Answer to Question #164971 in History for Jacob Lemmon

Question #164971

How did Eisenhower prepare the United States to win a nuclear war

Expert's answer

Nuclear weapons played a controversial role in some of Eisenhower's diplomatic initiatives, including the President's effort to end the Korean War. As promised, Eisenhower went to Korea after he was elected but before he was inaugurated. The trip provided him with no clear solution for ending the war. But during the spring of 1953, U.S. officials attempted to send indirect hints to the Chinese government that Eisenhower might expand the war into China or even use nuclear weapons. Some historians think that these veiled threats may have encouraged the Chinese to reach a settlement. An increase in conventional U.S. military pressure during the spring of 1953 may have had a greater effect on the willingness of the Chinese and North Koreans to negotiate a settlement. There is also reliable evidence that the Soviet leaders who came to power after Stalin's death in March 1953 worried about U.S. escalation and pressed for an end to the war. Both sides made concessions on the question of the repatriation of prisoners of war, and the armistice went into effect in July 1953. Korea remained divided along the 38th parallel, roughly the same boundary as when the war began in 1950.

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