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Clark CliffordThe Wise Man of Washington$
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John Acacia

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125510

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125510.001.0001

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Cold Warrior

Cold Warrior

(p.57) 3 Cold Warrior
Clark Clifford

John Acacia

University Press of Kentucky

Clark Clifford and James Forrestal met and decided to prepare a memorandum for Harry S. Truman, which, as they put it, “would outline the central question of which of the two systems in moral contention would survive.” Clifford's concern was that with the Democrats controlling the White House and the Republicans Congress, the usual partisan bickering would prevent the government from adopting a bipartisan strategy to deal with the threat of communism. The product of their discussion was a memorandum that was drafted by Forrestal aide Marx Leva and sent to Clifford. The memorandum warned that the country cannot afford the deceptive luxury of waging defensive warfare. As in the war of 1941–45, their victory and survival depended on how and where they attacked. The stridency of the warning, combined with Forrestal's reputation as an ideologically passionate cold warrior, suggests that the Leva memorandum was much more a product of Forrestal than a collaborative effort.

Keywords:   Clark Clifford, James Forrestal, memorandum, Harry S. Truman, Democrats, Republicans, communism, Marx Leva, cold warrior

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