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Paths to PeaceDomestic Coalition Shifts, War Termination and the Korean War$
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Elizabeth A. Stanley

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804762694

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804762694.001.0001

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The Soviet Union

The Soviet Union

Outlasting Stalin's Preferences

(p.91) 4 The Soviet Union
Paths to Peace
Stanford University Press

This chapter reviews Soviet Union decision-making during the Korean War through the lens of the preference and information obstacles. It argues that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin did not want to end the war due to his benefiting from it (that is without assuming many of its costs). The suspicious worldview and paranoid nature of Stalin penetrated the coalition's decisions and developed a culture of fear. He supported the hardliners, as their views complemented his own, and he offered Kim Il-Sung the green light. In addition, his preference was to delay the war's end, and he consistently took steps to ensure this preference prevailed. Stalin's death led the moderates to want to end the war. The domestic coalition shift moved from the stickiness of Stalin's preferences and allowed the war to end.

Keywords:   Korean War, Soviet Union, decision-making, Joseph Stalin, hardliners, domestic coalition shift

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