By Lawrence S. Kaplan
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Extra resources for Dien Bien Phu and the crisis of Franco-American relations, 1954-1955
S. policy. "20 Since Munich had taught a generation of Americans that peace was indivisible, Washington extended the Truman Doctrine to Southeast Asia. Policymakers defined the Indochinese as a "free people" under attack by an "armed minority" and "outside" pressure, and the free world collectively had to come to their defense. "21 In contrast to 1938, moreover, France was refusing to appease the aggressor. Instead, it served as the "antidote" to Communist expansion. 22 If this meant supporting colonialism as, Americans hoped, a temporary expedient, so be it.
JACQUES DE FOLIN is an alumnus of the Ecole Navale, served as a naval officer during the Second World War, and began his career in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1945. He was principal private secretary to Robert Schuman, Georges Bidault, and Pierre Mendès-France, as well as counselor at the French embassy in London and deputy director of the southern European and American departments. He also served as ambassador to Jordan, to Greece, and to Ireland and as consul general in Saigon (19701973).
Interests to warrant provocative action. Moreover, because Indochina had been the catalyst in America's entry into the war, its overall importance never again would be overlooked. Applied to Asia and the Pacific, the domino theory became an integral part of Washington's strategic doctrine. . It is well to remember that the attack on the United States [at Pearl Harbor] was not launched until after the enemy had secure control of Indochina. "9 The military history of World War II reinforced these perceptions of Indochina's strategic significance.