' towards Southern Asia during l953 and 1954 were based on outdated and internally inconsistent postulates. They produced “solutions” which were related to neither to the international issues of the time nor to the actual problems of the area. As a consequence, they tended to be ineffective and self - defeating.
Kapil, Prakash Chandra, "American Alliance Policy in Southern Asia: 1953-54" (1963). Open Access Master's Theses. Paper 1790.