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Apocalypse ManagementEisenhower and the Discourse of National Insecurity$
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Ira Chernus

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758079

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758079.001.0001

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The Formosa Straits Crisis

The Formosa Straits Crisis

(p.109) Chapter 7 The Formosa Straits Crisis
Apocalypse Management
Stanford University Press

This chapter presents a discussion on the Formosa Straits crisis. The People's Republic of China (PRC) began shelling islands in the Formosa Straits occupied by the forces of Chiang Kai-shek. President Dwight Eisenhower stated his commitments to Chiang Kai-shek and his followers, which were sufficiently credible to keep Formosa firmly embedded in the “island barrier” that restrained communism. He was also prepared to go to war to defend the islands, even if it would “require the use of atomic missiles.” It is noted that Indochina was the paradigm throughout the Formosa crisis. The conflicts there and in the Formosa Straits revealed that the contradictory bursts might occasionally entail small expansions of the communist bloc. The nation's first open debate about a specific situation where nuclear weapons might be employed was developed by the Formosa Straits crisis, which efficiently trained the public in critical assumption of apocalypse management.

Keywords:   Formosa Straits crisis, Dwight Eisenhower, Chiang Kai-shek, communism, Indochina, nuclear weapons, apocalypse management

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