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The Secretary of State versus the Secretary of Peace: the Dulles-Stassen controversy and US disarmament policy, 1955-58
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 18:40 authored by David TalDavid Tal
Eisenhower's appointment in March 1955 of Harold Edward Stassen as his special assistant on Disarmament caused tensions within his administration, as secretary of state John Foster Dulles did not like the appointment that was commonly dubbed as 'secretary of peace'. The two competed not only over personal issues - their stand within the administration - but also over policy, with Stassen acting to turn Eisenhower's Open Skies Plan into a practical disarmament policy, but Dulles seeing it mainly as a propaganda tool. Conceptually, that meant a struggle between two schools of thought within the administration: one advocating an 'all or nothing approach' toward disarmament and the other calling for making progress through negotiations and compromises. Dulles, who belonged to the first school of thought, won the struggle with Stassen, who was forced to resign, but in the end it was Stassen who had his way, as US disarmament policy that was based on Dulles's 'all or nothing approach' was shifted along the practical lines set by Stassen. Copyright © 2006 SAGE Publications.
JournalJournal of Contemporary History
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