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The U.S. military plan to attack China in the 1960s

Sohn, Hanbyeol 1

1국방대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to examine “Why did the United States plan a military attack on China?” Specifically, what military options were the US considering and what factors determine US military action? To this end, this paper first examines the options that the United States has been able to choose theoretically for the imminent nuclear threat from China, and what are the options and the decision making process of establishing the military action actually considered and what are their determinants? Secondly, it analyses that the change in the strategic interests of the U.S. had led to this conversion of non-proliferation policy which coerced China to join the NPT regime. China’s nuclear development, in the short term, was threatening the further proliferation of nuclear weapons and the stability of the United States. Not only threatening the US allies militarily and psychologically, but also US worried that it would lose the nuclear superiority to USSR camps when the nuclear monopolies had already been lost. On the other hand, China’s capacity was not strong and the US nonproliferation policies were likely to be successful. China’s national capabilities could not fit the US military capabilities, and China’s nuclear development was still in the early stages. It was the reason why the US military attack on Chinese nuclear facilities was specifically considered. Eventually, of course, the US military attack plan was not implemented and efforts to stop China’s nuclear development failed, but the US led China to the NPT regime, and led to her responsible action and a high level of mutual trust.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.