FDR’s foreign policy

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Foseti wonders what FDR’s foreign policy aims were:

As best I can determine, FDR went into the war with basically no war aims. After a while, he seems to have settled on two:

1) Totally destroying Germany and Japan (he was the first to public state the demand for unconditional surrender). I’ve read that he seems to have even considered breaking Germany back up into principalities.

2) Ending European colonialism as quickly as possible.

Both of these aims were, retrospectively, terrible.

The first served to make the Soviets the (by far) most dominant power in Europe and Asia. It left the US alone to provide any meaningful resistance in both theaters.

The second enticed the Soviets to further expand into the third world and has led to disastrous results which continue into modern times (Egypt, for example, is still struggling for stability and has rarely if ever been a better place to live following the end of colonialism — the list of course is much longer — think of all the subsequent bloodshed in the Middle East or India and Pakistan).

He certainly seems to have wanted war with Japan, commenter Red notes, citing the fact that Admiral James O. Richardson, Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, was relieved of command in February 1941 for protesting their redeployment to Pearl Harbor, which he felt was vulnerable to a surprise attack.

I’ve posted far more about Imperial Japan than I realized:


  1. Foseti says:

    What’s your take?

    The more I read about this, the more FDR’s foreign policy is obviously bad. I’d have trouble even coming up with a defense on any front.

  2. Red says:

    “The more I read about this, the more FDR’s foreign policy is obviously bad.”

    FRD’s foreign policy was very good for his empire and probably good for America in the short term. We went to the moon thanks to FDR’s foreign policy. After the dust settled from WW2, the American progressives owned half the world and their pets owned the other half. It wasn’t an accident that American progressives quickly consumed the former communist empires. It was rather the planed goal from the start to have the commies modernize the populations to backwards for progressive rule. They’re playing the same game with the Islamists. They plan to have them shape up their populations so that they can rule them like they rule the rest of the world.

  3. Isegoria says:

    I think there’s a tendency for us, looking back, to assume that everything went to plan, when really no one could keep track of everything going on, and no one was completely in charge of even one country, let alone the entire interconnected mess.

    Also, I think there’s a tendency for the people involved to overweight recent events. It seems that everyone expected a long, protracted struggle on the Western Front and short, decisive struggle on the Eastern Front, leading Russia to pull out of the war. After all, that’s what happened last time.

    So, once the Germans swept through Belgium and France, they were obviously unstoppable, and Russia needed our help. I still find it jarring that no one seemed to be thinking, let’s wait until Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia have worn each other down before we make our move.

    I also think the West was baffled by Japan, because they so fully embraced technical progress, and they took on many of the trappings of the modern West, but they didn’t share progressive ideals. They wanted to win an empire while there were still backward countries to conquer. Years of disapproval didn’t slow them down.

  4. My takeaway from “The Pearl Harbor Myth”: FDR wanted war with Japan so that he could get war with Germany. He tried and failed to goad Germany into war, even by illegally aiding Britain and France. But Germany wouldn’t bite. Suicidally honorable Japan was easier to pick a fight with. So FDR succeeds in picking a fight with Japan, and then what? We put the Pacific War off for a couple years, so we can concentrate on Germany.

  5. Isegoria says:

    Yes, that’s my understanding — that FDR wanted war with Germany and accepted war with Japan — but it strikes me as odd to want to put troops on European soil. I’m assuming FDR (correctly) judged that his major constraint was the American people, and they wouldn’t appreciate a fairly expensive strategy of not-quite-war, but they would support an all-out war against enemies who had declared war on them.

  6. FNN says:

    They’re playing the same game with the Islamists. They plan to have them shape up their populations so that they can rule them like they rule the rest of the world.

    It’s rather alarming to think that only Islam stands in the way of the leftist singularity. It makes you wonder how much more insane of a Bizarro World would the Cathedral have to invent if it only had its impotent pseudo-enemies like the Christian Right and the Pope to struggle against.

    The Hungarians apparently will say stuff when no one else dares speak out.

  7. Xray says:

    FNN, I’m not sure the meaning of your last sentence, but that site you linked is some (sorry Isegoria) f—ed up $#@!.

  8. FNN says:

    I was looking for something that had a lot of info on the pro-Islam orientation of Jobbik, which I think is the third largest party in Hungary. That means a lot in countries that have proportional representation instead of Anglo-American first-past-the-post.

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